House GOP Subpoenas Glenn Simpson, Founder of Trump Dossier Firm
(Bloomberg) -- House Republicans have subpoenaed the founder of the firm that commissioned a dossier alleging ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, demanding that Glenn Simpson show up Tuesday for a closed-door deposition at the Capitol.
“Mr. Simpson’s attorney has already indicated his client will exercise his privilege not to answer questions at the deposition,” according to a notice circulated Thursday among lawmakers. “It is unclear if Republicans will force Mr. Simpson to assert that privilege in person or not."
Simpson is the 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. 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.
If he shows up, Simpson would be questioned by some Republican and Democratic members and staff of the House Judiciary Committee, as well as the Oversight and Government Reform panel, which have been conducting a joint examination of investigative decisions made during the 2016 campaign by the FBI and the Justice Department.
Simpson previously met with the House Intelligence and Senate Judiciary committees, and transcripts of those sessions were released.
Despite the subpoena, Simpson requested on Thursday that he be excused from appearing for the deposition, in a letter sent to Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia by his lawyers, including Joshua Levy.
They said that committee members already have “falsely accused Mr. Simpson of ’lying’ -– ample basis for us to be concerned that this committee is only seeking to falsely incriminate Mr. Simpson.”
“Thus, the service of a subpoena on Mr. Simpson for a closed-door deposition by politicians who have already exhibited abundant bad faith leaves him with no other decision than to stand on his constitutional rights under the First and Fifth Amendments not to testify," the lawyers said in the letter. There was no immediate response from Goodlatte.
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