Founders of Firm Behind Trump Dossier Say No to Nunes Subpoena
By Greg Richter | NEWSMAX
The founders of the Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that produced the unsubstantiated dossier on President Donald Trump and alleged ties to Russia, say they will not honor a subpoena submitted by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif.
Nunes issued the subpoenas last week.
Business Insider on Monday reported a Fusion GPS lawyer sent a letter to Nunes asking him to withdraw the request, saying it would violate his clients’ First Amendment rights, among other arguments.
“We cannot in good conscience do anything but advise our clients to stand on their constitutional privileges, the attorney work product doctrine and contractual obligations,” Fusion GPS’ counsel Josh Levy told Nunes, R-Calif., in the letter.
Levy said compliance with the subpoenas would violate the free speech rights of founders Glenn Simpson, Thomas Catan, and Peter Fritsch, and “would chill any American running for office . . . from conducting confidential opposition research in an election.”
He added: “Should you compel any of our three clients to appear at the scheduled deposition, they will invoke their constitutional privileges not to testify. Since that will be the case, we ask that the Committee excuse them from appearing.”
Levy also cites the fact Nunes is conducting his own investigation without input from Democrats on the committee. Nunes stepped down as head of the panel’s official probe in April after briefing Trump and the press on classified information without telling fellow committee members.
But he has since begun running what critics have called a “parallel investigation” on his own looking into the Obama administration’s role in unmasking of Trump campaign officials and the credibility of the dossier.
Levy said Nunes’ “unilateral issuance of these subpoenas violates your recusal and further undermines the legitimacy of this investigation.” He said Nunes issued his subpoenas 24 hours after Fusion’s legal team met with “majority and minority staff” to figure out “a way forward for voluntary cooperation.”
“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,” Levy said.