Man behind infamous Russian Trump dossier decides to plead the Fifth after subpoenaed by Senate

The founder of the company responsible for the infamous Russian dossier on President Donald Trump plans to plead the Fifth.

Glenn Simpson, a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal who founded Fusion GPS, received a subpoena to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, the Washington Times reported.

The dossier is at the center of the investigation into the president. It alleges a conspiracy by Moscow to elect President Trump and includes stories of the president mingling with prostitutes in Russia.

The company was hired by a Hillary Clinton supporter to find opposition research on the president. Fusion GPS ultimately hired a former British spy to get the goods.

Despite the fact that the dossier has not been corroborated, the Washington Times reported that the FBI is using it as a checklist to interview witnesses in the President Trump / Russia collusion scandal.

Mr. Simpson hired former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele in 20015 to compile opposition research on then-candidate Trump. The resulting dossier — which was reportedly sourced from the Kremlin — allegedly received initial financial support from anti-Trump Republicans before being taken over and distributed by Democrats. It contained a lurid and largely discredited tale of a years-long Russian effort to elect the former reality TV star and property developer.

The Trump White House has vigorously denounced the allegations as a “pile of garbage” and “FAKE NEWS!” ever since online news service BuzzFeed posted all 35 pages.

Simpson’s attorneys, Joshua A. Levy and Robert F. Muse, have ducked having their client testify on the record repeatedly as they cited confidentiality agreements between Fusion and its clients.

On Friday Senators. Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Grassley announced that the Judiciary Committee had issued a subpoena for Simpson.

“Glenn Simpson, through his attorney, has declined to voluntarily attend Wednesday’s Judiciary Committee hearing regarding compliance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act,” they said in a statement. “Therefore, a subpoena has been issued to compel his attendance. Simpson’s attorney has asserted that his client will invoke his Fifth Amendment rights in response to the subpoena.”

Simpson’s attorneys responded to the subpoena in a letter obtained by LawNewz, the attorneys said their client was unavailable to testify because of vacation plans, and if subpoenaed, as he was, would plead the Fifth.

“Given the limitless scope of the hearing, as well as the privileges that Fusion GPS has already asserted, Mr. Simpson cannot risk a waiver of those privileges at the hearing. In the event of a subpoena, Mr. Simpson will assert applicable privileges, including but not limited to those under the First and Fifth Amendments,” they wrote.

Donald Trump Jr. and the president’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, are scheduled to testify privately at the same hearing on Wednesday.

According to the Times, Simpson’s Fifth Amendment plea may not hold up and might subject Simpson to criminal charges for contempt of Congress.

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Carmine Sabia

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