The big news Republicans didn’t want you to see.

The FBI was already investigating potential links between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russian government before they heard anything about Christopher Steele’s famous dossier on the matter. That’s the key takeaway from Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson’s extensive testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, released today by ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) over the objections of her Republican colleagues.

Simpson’s hearing lasted for hours, and the transcript is extremely long and mostly fairly tedious. But he does clearly state that when Steele spoke to the FBI about his findings, the bureau “believed Chris’s information might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing, and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump organization.”

That sounds like Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, who, according to a recent report in the New York Times, accidentally kicked off the Trump-Russia investigation by telling Australian diplomat Alexander Downer that Russia had political dirt on Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, after a night of heavy drinking in May 2016.

Conservatives have recently been pushing a theory that the basis for the FBI investigation was an opposition research document compiled at the behest of Clinton’s campaign. Simpson’s testimony seems to confirm the Times account and thereby debunk a conservative counternarrative that places the dossier itself at the center of the story.

Wait, who are these people?

Glenn Simpson is one of the co-founders of Fusion GPS, a “strategic intelligence” firm that was hired first by the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative news publication, and later by Hillary Clinton’s campaign to conduct opposition research on Donald Trump. Fusion, in turn, contracted with former MI-6 Russia specialist Christopher Steele to specifically look at Trump and Russia.

Steele’s investigation ended with Read More Here