Russian Federation researcher testifies that Trump had 'pattern' of Kremlin-connected money laundering

Donald Trump at Doonbeg Golf Course

"I think that the evidence that has developed over the last year, since President Trump took office, is that there is a well-established pattern of surreptitious contacts that occurred last year that supports the broad allegation of some sort of an undisclosed political or financial relationship between the Trump Organization and people in Russia", Simpson said.

The testimony - given to the House intelligence committee by Glenn Simpson, co-founder of the commercial intelligence firm Fusion GPS - follows statements attributed to Mr. Trump's former chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, who predicted the Trump-Russia investigation headed by special counsel Robert Mueller would zero in on allegations of money laundering.

The committee released a transcript of the hours-long interview on Thursday, following the lead of a separate Senate panel that made public its own session with Simpson.

Later, Simpson said he came to believe that Trump was "in fact developing different kinds of business relationships with the Russians" that aided Trump's other ventures, from beauty pageants to condominium developments outside of Russia.

These matters are now under investigation by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general, and possibly special counsel Robert Mueller.

However Simpson goes into a little bit more detail about what areas of President Trump's past he was researching for each of the two clients that had hired him for the project: first the conservative Washington Free Beacon, and the later Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

Simpson said his reason for pursuing the line of research was because Trump had "gone over [to Russia] a bunch of times, he said some weird things about Putin, but doesn't seem to have gotten any business deals".

RUSSIAN mafia figures may have become involved with Donald Trump in Doonbeg, it has been claimed at a sitting of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

He also said Trump's patterns of behavior raise alarms.

Doonbeg Golf Course
Doonbeg Golf Course

"I think Chris-it was someone that Chris Steele knows", was Simpson's answer, though he allowed that he had "met Bruce too through organized crime conferences or something like that".

Simpson's firm, Fusion GPS, had been hired to find damaging material on Trump during the campaign.

"I think that's an important point", Himes told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

At various points during his Intelligence Committee interview, Simpson advised the committee on how to direct its investigation and outlined what he said were connections between the Trump orbit and Russian Federation.

Mr Simpson said Mr Steele had a network of "subsources and subcontractors" in the country, and he denied the suggestion that he had paid for compromising information. "Then I would go to the banks next". And, again, it might have been, but when you also add the caveat "but we didn't" - there wasn't actually Russian names on the ledger or whatever, like that final step.

Mr. Simpson was viewed as a key witness because of his firm's role in hiring former British spy Christopher Steele to write an opposition research report on Mr. Trump that concluded members of the then-president candidate's inner circle had colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 election campaign.

He said he was not aware of Steele paying any of his sources, while defending his methods of gathering information.

The crucial moment in the interview comes on pages 78 and 79 of the transcript, when Simpson is asked whether he had ever "heard from anyone in the U.S. Government in relation to those matters [the Steele dossier], either the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Department of Justice?"

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