As had been reported earlier, Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS, the Democrat leaning opposition research firm that was behind the discredited Trump dossier, was asked to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He declined to do so. Today, the committee issued a subpoena. And Simpson took the fifth.
Glenn Simpson, whose Fusion GPS firm has been tied to anti-Trump efforts and pro-Russian lobbying, will not talk to lawmakers in response to a subpoena, the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committe said Friday.
Committee chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and ranking member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., confirmed in a statement that they subpoenaed Simpson to appear before the committee Wednesday as part of a hearing about the influence of foreign lobbying in last year’s presidential election.
“Simpson’s attorney has asserted that his client will invoke his Fifth Amendment rights in response to the subpoena,” Grassley and Feinstein said.
Hardly a surprise because Fusion GPS is at ground zero of basically everything.
Fusion GPS, working under contract to Hillary Clinton supporters who have not been identified, produced the Trump dossier by using the services of a Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent who was stationed in Moscow and who relied upon a lot of Russian sources for his dossier. That notwithstanding, it appears that the FBI paid him as much as $50,000 to produce more dirt on Trump from, presumably, the same sources.
Curiously, Fusion GPS was also acting on behalf of the Russian government to have sanctions imposed via that Magnitsky Act removed. That act imposed sanctions on several of Putin’s inner circle and, in retaliation, Putin forbade the adoption of Russian orphans by Americans as a pressure point.
Fast forward to Donald Trump Jr’s meeting with a bevy of Russians. The American citizen of Russian origin referred to as a “former counterintelligence agent,” Rinat Akhmetshin, has been employed by Fusion GPS in the adoption/sanctions lobbying effort. The lawyer who was banned from entering the US but was given a non-immigrant work visa to come to the US to lobby against the Magnitsky Act and ended up in Trump Tower, Natalia Veselnitskaya, has been recently shown to count the Russian domestic intelligence and security service, the FSB, among her clients.
How does this tie together? Take this exchange between Lindsey Graham and James Comey during Comey’s public testimony:
Graham: Are you familiar with Fusion?
Comey: I know the name.
Graham: Are they part of the Russian intelligence apparatus?
Comey: I can’t say.
Graham: Do you agree with me that if Fusion was involved in preparing a dossier against Donald Trump, that would be interfering in our election by the Russians?
Comey: I don’t want to say.
Small wonder Simpson is going to plead the fifth.