Glenn Simpson's lawyer tells Congress his client will take 5th and not testify
Lawyers for Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS, told the head of the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday that his client will “invoke his constitutional rights not to testify,” defying a GOP-issued subpoena seeking to compel him to give a closed-door deposition.Ther have been stories suggesting that Simpson was not truthful in his previous testimony. It is possible that he may not want to discuss that. The Steele dossier has been largely discredited and those who relied on it without verifying its content are under attack for failure to follow Justice Department FISA requirements. The Russian collusion theory is now seen as a hoax orchestrated by the Clinton campaign and it appears the Fusion GP was a central player in pushing that narrative.
The lawyers told Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) in an electronic letter that Simpson will not participate in the committee’s inquiry because it “is not designed to discover the truth.”
“Consistent with the September 27, 2018 letter we sent to you, Mr. Simpson, whose testimony is a matter of public record, will not be participating in a confidential deposition before this Committee,” lawyers for Simpson wrote, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Hill. “He will instead invoke his constitutional rights not to testify under the First and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution.”
The lawyers, who declined the committee’s initial request for an interview late last month, blasted the joint investigation being led by Judiciary and the House Oversight and Government Reform committees as a partisan-driven probe aimed at undermining the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.
In the latest scathing letter, the lawyers continued to slam the committee — marking a departure from the otherwise typically quiet approach that most lawyers and witnesses involved in this joint probe have taken.
“The obvious — and at times explicitly stated — goal of this Committee is to discredit and otherwise damage witnesses to Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, all as part of an effort to protect a President who has sought to placate and curry favor with a hostile foreign power and who demands that the Justice Department stop investigating him,” they wrote.
The lawyers accused the panels' Republicans of seeking to “ruin the reputations of some of the government’s most dedicated and experienced civil servants,” in an attempt to “weaken the independence of this Justice Department.”
The letter, in particular, pointed to the attacks by some of the conservative House members against former British spy Christopher Steele and current Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, who was recently interviewed by the committees' investigators behind closed doors.