Tags: Russia Probe | glenn simpson | fusion gps | opposition research | dossier | house judiciary | fifth amendment

Fusion Co-Founder Balks at House Judiciary Subpoena

wearing glasses and a suit glenn simpson looks down
Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 11 October 2018 07:47 PM

The co-founder of Fusion GPS — a firm that commissioned opposition research on President Donald Trump during his campaign — intends to stonewall a subpoena from the House Judiciary Committee.

Glenn Simpson will invoke his "rights not to testify under the First and Fifth Amendments," his lawyers said in a letter, posted by The Hill, to panel chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., who had subpoenaed Simpson to be deposed Oct. 16.

"This Committee's inquiry is not designed to discover the truth," the lawyers wrote. The obvious — and at times explicitly stated — goal of this Committee is to discredit and otherwise damage witnesses to Russia's interference in the 2016 election, all as part of an effort to protect a president who has sought to placate and curry favor with a hostile foreign power and who demands that the Justice Department stop investigating him."

The lawyers also accused the panels' Republicans of seeking to "ruin the reputations of some of the government's most dedicated and experienced civil servants," in an attempt to "weaken the independence of this Justice Department."

Simpson, a former journalist, hired ex-British spy Christopher Steele to help compile the anti-Trump dossier, which makes a series of uncorroborated allegations about Trump's possible ties to Russia.

It was funded in part by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee — a flashpoint for Republicans who have pointed to ties between Fusion GPS and top federal officials as evidence of an anti-Trump bias among the top brass at the FBI and Department of Justice.

Some conservative House members have alleged a contractor working for Simpson's firm, Nellie Ohr, could have passed the dossier on to her husband, Bruce Ohr, who worked as a top official with the Department of Justice during the election, The Hill noted.

But the letter argued going after these officials has "deprived our country of their able assistance in the increasingly urgent fight against foreign interference with our democracy."

"For example, this Committee has sought to depict the relationship between Christopher Steele and Bruce Ohr — one of the UK's top experts on Russia and one of the Justice Department's leading experts on Russian organized crime — as somehow scandalous, when we should all want these two experts to share information in order to make us safer," they wrote.

Republicans on the committee immediately pushed back.

"It is very telling when Glenn Simpson has talked to multiple reporters and multiple individuals at the Department of Justice over the last two years," Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a vocal critic of the FBI and Justice Department, told The Hill. "When the day of reckoning is on the horizon, he chooses to lose his voice."

Simpson, who has met with three congressional committees, is one of a number of witnesses also tied to the dossier that Republicans want to interview as part of their joint investigation.

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Despite being subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson will invoke his "rights not to testify under the First and Fifth Amendment."
glenn simpson, fusion gps, opposition research, dossier, house judiciary, fifth amendment
Thursday, 11 October 2018 07:47 PM
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