The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence closed their investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. They reportedly said that they closed their investigation because there was no interference.
Instead they knew otherwise.
It is useful to review the little bit of testimony that the committee has made public. If the people who run the committee had gotten their way, Glenn Simpson's testimony in particular would never have been public. That is why they had him testify behind closed doors in the first place. Eventually, the closed-door testimony of Glenn Simpson was released to the public.
You remember Glenn Simpson. He is a former reporter. Simpson and his company, Fusion GPS, worked with Christopher Steele (who of course wrote what the press famously calls "the Steele dossier") on investigating the issue of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
In closed session on November 14, 2017 (continuing his testimony in response to the questions that began on November 8), Glenn Simpson was asked about many things. One of them was "[w]hat is the interest of Russia with the National Rifle Association?"
Mr. Simpson at first responded by observing that much of the interest of Russia with the NRA is publicly known. But then he added a few additional names and issues. One of those names was Marie Butina who supposedly ran a gun rights organization in Russia and wanted to develop ties with the National Rifle Association, or at least that's what she told the National Rifle Association.
Mr. Simpson testified that he found Ms. Butina's story absurd on its face:
And the thing I found, you know, the most absurd about this is that, you know, Vladimir Putin is not in favor of universal gun ownership for Russians. And so it's all a big charade, basically.
Apparently the Select Committee did not see the charade. The people in charge of it closed their investigation.
Maria Butina has since been indicted recently for her role in Russian interference in the U.S. She is in jail without bond because a judge ruled that she is a flight risk.
And now more reports reach the public that Maria Butina's clandestine work was funded by a Russian billionaire who got his money at least in the past from banks and other billionaires controlled by Vladimir Putin. See Jon Swaine, "Maria Butina's Alleged Backer Linked to Kremlin-Financed Bank and Putin Associates" (The Guardian USA online, posted on August 6, 2018).
Glenn Simpson testified to other potential persons of interest and lines of inquiry back in November in his testimony before the Select Committee. It is worth going back over the transcript of his two sessions of testimony from November to see the other names and issues that are being publicly reported, and likely to be publicly reported, now.
Charade. Bad Faith. Take your pick. When the people in charge of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence closed their investigation it was at least one of these.
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