Reading the transcript of Glenn Simpson’s testimony to the House Intelligence Committee that was made public final week, I used to be principally struck by how little of substance in it was new. I assumed it largely duplicated the testimony elicited by the Senate Intelligence Committee that had been made public the earlier week. John and I had dwelt on Simpson’s Senate testimony at size in a number of posts.
Last week John extracted what he discovered to be newsworthy nuggets in Simpson’s House testimony right here and right here. At the Daily Caller, Chuck Ross highlighted “Revelations” as nicely.
More than anything, I used to be struck by the nuttiness of Simpson’s House testimony. For this readers should look with their very own eyes. This is a man who’s within the grips of a mania.
Lee Smith isolates this thread of the testimony in his Tablet column “Glenn Simpson, conspiracy theorist, finds a place for the Jews in his Trump-Russia fantasia.” I like to recommend it extremely to readers who’ve been following Simpson’s position within the elaborate manufacturing that’s supposed to result in President Trump’s elimination from workplace. It is a most perceptive contribution and in contrast to anything that has been written on Simpson.
I discovered the nuttiness manifested, to take an instance not past the scope of Lee’s column, in Simpson’s description of the household of Jared Kushner as “ethnic Russian.” I’m unsure the place it suits into the bigger image. At web page 86 of the transcript, Simpson asserts:
You know, the Kushners are ethnic Russian they usually, we had been instructed, had relationships of their very own with Russian capital. And, you already know, the precise story I feel was that their relationships had been with the Russian diaspora within the New York space.
So extra broadly talking, throughout the ‘7Os, in the Refusenik era, there was a lot of Russian Jewish immigration to the New York area. And a lot of those people had — well, I’ll simply say there was plenty of immigration, and that group could be very massive, and a Jot of individuals grew to become very profitable and rich. And, as I perceive it, these are the connections that the Kushners need to exterior capital.
The paternal aspect of Kushner’s household got here from Novogrudok, a Belaurus city that reverted to Poland from Russia in 1921. I feel that is Simpson’s level of reference. A short historical past of Novogorud is posted right here.
After reverting to Poland, Novogorud was occupied first by the Soviet Union in 1939 after which by the Nazis in 1941. The story of the Kushner household’s escape from the Nazis is recounted right here. Kushner’s maternal grandparents additionally got here from Poland. Even so, Kushner’s household isn’t “ethnic Polish” not to mention “ethnic Russian.” What is he speaking about? In Simpson’s thoughts, we’ve got a phantasmagoria of Russian capital, Jews, and wealth associated to the Kushners’ ethnic circle.
Simpson’s mania comes additional into view as Adam Schiff seeks steering from Simpson on the long run course of the investigation. “You have itemized a number of things, including Russian money involved in transactions with Trump properties, and suspicious activity potentially between the campaign, Nigel Farage and Assange-Wikileaks. Are there other issues that came to your attention that are not contained in the Steele dossier that you think we ought to be aware of that you either were able to substantiate in part, or you were not able to fully investigate but you think that, in the exercise of due diligence, that we really need to?” Simpson takes flight (pages 112-113):
So I suppose the primary one which I feel that we haven’t lined in any respect, can be the Center for the National Interest and the folks concerned within the Center for the National Interest. And amongst different issues – nicely, importantly Dimitri Simes is thought within the Russian expat group as a suspected Russian agent. And I imagine he’s recognized to the FBI as a suspected Russian agent. And I feel that you could possibly develop extra data in that space from speaking to Russian intelligence defectors and individuals who come to this nation and have been given refuge from Russian intelligence.
There are various Russian defectors who, I feel, perhaps might converse to that. I feel there are some information round that may mirror a few of that. And I feel that’s — given their basic position in creating the Trump overseas coverage, I feel that may be a actually vital space. I feel speaking to Russian intelligence defectors on the whole about what they suppose was occurring and what they’ve heard might be a helpful factor to do.
I feel that the origins of the Manafort-Stone-Trump relationship is an fascinating space. I’ve seemed, spent plenty of time trying final 12 months at Roger Stone — you already know. Roger Stone made a joke at one level about how Paul Manafort had disappeared, and he was final seen like carting luggage of money onto Yanukovich’s aircraft or one thing like that. You know, Roger Stone has achieved work in Ukraine. He did work in Ukraine across the identical time as Manafort.
And I feel he has a little bit extra information of Manafort’s Ukrainian actions. And they each – Stone was a protege of a Republican political fellow named Arthur Finkelstein, who employed him to work on the Nixon marketing campaign. And Finkelstein was one of many first consultants to actually respect goal voters in a manner that considerably resembles the best way the Trump marketing campaign and the Russians did. And he spent a few years — he labored — Finkelstein labored with Stone and Manafort in Ukraine in or round 2005, 2006, for a similar forged of unhealthy guys. And later went off to Hungary to work for the pro-Russian prime minister there, Victor Orban, and went into enterprise over there.
And there’s plenty of allegations popping out of the Hungarian expat group about all of that. And, so, I feel that is a crucial space. That is likely one of the — you already know, we’ve picked up that Hungary is contained in the EU, and it’s primarily — you already know, Orban is actually a Putin puppet and the GRU has an enormous station there, and there’s a lot of unexplained journey by varied folks. And we’ve got heard plenty of rumors about that, and plenty of allegations since starting of final 12 months.
Ah, it’s all coming into view.
With just a few extra questions, Simpson continues on this vein with testimony that covers 4 extra pages.
At web page 111, Simpson provides us the licensed or heroic model of his work on behalf of the Clinton presidential marketing campaign:
It was to reveal a sinister plot by Vladimir Putin, a hostile overseas energy, to try to change the end result of an American Presidential election. And that was the aim. You know, and once more, I imply, principally our habits after the election was of the identical fundamental character. At some level, it grew to become about blowing the whistle on this. And I’d say that was the purpose at which it was rather a lot larger situation. And as an ex-journalist, I nonetheless have a little bit little bit of that in my blood, and I needed to reveal it for the sake of letting folks know what’s occurring.
About the veracity of the Steele file Simpson has roughly nothing to say besides that he believes in Steele. Courtesy of Steele, nevertheless, Simpson appears to have injected one thing that appears like Russian disinformation into the very best reaches of the United States authorities in the midst of his nicely compensated service to the Clinton presidential marketing campaign.
In his testimony, after all, Simpson, vouched for the work of his Secret Agent Man and the file he compiled on behalf of their mutual shopper. According to Simpson, Steele had “attempted to filter out unreliable sources or disinformation. And so it’s not totally raw. I mean, it’s been through one round of harvesting” (web page 72). Having set off the hysteria during which we’ve got been engulfed now for greater than a 12 months now, although spherical one Simpson has reaped a bountiful if blighted harvest.