House sub­poe­nas re­search firm be­hind Trump dossier.

Democrats: Nunes too close to Rus­sia probe

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAN BOY­LAN

The Repub­li­can chair­man of the House in­tel­li­gence com­mit­tee has sub­poe­naed the head of the Washington firm that com­mis­sioned the sen­sa­tional anti-Trump cam­paign re­search dossier — adding fresh in­ten­sity to the be­hind-the-scenes scram­ble among law­mak­ers to grasp how the in­fa­mous doc­u­ment fits into the Rus­sian elec­tion med­dling in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The sub­poena is­sued for Fu­sion GPS co-founder Glenn Simp­son comes as spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller’s sep­a­rate in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­ter­viewed the for­mer Bri­tish spy, Christo­pher Steele, who worked with Mr. Simp­son in com­pil­ing the dossier of neg­a­tive in­tel­li­gence on Mr. Trump.

The CIA and FBI saw the dossier’s al­le­ga­tions as so sen­sa­tional and sen­si­tive last year that they ex­cluded any men­tion of it from the in­tel­li­gence com­mu­nity’s highly pub­li­cized ac­cu­sa­tions back in Jan­uary about Rus­sian med­dling in the 2016 elec­tion.

Mean­while, Carter Page, a for­mer Trump cam­paign for­eign pol­icy ad­viser who filed one of sev­eral slan­der law­suits be­cause of the dossier, re­port­edly has said he will not ap­pear be­fore the Se­nate in­tel­li­gence com­mit­tee’s Rus­sia probe. While un­con­firmed whether the com­mit­tee for­mally re­quested his tes­ti­mony, the en­ergy in­vestor with Rus­sia ties did in­form the panel he won’t show if they do ask him.

Orig­i­nally com­mis­sioned by Mr. Trump’s Repub­li­can ri­vals and then by a Demo­cratic client, the dossier con­tains al­le­ga­tions about Pres­i­dent Trump’s Moscow con­tacts. Mr. Steele wrote it in 2016 with sup­port from Mr. Simp­son and his firm be­fore it was pub­lished by the on­line news ser­vice Buz­zFeed just be­fore Jan­uary’s in­au­gu­ra­tion.

The Wall Street Journal first re­ported that House in­tel­li­gence com­mit­tee chair­man Rep. Devin Nunes pushed for a sub­poena for Mr. Simp­son’s tes­ti­mony, the lat­est sign that panel in­fight­ing con­tin­ues to plague the House in­quiry after months of in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

Last spring Mr. Nunes stepped down from head­ing the com­mit­tee’s Rus­sia probe amid al­le­ga­tions he failed to keep other panel mem­bers abreast of his ac­tiv­i­ties. On Tues­day Fu­sion GPS lawyer Joshua Levy lashed out at him, ques­tion­ing the le­git­i­macy of the sub­poe­nas and blast­ing them as a “bla­tant at­tempt to un­der­mine the re­port­ing” of the dossier.

Demo­cratic com­mit­tee mem­bers also slammed Mr. Nunes. Rep. Eric Swal­well, Cal­i­for­nia Democrat, warned that “we are at risk of hav­ing a flat Earth re­port come out of the House in­tel­li­gence com­mit­tee as to what hap­pened with Rus­sia.”

Mr. Nunes has re­mained ac­tive in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion de­spite step­ping aside and has also weath­ered crit­i­cism he is too close to the Trump White House. The Cal­i­for­nian has coun­tered that Demo­cratic com­mit­tee mem­bers have dis­torted the in­ves­ti­ga­tion to bash Mr. Trump at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity pos­si­ble.

The di­vi­sions mean the House com­mit­tee could end up is­su­ing com­pet­ing re­ports, both GOP and Demo­cratic sources close to the com­mit­tee have told The Washington Times.

It was re­vealed last week that Mr. Mueller’s team spoke with Mr. Steele, a for­mer MI6 agent, this past sum­mer in Europe. The con­gres­sional probes have yet to talk with Mr. Steele, who started a pri­vate in­tel­li­gence firm after leav­ing the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment.

Mr. Steele’s re­la­tion­ship with the Amer­i­can in­tel­li­gence com­mu­nity has been at the cen­ter of the con­gres­sional in­ves­ti­ga­tions — par­tic­u­larly who specif­i­cally paid for him to com­pile the dossier — along with the depth of his ties to the FBI.

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