Glenn Simpson, James Baker, and Nellie Ohr Scheduled to Testify This Week; Simpson Taking the 5th

Susan Jones | October 15, 2018 | 7:12am EDT
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Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) sits on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. (Photo: Screen capture)

( - Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS, will take the Fifth, refusing to testify, when he appears before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Simpson previously has testified before the House intelligence committee and two Senate committees. In response to a subpoena to testify on Tuesday, Simpson's lawyers sent a letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, saying in part that the "inquiry is not designed to discover the truth."

"The obvious -- and at times explicitly stated -- goal of this Committee is to discredit and otherwise damage witnesses to Russia's interference in the 2016 election, all as part of an effort to protect a President who has sought to placate and curry favor with a hostile foreign power and who demands that the Justice Department stop investigating him," said the letter obtained by various media outlets.

On Thursday, James Baker, the former top lawyer for the FBI, is scheduled to testify before the Judiciary Committee; and Nellie Ohr, the wife of Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, is set to appear on Friday.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein refused a request to appear last Thursday, prompting calls by some Republicans to subpoena him:

"He didn't show up," Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said of Rosenstein. "Look, when you're the guy who in reality is running the Justice Department, and the chairman of the committee that has jurisdiction over your agency asks you to come, you are obligated to come and you're obligated to come and testify under oath. He didn't do that.

"So if it takes a subpoena, that's exactly what should happen. We need him to answer questions about all kinds of issues associated with the Trump-Russia investigation, but specifically the statement that it's alleged that he said where he talked about actually recording the commander in chief of our great country and he talked about the 25th Amendment.

"That is specifically what I want to ask him about," Jordan told "Sunday Morning Futures" with Maria Bartiromo.

Rosenstein has said he was joking when he suggested wearing a wire into the Oval Office with the goal of documenting the alleged dysfunction of the commander in chief.

But according to some press reports, three FBI officials -- Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, and James Baker -- did not take Rosenstein's words as a joke, believing him to be serious about wiretapping the president in the wake of James Comey's firing.

"He's got to come in and answer questions," Jordan said of Rosenstein. "Who else may have been in that room? I will tell you this, Maria. When Jim Baker was in his deposition two weeks ago and was asked about this, he was as serious as you could be in describing what he understood took place in that meeting between Andrew McCabe and Rod Rosenstein, where Mr. Rosenstein talked about actually recording the president of the United States.

"So he needs to come in and answer questions. And, like I said, if it takes a subpoena, that's exactly what should be issued."

Jordan said he plans to ask Jim Baker about Rosenstein's comments when Baker appears again this week.

"This is the FBI chief counsel. All kinds of things flow through him. So when he says that he believed Rod Rosenstein was serious about this, this -- this alleged statement about recording the president, you got to take that with the weight that it comes with, because it's the -- it's the FBI chief counsel.

"So we're going to ask him more about (it). We -- our previous deposition was cut off early. We ran out of time. So we need him back in there, where we're going to ask more about that specific meeting that took place, and then his conversations with people who were in that meeting, how those went and who all he talked to you. So all those things need to be asked."

Press reports said Baker, in his earlier testimony, told Congress that a lawyer for the Democrat National Committee named Michael Sussmann was one of several people known to be feeding politically motivated information to the FBI:

"Remember, you had Nellie Ohr, who we're going to interview later this week," Jordan said.

"Nellie Ohr's husband (Bruce), who's a top official at the DOJ, was getting information that he was passing on to the FBI. You had Glenn Simpson and actually Christopher Steele, the guy who wrote the dossier, passing information directly to the FBI. And now we know that the chief lawyer for Perkins Coie, who represented the Democratic National Committee (Michael Sussmann), is giving information to the FBI chief counsel as well.

"So all these sources giving information to the FBI. I think it was this idea that the more people you have talking about the big lie, which was the dossier, the more apt people are to believe it. And that's exactly the technique and the method they were trying to use to get people to buy into this dossier that was actually used to go spy on the other -- other party's campaign."

Bruce Ohr, his wife Nellie, Glenn Simpson, Christopher Steele and Michael Sussmann were all working for, or on behalf of, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.

The "dossier" they wrote and/or promoted "was used to go to the secret court to get a warrant to go spy on the other campaign. That is never supposed to happen in this country, but it did," Jordan said.

Republicans are still waiting for President Trump to declassify some of the documents that they have subpoenaed but have not been given.  Trump backed off his earlier decision to declassify the subpoenaed documents, saying he'll run it past the Justice Department inspector general first.

Jordan isn't happy about it:

The fact is, we have asked for the McCabe memos. There's been a subpoena for those. We haven't got those. We have asked to see the document that Mr. Rosenstein wrote on August 2, 2017, which altered the scope of the investigation that Mr. Mueller is doing. We haven't been able to see that.

We have asked for specific portions of the FISA. We haven't been able to see that. We have asked for the 302s that -- Bruce Ohr's 302 (FBI witness statements) when he had conversations with the FBI detailing what he said to Glenn Simpson and Chris Steele. We haven't seen that.

And John Huber, the guy who was put in charge the U.S. attorney to look into all this, we have not had one report from him over the last six months since he's been on the job.

So take all that, and then add into the fact that Rod Rosenstein was a no-show this week, and Glenn Simpson is taking the Fifth on Tuesday. That is the thing that frustrates me and, more importantly, frustrates you in the media and those people across this great country who want to know exactly what happened.


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