Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson cancelled his appointment to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week.
The political intelligence firm has been in the news after it was discovered that during the 2016 campaign, GPS hired former British spy Christopher Steele to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. The result of his efforts was a 35-page dossier which made outrageous claims, including the most infamous, which said that while Trump was staying in the presidential suite at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Moscow in 2013, he hired “a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him.”
Because the request for Simpson to appear was voluntary, it’s unclear whether the committee will seek to subpoena his testimony.
Iowa Sen. Charles E. Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary committee, was the driving force behind their request for Simpson’s testimony. Fusion GPS has refused to disclose the identity of its paying clients behind the anti-Trump dossier.
“I think we need to find out what the facts are and let the chips fall where they may,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), also a member of the Judiciary Committee.
On Wednesday, the committee announced that a July 19 hearing would feature Simpson as a witness, raising expectations that he would provide details about the dossier, including who ordered it.
It’s been reported that Steele was paid by Fusion GPS and later by Hillary Clinton supporters to compile the information as opposition research. The dossier claims that Russian officials tried to influence Trump by preparing to blackmail him with sex tapes and bribe him with business deals.
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