The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said he has subpoenaed Glenn Simpson after the Fusion GPS co-founder rejected an interview request in a scathing letter sent Thursday by his attorney.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, tweeted about the Simpson subpoena Friday.
As part of our joint investigation into decisions made by DOJ in 2016, today I subpoenaed Glenn Simpson to appear for a deposition.
— Bob Goodlatte (@RepGoodlatte) September 28, 2018
Republicans on both the Judiciary and House Oversight and 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.
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 Goodlatte and Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the Oversight Committee.
Politico published the letter Thursday.
Fusion GPS was hired by the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and the 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,” he said.
Despite Levy’s claim, virtually none of the dossier’s allegations concerning Trump or his associates has been verified.
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.” Simpson reportedly said that he doubted 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.
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