The former British intelligence officer who authored the infamous Russia dossier wanted to show it to the FBI because he was concerned that then-presidential candidate Donald Trump was being blackmailed.
Christopher Steele told the political research firm that hired him, Fusion GPS, that what he uncovered from Russian sources was serious enough to bring to the attention of U.S. law enforcement authorities, according to a transcript released on Tuesday.
The transcript, of an interview Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson did with the Senate Judiciary Committee, was released on Tuesday by the committee's top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California.
Simpson gave testimony before the committee in August. The former reporter for the Wall Street Journal commissioned what proved to be Steele's salacious — and unproven — dossier on Trump's alleged ties to Russia.
Fusion GPS was first hired in 2015 by a conservative donor to investigate Trump's background in the early stages of the Republican presidential nominating process. Later, as Trump's pathway to the Republican nomination became more assured, the firm was hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to continue that research.
As part of that research, Fusion GPS hired Steele, who had been the head of MI6's Russia desk.
The resulting memos, written over the summer and fall of 2016, were explosive: They alleged that the Russian government had compromising material on the president and that Trump's campaign colluded with Russia to defeat Clinton during the presidential elections.
Simpson has testified for more than 20 hours before three congressional committees regarding his firm's role in commissioning the report. On Jan. 2, Simpson and fellow Fusion GPS co-founder Peter Fritsch called on congressional investigators to release their testimony.