Dossier Firm’s Founder to Refuse Lawmaker’s Questions

(Bloomberg) -- Glenn Simpson, a founder of the firm that commissioned a dossier alleging ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, will show up under congressional subpoena Tuesday for lawmaker’s questions -- but he won’t answer them, his lawyer says.

Simpson will invoke his constitutional right not to testify during the scheduled closed-door interview, according to the lawyer, Joshua Levy.

“Republicans in Congress are once again staging a theatrical event designed to protect President Trump from law enforcement investigations into his conduct,” Levy said in an emailed statement.

Simpson is co-founder of Fusion GPS, which hired former British spy Christopher Steele to produce a dossier with unverified allegations, some of them salacious, of ties between Trump and Russians before he became president. Trump and Republicans say the dossier, funded largely by Democrats and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, is bogus and provided a pretext to begin the Russia inquiry that’s now run by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Simpson has already testified to other congressional committees. But he was subpoenaed to appear last week before Republican and Democratic members and staff of the House Judiciary Committee, as well as the Oversight and Government Reform panel. Those lawmakers are conducting an ongoing joint examination of investigative decisions made during the 2016 campaign by the FBI and the Justice Department.

Republican Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, a Judiciary Committee member, said Monday that two other witnesses are also set to appear this week. He said former FBI top lawyer James Baker is scheduled to answer more closed-door questions on Thursday, and Nellie Ohr, the wife of Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, is set to be interviewed on Friday.

Jordan said he wasn’t aware of the status of talks with Deputy Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who last week didn’t agree to appear as requested. Some Republicans have pushed for Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte to subpoena him.

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