Glenn Simpson invokes Fifth Amendment right not to testify before House Judiciary Committee

Attorneys representing Glenn Simpson sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte saying their client plans to invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to participate in a confidential deposition and asking that he be excused from the scheduled meeting next week. From the Hill:

“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 write, 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…

“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,” the lawyers wrote.

Simpson is the former journalist who founded Fusion GPS, the company that was hired by the DNC and the Clinton campaign to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. Fusion hired former British spy Christopher Steele and then did its best to get his allegations into the mainstream before Election Day 2016. Most reporters didn’t bite on the so-called dossier but Mother Jones magazine did and published a story containing quotes from Steele, albeit without naming him. Meanwhile, Steele was also talking to his contacts at the FBI and encouraging them to investigate the dossier. One of Fusion GPS’ employees working on the Trump investigation was Nellie Ohr, wife of Justice Department Official Bruce Ohr.

So Simpson’s approach is that this isn’t a real investigation, which is more than a bit ironic given that he’s the person behind the Steele dossier which takes the form of an investigation but is full of uncorroborated accusations which were eventually published by Buzzfeed not on the grounds that they were reliable but on the grounds that Trump had been briefed on them.

GOP Rep. Mark Meadows told the Hill, “It is very telling when Glenn Simpson has talked to multiple reporters and multiple individuals at the Department of Justice over the last two years. When the day of reckoning is on the horizon, he chooses to lose his voice.”

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