Judge allows House panel to subpoena Fusion GPS's financial records

Judge allows House panel to subpoena Fusion GPS's financial records
© Greg Nash

A federal judge ruled Thursday that the Washington-based firm Fusion GPS cannot block the House Intelligence Committee from subpoenaing the firm's financial records, according to court documents.

Court records obtained by BuzzFeed News show that U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon denied Fusion GPS's request for an injunction on the grounds that such a disclosure to Congress would violate the firm's First Amendment rights.

"Because I find all of Fusion's objections to the subpoena to be unavailing" the motion was denied, wrote Leon, an appointee of former President George W. Bush.

The House Intelligence Committee has been battling with Fusion GPS's founders for months over testifying before Congress and turning over documents related to the funding of research during the 2016 campaign into then-candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' MORE's background.

That research would eventually become part of a dossier of unverified claims linking Trump to Russia. Republicans have questioned what role the dossier may have played in the FBI's investigation into the Trump campaign.

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Fusion GPS has bucked subpoenas from the committee before. In October, executives at the firm announced they would not comply with the panel's subpoena to testify, citing constitutional privilege.

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

The same month, the committee announced it had reached a settlement with Fusion GPS to obtain some initial bank records.

"The parties have reached an agreement related to the House Intelligence Committee's subpoena for Fusion GPS's bank records that will secure the Committee's access to the records necessary for its investigation," the committee said at the time.