Skip to main content

What The Heck? Man Who Runs Firm Behind Trump-Russia Dossier to Plead the Fifth


Here’s a story that has gone completely under the radar, and raises some serious questions that the mainstream media largely seems to have ignored. Glenn Simpson, the co-founder of Fusion GPS, whose firm commissioned the salacious and mostly unsubstantiated Russia Trump dossier, plans to plead the Fifth after being subpoenaed by U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

According to documents obtained by LawNewzattorneys for Fusion GPS’ Simpson sent a letter to Chairman Chuck Grassley expressing concern over the direction that the hearing was taking. The letter stated that Simpson would not voluntarily show up at the hearing due to a pre-planned vacation, and if subpoenaed he would exercise his First and Fifth Amendment rights not to testify before the committee examining the influence of foreign lobbying in the 2016 election.

Since March, the Senate Judiciary Committee has been seeking documents and information from Fusion GPS about the former M16 intelligence officer Christopher Steele who authored the research, and the dossier, which contained unverified salacious details of Trump’s alleged escapades in Russia. The dossier was reportedly first commissioned by Republican opponents of Donald Trump, and then taken over by a Democratic client.

Every time committee investigators made requests, though, they were stonewalled by the Washington D.C. opposition research firm. The firm asserted that the information and documentation requested was protected by the “First Amendment privilege of Fusion GPS and its clients”, as well as confidentiality agreements and attorney client privilege. On Friday, Sen. Grassley slapped Simpson with a subpoena to appear before the committee.

“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,” attorneys for Simpson wrote in a letter to the committee.

The Fifth amendment privilege, of course, allows witnesses to decline to answer questions that have the potential to incriminate them. So, the question remains, what exactly could Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, say that he fears will put him in legally precarious territory?

“It could mean various things, but the invocation on its own does not mean Simpson broke any laws. It could just as easily be a tactical move by his lawyers to try and secure a deal before he testifies,” Bradly Moss, a national security expert and attorney told 

Questions about this to the communications firm representing Fusion GPS were not answered as off press time.

This article has been updated with legal commentary. 

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime:

Rachel Stockman is President of Law&Crime which includes Law&Crime Productions, Law&Crime Network and Under her watch, the company has grown from just a handful of people to a robust production company and network producing dozens of true crime shows a year in partnership with major networks. She also currently serves as Executive Producer of Court Cam, a hit show on A&E, and I Survived a Crime, a new crime show premiering on A&E this fall. She also oversees production of a new daily syndicated show Law&Crime Daily, which is produced in conjunction with Litton Entertainment. In addition to these shows, her network and production company produce programs for Facebook Watch, Cineflix and others. She has spent years covering courts and legal issues, and was named Atlanta Press Club's 'Rising Star' in 2014. Rachel graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and Yale Law School.