Firm behind Trump dossier won't comply with House Intel subpoena

Firm behind Trump dossier won't comply with House Intel subpoena
© Greg Nash

The research firm that produced the controversial dossier containing unverified allegations about President Trump and Russia will reportedly not comply with the House Intelligence Committee's subpoena to testify.

Fusion GPS plans to decline the request of the committee's chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), to testify before the panel by invoking constitutional privileges, according to a letter obtained by Business Insider on Monday.

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"We cannot in good conscience do anything but advise our clients to stand on their constitutional privileges, the attorney work product doctrine and contractual obligations," Fusion GPS's counsel Josh Levy wrote in the letter.

The attorney said the subpoenas would violate "the First Amendment rights" of the firm's three founders, while also saying it would thwart future candidates who are running for public office "from conducting confidential opposition research in an election."

"Should you compel any of our three clients to appear at the scheduled deposition, they will invoke their constitutional privileges not to testify," Levy said in the letter, according to the report. "Since that will be the case, we ask that the Committee excuse them from appearing."

Nunes reportedly issued the subpoenas on Oct. 4, asking for materials and testimony on the opposition research from Fusion GPS sometime later this month or early in November.

The sign-offs come after the California lawmaker took a step back from leading the panel's inquiry into Russia's meddling in last year's presidential campaign after an ethics investigation began to look into his handling of the probe when it appeared he was coordinating with the White House. 

While Nunes did not completely recuse himself from the ongoing Russia probe, Levy takes aim at the Republican lawmaker for issuing the subpoenas, saying he "violates" his "recusal and further undermines the legitimacy of this investigation."

But as chairman, Nunes has the sole authority to sign off on the committee's subpoenas without needing to consult the minority members of the panel, despite handing over the reins to his colleague, GOP Rep. Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayCongress prepares to punt biggest political battles until after midterms Gowdy: House Intel panel should release all transcripts from Russia probe 17 times Brennan has torched Trump MORE (Texas).

Both the House and Senate Intelligence committees are investigating the extent and the success in which Russia interfered in last year's election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to sway the outcome.

Levy also said Fusion GPS has been cooperating with the Senate panel since midsummer.