Founders of firm behind Trump dossier plead the Fifth

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The founders of political research firm Fusion GPS, responsible for the infamous dossier that formed the impetus for the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, pleaded the Fifth Amendment on Wednesday during their testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.

It was expected that Thomas Catan and Peter Fritsch would exert this right, as their attorneys claim the committee asked too hard-hitting of questions.

On Monday, Fusion GPS attorney Joshua Levy said in a letter to the panel that House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., was acting “in bad faith.”

“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,” he wrote, in a 17-page list of reasons why the company would not comply.

Levy noted that Simpson spoke recently to another congressional committee, but asked that the company be excused from testimony before Nunes’ panel as sought by the subpoenas.

A congressional official familiar with the matter fired back, saying in a statement to Fox News:

“Democrats and Fusion GPS have tried to obstruct every effort to get the facts about the compilation of the Steele dossier and who paid for it, so it’s no surprise that Fusion GPS is saying they’ll continue to obstruct these efforts. Fusion GPS is clearly paving the way to plead the fifth, and Congress is trying to find out if they’re trying to hide something.” 

In a statement, Levy accused Nunes of using “his office to learn about who funded opposition research on Donald Trump than whether the Russian government interfered with our election. Americans of all political stripes should find his actions chilling.”

This appears to be yet another attempt to obstruct the committee from getting to the bottom of the dossier, which, for all its importance to the investigation, has undergone little scrutiny.

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