- House Republicans plan to submit criminal referrals against Fusion GPS associates, North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows said on Tuesday.
- Speaking at an event hosted by The Washington Post, Meadows said that he has “great concerns” with how the Fusion-funded Steele dossier was used in the investigation of President Donald Trump.
- Meadows did not identify the targets of the referrals, but Republicans have accused Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson of making false statements during his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in November 2017.
Republican North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows said Tuesday that House Republicans plan to submit criminal referrals to the Justice Department against two or three individuals associated with Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that commissioned the anti-Trump Steele dossier.
“I can tell you that there are two or three individuals that we believe could have potentially given false testimony to Congress. We have been looking at that, reviewing not only the Mueller report, but comparing those to transcribed interviews that might have happened in Congress,” Meadows said at an event hosted by The Washington Post.
Meadows’ interview followed one with Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff, who said that he will be issuing a criminal referral against Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, for allegedly making false statements during his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.
Meadows said that House Republicans are eyeing “a couple of individuals” for criminal referrals of their own.
The Republican, who is a close ally of President Donald Trump’s, declined to identify the targets of the referrals, but he indicated to moderator Bob Costa that they were related to Fusion GPS and the Steele dossier.
“I do have great concerns on the role, not just Fusion GPS, but those associated with it played early on, and how was that used or not used as it relates to this investigation,” Meadows said.
Fusion GPS was hired in April 2016 by the law firm representing the Clinton campaign and DNC. From there, Fusion hired former British spy Christopher Steele to gather dirt on Donald Trump and his possible ties to Russia.
The result was a 35-page report that now appears to have contained false allegations of collusion between the Trump team and Russian government. The special counsel found no evidence of a conspiracy between Trumpworld and the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election.
Though the dossier appears flawed, the FBI relied heavily on Steele’s reporting for its collusion investigation. The bureau went as far as citing the report extensively in applications for surveillance warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
House Republicans have publicly accused Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson of lying during his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Nov. 14, 2017.
Republicans have claimed that Simpson lied when he claimed he met with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr only after the 2016 election. But Ohr testified on Aug. 28, 2018 to a congressional task force that he met with Simpson on Aug. 22, 2016. (RELATED: Glenn Simpson’s Testimony Conflicts With Bruce Ohr’s)
Republican Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe said on Oct. 14 that he believed Simpson was “in real legal jeopardy” over his congressional testimony.
Ohr served as Steele’s handler after the election because the FBI cut ties with the former spy.
Ohr’s wife is Nellie Ohr, a Russia expert who worked as a contractor for Fusion GPS from late 2015 through September 2016. She also testified to a congressional task force made up of members of the House Oversight and House Judiciary Committees.
Another House Republican, California Rep. Devin Nunes, notified Attorney General William Barr on April 11 that he plans to submit criminal referrals against five witnesses involved in the Intelligence committee’s Russia investigation.
The Justice Department is not obligated to open investigations based on the congressional referrals.
During the special counsel’s probe, only two individuals faced charges related to congressional testimony. Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty on Nov. 29 to making false statements to the Senate and House Intelligence Committees. Longtime Trump associate Roger Stone was indicted on Jan. 24 on charges that he made false statements to the House Intelligence panel.
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