The co-founder of Fusion GPS (Glenn Simpson), the Democratic-connected company that compiled a salacious dossier on Donald Trump, has agreed to speak to the Senate Judiciary Committee behind closed doors.
In exchange for the interview, the committee will drop its subpoena of Glenn Simpson, co-founder of the Washington-based strategy firm Fusion GPS.
The subpoena was issued last week after Simpson declined the committee’s request to appear before lawmakers in a public hearing.
“However, since that time, Mr. Simpson, through his attorney, has agreed to provide a transcribed interview and requested that the subpoena compelling his attendance at Wednesday’s hearing be waived,” committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in a statement.
“We’ve reached an agreement on this request and have withdrawn the subpoena,” they added.
Fusion GPS came to the committee’s attention after a dossier it had commissioned from a former British spy during the campaign was published. The dossier contains salacious allegations about Trump that haven’t been verified.
The Judiciary Committee, as well as several other panels, are conducting investigations into Russia’s role in the 2016 election, as well as possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
Fusion GPS has been accused by Senator Charles Grassley of acting as an unregistered foreign agent for Russia. They were apparently engaged by a Russian official close to Putin to lobby against the Magnitsky Act.
Grassley probably wants answers to questions about this too:
Grassley also alleged that Fusion GPS was working with Rinat Akhmetshin, “a Russian immigrant to the U.S. who has admitted having been a ‘Soviet counterintelligence officer.’” Grassley wrote the Justice Department: “Fusion GPS is the company behind the creation of the unsubstantiated dossier alleging a conspiracy between President Trump and Russia. It is highly troubling that Fusion GPS appears to have been working with someone with ties to Russian intelligence –let alone someone alleged to have conducted political disinformation campaigns– as part of a pro-Russia lobbying effort while also simultaneously overseeing the creation of the Trump/Russia dossier.”
Of course, the fake dossier is vital to unraveling connections between the Democrats, the FBI (who paid Simpson a whopping $50 thousand for it) and the CIA who apparently believed some of the twaddle.
The closed-door hearing is a courtesy. But as far as I can tell, Simpson will not be under oath. That’s a shame because if the Russian ties of Fusion are to be fully exposed and investigated. Simpson is going to have to have his feet held to the fire. A public hearing deposing Simpson under oath would have been ideal. But Grassley is taking what he can get in this instance and hoping that Simpson’s testimony generates some leads that could steer the committee to more forthcoming witnesses.