Glenn Simpson, the former journalist whose company was involved in the production of the now infamous “Trump Dossier,” invoked his First Amendment rights during testimony last month before the Senate Judiciary Committee and refused to reveal the sources for the document’s explosive claims, according to recently released court documents.
In August, former Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson spent more than 10 hours testifying before the Senate panel about a document alleging extensive collusion between Donald Trump’s supporters and Kremlin operatives. But according to Peter Fritsch, a partner at Fusion GPS, the research firm founded by the two men, Simpson refused to answer Senate investigators on several key questions.
In a declaration filed as part of a defamation case being brought against the news outlet Buzzfeed for publishing the dossier, Fritsch said Simpson “invoked the First Amendment and attorney-client/attorney work product privileges” in response to questions seeking what he described as “privileged information.”
Simpson “did not reveal the identity of Fusion GPS’s clients or any of the sources for the Dossier or the December Memo,” Fritsch said.
In June 2016, Fusion GPS hired former British spy Christopher Steele to examine Trump’s ties to Russia. A former Russia specialist, Steele produced a series of memos detailing alleged meetings between Kremlin operatives and Trump lieutenants. According to Steele’s sources, Russian intelligence interfered in the 2016 election to boost Trump’s electoral chances in exchange for the former real estate mogul sidelining concerns about Russian interference in Ukraine and support for separatists in the country’s east.
In the run-up to the November election, the Steele memos were distributed to several American journalists, who attempted to back-up their often salacious claims — including, for example, that the Kremlin was in possession of compromising information on Trump.
The FBI briefed Trump about the memo and the allegations.
Steele’s claims proved impossible to verify, but after CNN and Mother Jones reported on some of the claims, BuzzFeed published the memos in January ahead of the real-estate mogul’s inauguration.
Fritsch’s description of Simpson’s testimony comes as part of a defamation case brought against BuzzFeed by the Russian technology executive Aleksej Gubarev. Steele’s memos include allegations that Gubarev’s companies were implicated in the…