WASHINGTON (CN) – The co-founder of a political and corporate intelligence firm said to have paid a spy to produce the salacious dossier on President Donald Trump will not testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week.
Former Wall Street reporter Glenn Simpson, who also co-found Fusion GPS, was originally listed as a witness on the committee’s agenda for July 19.
It was anticipated that Simpson would testify about the provenance of tawdry claims made in a 35-page dossier produced by former British spy Christopher Steele at the height of the 2016 presidential campaign. The dossier contained information alleging that Trump’s dealings with the Kremlin were long-standing.
It also alleged that Trump engaged in sexual misconduct with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room.
Simpson’s testimony was wholly voluntary and it remains unclear if the committee will now compel the former journalist to speak.
Both the president and the White House have vehemently denied the allegations in the dossier. When news of story first broke, Trump deemed the allegations far outside his character.
“Does anybody really believe that story? I’m also very much of a germaphobe, by the way. Believe me,” he said during a January press conference.
The committee’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election now creeps towards its six month mark. It is only one of three pending investigations at this time.
On Thursday, Senate Majority Whip and judiciary committee member John Cornyn, R.-Texas, said “I think we need to find out what the facts are and let the chips fall where they may.”
Cornyn did not indicate if the committee would follow through with making Simpson’s testimony compulsory.
The committee did not immediately return a request for comment.