Good morning. This is the transcribed interview of Glenn Simpson. Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein requested this interview as part of the Senate Judiciary Committee's investigation of Fusion GPS's activities related to the dossier compiled by Christopher Steele, the Prevezon case, and the Magnitsky Act.
Would the witness please state your name for the record.
On behalf of the Chairman I want to thank Mr. Simpson for appearing here today. My name is Patrick Davis. I'm the Deputy Chief Investigative Counsel with the committee's majority staff.
I'll ask everyone else from the committee who is here to introduce themselves as well.
Jason Foster, I'm the Chief Investigative Counsel for Chairman Grassley.
Samantha Brennan, Investigative Counsel, Chairman Grassley.
Scott Graber, Senator Graham.
Daniel Parker, Investigative Assistant for Senator Grassley.
Joshua Flynn-Brown, Investigative Counsel for Senator Grassley.
Jennifer Duck, Staff Director for Senator Feinstein.
Lara Quint, Chief Counsel, Senator Whitehouse.
Heather Sawyer, Chief Oversight Counsel, Senator Feinstein.
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not apply to any of the committee's investigative activities, including transcribed interviews. There are some guidelines we follow, and I'll go over those now.
Our questioning will proceed in rounds. The majority staff will ask questions first for one hour, then the minority staff will have an opportunity to ask questions for an equal amount of time. We will go back and forth until there are no more questions and the interview is over.
We typically take a short break at the end of each hour, but should you need a break at any other time, please just let us know. And we can discuss taking a break for lunch whenever you're ready to do so.
We have an official reporter taking down everything we say to make a written record. So we ask that you give verbal responses to all questions. Do you understand?
So that the court reporter can take down a clear record, we'll do our best to limit the number of people directing questions at you during any given hour to those whose turn it is. It's also important that we don't talk over one another or interrupt each other to the extent we can help it. That goes for everybody present at today's interview.
We encourage witnesses who appear before the committee to freely consult with counsel if they should choose. You are appearing here today with counsel. Counsel, could you please state your name for the record.
I'm Bob Muse and I represent Glenn Simpson.
I'm Rachel Clattenburg.
We want you to answer our questions in the most complete and truthful manner possible. So we will take our time. If you have any questions or if you don't understand any of our questions, please let us know. If you honestly don't know the answer to a question or don't remember, it's best not to guess. Just give us your best recollection.
It's okay to tell us if you learned information from somewhere else if you indicate how you came to know the information. If there are things that you don't know or can't remember, we ask that you inform us to the best of your knowledge who might be able to provide a more complete answer to the question.
This interview is unclassified. So if any question calls for information that you know to be classified, please state that for the record as well as the reason for the classification. Then once you've clarified that to the extent possible, please respond with as much unclassified information as you can. If we need to have a classified session later, that can be arranged.
It is this committee's practice to honor valid common law privilege claims as an accommodation to a witness or party when those claims are made in good faith and accompanied by sufficient explanation so that the committee can evaluate the claim. When deciding whether to honor a privilege the committee weighs its need for the information against any legitimate basis for withholding it. The committee typically does not honor contractual confidentiality agreements.
The committee and Mr. Simpson have agreed that this interview is occurring without prejudice to any future discussions with the committee and we reserve the right to request Mr. Simpson's participation in future interviews or to compel his testimony. The committee and Mr. Simpson have also agreed that participation in this interview does not constitute a waiver of his ability to assert any privileges in response to future appearances before this committee.Mr. Simpson, you should understand that although the interview is not under oath, by law you are required to answer questions from Congress truthfully. Do you understand that?
Specifically 18 U.S.C. Section 1001 makes it a crime to make any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation in the course of a congressional investigation. That statute applies to your statements in this interview. Do you understand that?
Yes, I do.
Witnesses who knowingly provide false statements could be subject to criminal prosecution and imprisonment for up to five years. Do you understand this?
Yes, I do.
Is there any reason you're unable to provide truthful answers to today's questions?
Finally, we ask that you not speak about what we discuss in this interview with anyone else outside of who's here in the room today in order to preserve the integrity of our investigation. We also ask that you not remove any exhibits or other committee documents from the interview.
Once again, the Chairman and Ranking Member withdrew their subpoena of you due to your willingness to provide information in this voluntary interview and document production. However, the extent to which the committee deems further compulsory process necessary will likely depend on your level of cooperation and candor.
Is there anything else that my colleagues from the minority would like to add?
Thank you. We appreciate it. And we appreciate you being here as part of the investigation into the Russian interference into the 2016 election.
I did want to, with agreement of my colleagues, just enter into the record the letter agreement regarding the interview that was sent to your counsel on August 3, 2017. I think my colleague has gone over a number of the parameters that we agreed to, but I think it would be helpful to have this in the record. So we'll go ahead and mark it as Interview Exhibit No. 1 just for identification purposes.
With that, again, thank you for being here.
The time is now 9:40 and we will get started with the first hour of questions.