Firm behind Trump ‘dossier’ tries to invalidate House subpoena, defiantly vows to plead the Fifth

Fusion GPS, the political opposition research firm behind the salacious Trump-Russia dossier, responded to the House Intelligence Committee’s subpoena on Monday by saying it will plead the Fifth rather than testify, as reported by the Washington Examiner.

A letter sent by Fusion GPS’s team of lawyers recommended the Committee not even bother to call in founder Glenn Simpson, who the lawyers say will not testify under any circumstances.

The 17-page letter included a lengthy passage questioning the qualifications of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) to issue the subpoena, arguing he had recused himself from the Russia case.

“Despite your recusal from the Committee’s Russia investigation after falling under scrutiny by the House Ethics Committee, your unilateral issuance of these subpoenas violates your recusal and further undermines the legitimacy of this investigation,” the letter reads. “Nothing within the subpoenas or their attachments provides any indication that the Committee authorized you, as chair, to sign or issue them.”

But Nunes has stated multiple times that his having “stepped back” from the Russia investigation was not a “recusal,” but rather a moving out of the public side of the probe.

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Citing Nunes’ authority as Chairman, as well as the alleged “bad faith” of the Republican-dominated Committee, the Fusion GPS lawyers requested their client be “excused from appearing” on Capitol Hill.

“Based on this Committee’s bad faith interactions with the undersigned counsel and its pattern of unprofessional conduct exhibited during different points throughout this investigation, you have left us with no choice but to advise our clients to assert their privileges in the face of these subpoenas,” they wrote.

But the Committee is unlikely to grant the request. The subpoena signed by Nunes cannot be invalidated by Fusion GPS lawyers, and lawmakers are eager to obtain more information from individuals like Simpson, who appeared before a Senate panel in August but refused to say who had funded the dossier.

The sensationalist dossier has received renewed attention after Robert Mueller, the former FBI chief who leads the special counsel investigating possible Russian interference in the 2016 election, had his investigators meet with former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, as CNN reports.

Steele is the author of the dossier commissioned by Fusion GPS. Included in Steele’s research are claims that Trump traveled to Russia and hired prostitutes to urinate on a bed in which Barack Obama once slept. The controversial dossier was eventually published by BuzzFeed.

Supporters of the President believe additional information regarding the origin of the dossier would serve to dispel allegations of collusion between Trump and Russia during the 2016 election.

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