A Fusion GPS lawyer’s stunning claim that a Russian source for the salacious Steele dossier has been murdered was based on widespread media speculation, according to a source close to the opposition research firm.
It was revealed on Tuesday that Joshua Levy, a lawyer for Fusion GPS, told Senate Judiciary Committee investigators last August that a dossier source has been killed.
Levy made that claim in order to block his client, Glenn Simpson, from having to answer questions about dossier sources.
“It’s a voluntary interview, and in addition to that he wants to be very careful to protect his sources. Somebody’s already been killed as a result of the publication of this dossier and no harm should come to anybody related to this honest work,” Levy told a Senate Judiciary Committee investigator, according to a transcript of Simpson’s testimony released by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Tuesday. (RELATED: ‘Somebody Has Already Been Killed’ Over The Dossier, Fusion GPS Lawyer Claimed)
Simpson was interviewed by the committee for 10 hours on Aug. 22. Feinstein bucked Judiciary committee Republicans by releasing the transcript.
Levy’s claim was one of the biggest bombshells from the Simpson interview.
It was widely speculated that Levy was referring to an ex-KGB official who was found dead in the back of his car on Dec. 26, 2016. That official, Oleg Erovkinin, was a chief of staff to Igor Sechin, a Kremlin insider and president of Russian oil company Rosneft. The dossier, written by former British spy Christopher Steele, makes several unverified allegations about Sechin and the Trump campaign.
But it turns out that Levy had no specific knowledge about any deaths related to the dossier.
Levy did not respond to The Daily Caller’s request for comment on Tuesday. But CNN now reports:
During the closed-door session, Levy did not identify the person who was killed. Despite Levy’s clear assertion that someone had been killed, a source close to the testimony told CNN on Tuesday that the comment did not refer to any specific killing. Instead, the source said, it referred to the mysterious string of Russian deaths after the 2016 election.
CNN noted that at least nine high-profile Russians have died in the months after the 2016 presidential campaign. The list includes Erovkinin and several Russian diplomats.
Levy’s claim is not the part of the Simpson interview session that has had to be corrected or clarified.
In his testimony, Simpson stated that Steele’s allegations that the Trump campaign had colluded with the Russian government had been backed up by information provided to the FBI by “a human source from inside the Trump campaign.”
That passage generated speculation that a mole from inside the Trump campaign had corroborated some of Steele’s findings.
But Simpson was referring to information passed to the FBI from an Australian diplomat who had met in May 2016 with Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.
During a drunken conversation at a London bar, Papadopoulos told the Aussie diplomat, Alexander Downer, that he had been informed by someone linked to the Russian government that the Kremlin had Clinton-related emails.
A month before that meeting, Papadopoulos had met with a London-based professor named Joseph Mifsud who claimed to have learned of “thousands” of emails stolen from the Clinton campaign.
The Australians passed Downer’s information to the FBI in July 2016, a move which reportedly sparked the FBI’s Russia investigation.
Fusion GPS sources told some reporters on Tuesday, after the release of the Simpson transcript, that he had been referring to Papadopoulos and Downer.