Report: Republicans closing in on the real 2016 election year scandal

by WorldTribune Staff, October 15, 2018

Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson last week said he would plead the Fifth Amendment to avoid speaking to the House Judiciary and House Oversight & Government Reform Committees in an interview set for Oct. 16.

“I’m not surprised that Glenn Simpson is taking the Fifth,” Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe said in a Fox News interview on on Oct. 14. “He probably should. He’s in real legal jeopardy. Very clearly someone is not telling the truth.”

Glenn Simpson. / AP

“Republicans are collecting evidence to show an extensive, election year, anti-Trump conspiracy between Hillary Clinton operatives such as Fusion GPS and Barack Obama appointees at the Justice Department and the FBI,” Rowan Scarborough wrote in an Oct. 14 report for The Washington Times.

Simpson is seen by Republicans as “the key middleman between Justice and the Clinton campaign. He orchestrated the Democrat-financed dossier on which the FBI built its early investigation of candidate Donald Trump. Republicans believe the unproven dossier, with its charge of extensive Trump-Russia collusion, is a sham perpetrated by Democrats and the press,” Scarborough wrote.

“Glenn Simpson was an absolutely essential figure in launching the entire Russia collusion hoax,” a Republican congressional staffer told The Washington Times.

Simpson invoked the Fifth during the same week that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein balked at testifying before Congress.

“You know we’re getting close when first Rosenstein is a no-show, and now Glenn Simpson is taking the 5th,” tweeted Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican.

Simpson, via the unverified Christopher Steele dossier, investigated the Trump campaign on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Simpson testified to two congressional committees last year.

Republicans have said they believe some of his congressional testimony may not have been truthful.

“Glenn Simpson had previously testified under oath to the House Intelligence Committee that he never met with Bruce Ohr or discussed with Bruce Ohr the Steele dossier prior to the October FISA application in 2016 or the 2016 presidential election,” said Ratcliffe, a member of the House Judiciary panel.

“That is in direct contradiction to what Bruce Ohr told me under oath last month.”

Ohr, a top Justice Department official, told members of the Judiciary and Oversight & Government Reform Committees that he met with Simpson in August 2016 and December 2016 to discuss Fusion GPS’s investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russian government.

Ohr’s wife, a Russia expert named Nellie Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS at the time.

Republicans want information about Rosenstein’s May 2017 meeting with then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who said in a memo that Rosenstein talked of secretly recording the Trump, The New York Times reported.

In previous congressional testimony, Simpson said:

  • He had no anti-Trump clients after the election. But Republicans unearthed a 2017 FBI interview report with Daniel Jones, a former staffer of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat. Jones runs an opposition research firm called Penn Quarter. He told the FBI that he raised $50 million from wealthy donors to investigate Trump. One of the firms he hired, he said, was Fusion GPS. He said he also hired dossier writer Steele. If Jones is accurate, then Simpson did have an anti-Trump client after the election.
  • Simpson testified that he reached no conclusions on an accusation that the Trump campaign maintained a direct link to Russia’s Kremlin-linked Alfa Bank via a dedicated computer server. Cyberspace specialists say the server wasn’t for Russia. The server address placed it near Philadelphia as a conduit for spam hotel marketing, not Russia collusion. The Washington Times reported that Ohr’s notes show that Simpson did in fact have an opinion on the server and tried to sell it to Justice. Simpson told him in 2016 that the server was indeed used for Trump-Russia communication and wasn’t spam.
  • The Daily Caller reported that Simpson told Ohr that a Washington lawyer had warned the National Rifle Association about illegal Russian donations to its political action committee. The lawyer, Cleta Mitchell, says she never made such a statement and has not worked for the NRA in years. Mitchell told The Daily Caller that she had wondered who gave the allegations to McClatchy news service, which reported her supposed NRA warning and her denial. Now she knows it was likely Simpson.
  • Simpson testified under oath that he first spoke to Ohr after the election, around Thanksgiving 2016. His goal was to make sure the Obama Justice Department knew of Steele’s allegations against President-elect Trump. “During the election, no,” Simpson said when asked whether he had heard from anyone in Justice or the FBI. But congressional investigations now know from Ohr’s notes that he and Simpson were talking during the election. Ohr was a conduit to anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok.
  • Simpson also told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he employed only one Russian speaker, a contractor. Committee staffers asked whether he received “any other support from Russian-speaking individuals in reviewing the Russian documents.” “Not in my company, at least not that I can recall,” he answered. But he employed a second Russian speaker, Ohr’s wife, Nellie. The fact emerged three months after Simpson’s testimony in bank records subpoenaed by Nunes. Republicans contend Simpson was trying to hide Nellie Ohr’s Fusion connection.

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