- Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson is likely to be subpoenaed after he rejected a congressional request for an interview
- The House Judiciary and House Oversight & Government Reform Committees sought an interview with Simpson to clear up what Republicans say are inconsistencies in his past congressional depositions
- Simpson’s lawyer sent a scathing letter to the committees rejecting the request
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee plans to subpoena Glenn Simpson after the Fusion GPS co-founder rejected an interview request in a scathing letter sent Thursday by his attorney.
Republicans on both the Judiciary and House Oversight & Government Reform Committees recently requested an interview with Simpson, whose firm commissioned the Steele dossier, to follow up on testimony provided last month by Justice Department official Bruce Ohr.
Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 presidential campaign. Ohr also met with Simpson in August 2016, he testified, in contrast to what Simpson told the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence last November. Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, told the Intelligence panel that he did not meet with Ohr until after the election. (RELATED: Bruce Ohr Contradicted Glenn Simpson’s Testimony In A Major Way)
In a letter to the chairmen of the two committees, Josh Levy, a lawyer for Simpson, portrayed Simpson and Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote the dossier, as government whistleblowers.
“Part and parcel of this concerted effort by the President’s congressional allies has been a campaign of retaliation against the government’s whistleblowers, including our client Mr. Simpson, for their willingness to cooperate with US law enforcement and for their exercise of their constitutional rights to free speech and political activity as American citizens,” Levy wrote in a letter to Bob Goodlatte and Trey Gowdy, the chairmen of the Judiciary and Oversight Committees, respectively.
Politico published the letter on Thursday.
Fusion GPS was hired by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee to investigate Trump’s possible links to Russia. Steele, a former MI6 officer, passed parts of his dossier to the FBI, which later used the unverified report to obtain surveillance warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Simpson and Steele also shared the dossier’s allegations with numerous journalists, including from The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, The New Yorker and Yahoo! News.
Levy complained that the Republican group requesting Simpson’s interview is made up “of some of the President’s staunchest supporters” who are attempting to “undermine” Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign. He pointed out that Simpson has been interviewed for 20 hours by three congressional committees investigating Russian election interference.
Levy then asserted, without providing evidence, that “much of Simpson’s information…has now been substantiated.”
“The numerous Special Counsel indictments and convictions of Russian government agents and various associates of President Trump (many of whom were named in the “Dossier”) have only strengthened the credibility and validity of Mr. Simpson’s and Mr. Steele’s disclosures to the Department of Justice.”
Despite Levy’s claim, virtually none of the dossier’s allegations concerning Trump or his associates have been verified.
And both Simpson and Steele have reportedly expressed doubt at the most salacious claim in the dossier: that the Russian government is blackmailing Trump with video footage of him with prostitutes in a hotel room in Moscow in 2013.
According to “Russian Roulette,” a book written by two reporters who met with Steele and Simpson during the campaign, Steele has put the odds of the sensational claim at “fifty-fifty.” And Simpson reportedly said that he doubted the source of the allegation, a Belarus-born businessman identified as Sergei Millian. (RELATED: Fusion GPS Founder Doubted Credibility Of Major Dossier Source)
Simpson “considered Millian a big talker,” according to the book, written by Michael Isikoff and David Corn.