House panel subpoenas firm behind Trump dossier

House panel subpoenas firm behind Trump dossier
© Greg Nash

The House Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed the political research firm behind the controversial, unverified dossier alleging ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. 

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) signed the subpoenas despite having stepped aside from the committee's probe into Russia's involvement in last year's election.

ADVERTISEMENT
Joshua Levy, a lawyer with Fusion GPS, the political research firm, called the decision a “blatant attempt to undermine the reporting” of the dossier, in a statement cited by The Associated Press. 

“As we evaluate these subpoenas,” Levy said, “we have serious concerns about their legitimacy.”

The dossier suggests that Russia interfered in the election to help elect Trump, and that in doing so it compiled compromising information about the Republican. 

Trump has denied the allegations included in the dossier and said it is a politically motivated effort to discredit him.

The AP reported that Rep. Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayTop intel Dem: Trump Jr. refused to answer questions about Trump Tower discussions with father House panel interviews Podesta after Trump dossier revelation Texas lawmaker says GOP colleague should resign over lewd photo MORE (R-Texas), who took over leadership of the panel's Russia probe after Nunes stepped aside, initially sought the subpoenas. Since Nunes remains chairman of the panel, he must sign off on all subpoenas.

A Democratic committee official told the AP that the subpoenas were issues unilaterally by Republicans with no input from Democrats.

Nunes originally stepped aside from the probe in April before the House Ethics Committee announced an investigation into Nunes over potential "unauthorized disclosures of classified information."

The chairman also stirred controversy when he bypassed the Intelligence Committee to brief the president on information related to possible surveillance of Trump's transition team.

The development comes as the unverified dossier first revealed to the public in January, becomes a part of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. 

CNN reported last week that members of Mueller's team met with former MI6 officer Christopher Steele, who authored the dossier.