Glenn Simpson likely to be subpoenaed after rejecting congressional request
The co-founder of Fusion GPS – the firm behind the now-infamous Trump/Russia dossier – is likely to be subpoenaed after he rejected a request for an interview before Congress.
The House Judiciary and House Oversight & Government Reform Committees requested an interview with the company’s key figure, Glenn R. Simpson, to clear up the inconsistencies from his past congressional testimonies.
The request was refused by Simpson, whose lawyer sent a scathing letter of rejection to the committees.
The House Judiciary Committee’s chairman now plans to subpoena Mr. Simpson after he rejected an interview request on Thursday.
Republicans on both committees recently requested that Simpson answer questions before Congress, to follow up on Justice Department official Bruce Ohr’s testimony from last month.
According to the Daily Caller, Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Ohr also met with Simpson in August 2016, he testified, in contradiction to what Simpson told the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence last November.
Simpson, a onetime Wall Street Journal reporter, told the Intelligence panel that he did not engage with Ohr until after the election.
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 authored 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 right to 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 potential links to Russia.
Steele, a former MI6 officer, passed parts of his dossier to the FBI, which later used the unverified report to gather surveillance warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Simpson and Steele also shared the dossier’s accusations 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 trying to “undermine” Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign.
He pointed out that Simpson has been questioned 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 regarding 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 journalists 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 distrusted the source of the allegation, a Belarus-born businessman identified as Sergei Millian.
Simpson “considered Millian a big talker,” according to the book, written by Michael Isikoff and David Corn.