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LettertoChairmanD.

Nunes
October16,2017
Page1of17

October16,2017

viaElectronicMail

DevinNunes
Chairman
PermanentSelectCommitteeonIntelligence
U.S.HouseofRepresentatives
HVC304,U.S.Capitol
Washington,DC20003
c/oKashyapP.Patel
Kash.Patel@mail.house.gov

Re: SubpoenasThomasCatan,PeterFritsch&GlennSimpsonofFusionGPS

DearChairmanNunes:

Throughthisletter,wetimelyrespondtothesubpoenasissuedonOctober4,2017,bearingyour
signatureanddemandingdocumentsandtestimonyfromourclientsThomasCatan,PeterFritschand
Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, purportedly as part of the House Permanent Select Committee on
IntelligencesRussiainvestigation.1

Thisletterwilladdressourobjections,onbehalfofMessrs.Catan,FritschandSimpson,tothe
foregoingsubpoenasfordocumentsandtestimony.Inthemain,theseobjectionsgotothelegitimacy
of these subpoenas, your authority, the authority of the House Permanent Select Committee on
Intelligence(HPSCIortheCommittee),theambiguityandpertinencyofthesesubpoenas,andthe
scope of our clients First Amendment rights. Notwithstanding these objections, our clients, in good
faith,immediatelypreserveddocuments.

1
ThesubpoenasareattachedtothisletteratExhibitsA,BandC.
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October16,2017
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DespiteyourrecusalfromtheCommitteesRussiainvestigationafterfallingunderscrutinyby
the House Ethics Committee, your unilateral issuance of these subpoenas violates your recusal and
further undermines the legitimacy of this investigation. Nothing within the subpoenas or their
attachmentsprovidesanyindicationthattheCommitteeauthorizedyou,asChair,tosignorissuethem.
This act is another example of how you, as Chair, have run your own operation in parallel to the
Committeesinvestigation.Indeed,inyourhastetocircumventyourownCommitteesinvestigation,
rules, process and Ranking Member, you and your staff sent us subpoenas directing the Central
IntelligenceAgencywithwhichourclientshavenorelationshiptoproducedocuments.

Thesubpoenasincludemultipleotherinfirmities.Theyarenotissuedpursuanttoanypublicly
identifiable,formalandunambiguousresolutionestablishingthisinvestigation.Nordothesubpoenas
attachanysuchformalresolution;rather,theyattachwhatappearstobeanexcerptfromapressrelease.
Thatisaninsufficientandlegallyimpropersubstitute.Ofacuteimportance,thesesubpoenas,ifindeed
directedtoourclients,violatetheFirstAmendmentrightsofourclientsandtheirclients,andwouldchill
any American running for office regardless of party affiliation, political viewpoint or candidate
preferencefromconductingconfidentialoppositionresearchinanelection.Noindividualshouldbe
expectedtorespondtosuchanabuseofpower.

Beforeyouissuedthesesubpoenas,we,incorrespondenceandinthesinglemeetingpermitted
byyourstaff,hadsetforthandelaboratedupontheprivilegesandlegalobligationsthatourclientsare
requiredtomaintain.Notwithstandingtheseprivilegesandobligations,ourclientscouldhaveprovided
informationtothisCommittee,subjecttocertainassurancesacceptabletoeveryothercongressional
committee seeking the same information. As this letter will set forth, prior to the issuance of these
subpoenas,weworkedingoodfaithtocooperateateachstepandproposedawayforwardthatwould
balancetheinterestoftheCommitteetoobtaininformationforitsinvestigationwithourneedtoprotect
thoseprivilegesandobligations.Butwithin24hoursofmakingthatproposal,you,actingasChairand
without consulting the Ranking Member and without any further discussion of our proposal issued
thesesubpoenas.

Theabruptissuanceofthesesubpoenasdemonstratesyourunwillingnesstoworkingoodfaith
with counsel in order to obtain information from our clients for this Committees investigation.2 It is
shamefulandreflectsapatternofultraviresbehavior,whereby youhavelaunchedyourownparallel

2
SeeEvanPerez,ManuRaju&JeremyHerb,NunesSignsoffonNewSubpoenastoFirmbehindTrumpRussia
Dossier,CNN,Oct.10,2017(ADemocraticcommitteesourcesaidthesubpoenaswereissuedunilaterallyby
themajority,withouttheminority'sagreementanddespitegoodfaithengagementthusfarbythewitnesseson
thepotentialtermsforvoluntarycooperation.),availableathttp://www.cnn.com/2017/10/10/politics/fusiongps
subpoenasdevinnunes/index.html.
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October16,2017
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investigationtothedetrimentofanyseriousattemptbythisCommitteetoobtaininformationabout
whether the Russian government and its associates influenced the 2016 presidential election. For
example, as has been widely reported, two of your staff members made an unscheduled visit to the
LondonofficesofFusionGPSsubcontractorChristopherSteelessolicitorsattheprecisetimethatMr.
Steele(aformerBritishintelligenceofficial)wastheremeetingwiththem.3

BasedonthisCommitteesbadfaithinteractionswiththeundersignedcounselanditspatternof
unprofessionalconductexhibitedduringdifferentpointsthroughoutthisinvestigation,youhaveleftus
with no choice but to advise our clients to assert their privileges in the face of these subpoenas. By
contrast, this has not been the result with other congressional committees investigating the same
subject matter; for example, Fusion GPS cofounder Glenn Simpson testified for 10 hours before the
SenateJudiciaryCommittee.Nowthatyou,andbyextension,yourstaff,haveproventobeunreliable
partnersingoodfaithnegotiations,wecannotreasonablybeexpectedtotrustanythingthatyouoryour
staffwouldrepresenttous.Wecannotingoodconsciencedoanythingbutadviseourclientstostandon
theirconstitutionalprivileges,theattorneyworkproductdoctrineandcontractualobligations.4

In light of the assertion of privileges before this Committee by Messrs. Catan, Fritsch and
Simpson,weaskthattheybeexcusedfromappearingfortestimonybeforethisCommitteeonthedates
demandedthroughtheChairssubpoenas.

I. ProceduralHistory

SinceMarch2017,ourclientshavebeencooperatingwithcongressionalinvestigationsofRussian
interferenceduringthe2016presidentialelection.Ineachoftheseinvestigations,wehaveworkedin
good faith with the other congressional committees investigating this matter, even as some of these

3
AliWatkins,HuntforTrumpDossierAuthorInflamesRussiaProbe,POLITICO,Aug.4,2017,availableat
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/04/trumpsteeledossierrussia241299.
4
WenotethattheInstructions,attachedtothesubpoenas,statethattheU.S.HouseofRepresentativesand
theCommitteedonotrecognizecommonlawprivilegesandcontractualobligations.See,e.g.,HPSCI
SubpoenatoThomasCatan,Oct.4,2017,at511,attachedatExhibitC.However,inordertopreservecommon
lawprivilegesforpurposesofotherproceedings,wearerequiredbyfederalcourtstoprotectthoseprivilegeshere
andnotwaivethem.SeeU.S.v.PhilipMorris,212F.R.D.421(D.D.C.2002)(holdingthatPhilipMorrishadwaived
theattorneyclientprivilegeoverdocumentsbynotmakingallreasonableeffortstoprotecttheprivilegebefore
Congressandthuswascompelledtoproducethesameotherwiseprivilegeddocumentsinlitigation).Likewise,
withoutconsentfromourclientscontractualpartiestodisclosematterscoveredbyconfidentialityagreements,
ourclientsarerequiredtopreservethatconfidentiality.
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October16,2017
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other committees have pursued information from our clients in an aggressive and, at times, unfair
manner.Ourclientscooperationwiththesecommitteeshasbeencostlyandburdensometoasmall
businessandtoitsprincipals.Butourclientshaveneverthelesscooperatedduetotheirrecognitionof
Congress right to information, as well as those other committees acknowledgement of our clients
rightsandprivilegesabalancethatyouasChairhaverefusedtostrike.Thefollowinghistoryofour
clientsinteractionwithCongressdemonstratesaclearrecordofcooperationandgoodfaith,supported
by our course of conduct working with your staff, prior to your abrupt ultra vires issuance of these
subpoenas.

A. CooperationwiththeSenateJudiciaryCommittee

OnMarch24,2017,wereceivedfromSenateJudiciaryCommitteeChairmanCharlesGrassleya
letter seeking information and documents from Mr. Simpson.5 A week later, without any notice to
counselandpriortoanysubstantiveconversationswithcounselabouttheMarch24letter,Chairman
Grassley publicly referred Mr. Simpson to the U.S. Department of Justice for criminal investigation
regarding false allegations that he did not comply with the requirements of the Foreign Agents
RegistrationAct,22U.S.C.611etseq.6

OnApril7,2017,wesentalettertoChairmanGrassleyandassertedconstitutionalandcommon
lawprivileges.7OnJune23,2017,wesentafollowupletterelaboratingontheprivilegesasserted.8On
July 19, 2017, Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein sent Mr. Simpson a letter
seekinganevenbroadersetofdocumentsaswellashistestimonyataJuly26,2017,hearing.9Onbehalf
ofMr.Simpson,weagreedtorespondtothedocumentrequestonarollingbasisandpresentedhimto
thecommitteeforavoluntarytranscribedinterview,subjecttoabroad,butlimitedscope,andwritten
assurancesfromtheChairandRankingMemberthatnothinghesaidattheinterviewwouldconstitutea
waiverofanyprivilege.OnAugust3,2017,theSenateJudiciaryCommitteeChairandRankingMember
sentusaletter,settingforththetermsofouragreement.10OnAugust9,2017,weproducedthousands

5
SeeLetterfromSenatorCharlesE.GrassleytoGlennSimpson,March24,2017,availableat
https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/201703
24%20CEG%20to%20Fusion%20GPS%20(Trump%20Dossier).pdf.
6
SeeLetterfromSenatorCharlesE.GrassleytoHon.DanaBoente,ActingDeputyAttorneyGeneral,March31,
2017,availableathttps://www.grassley.senate.gov/news/newsreleases/complaintfirmbehinddossierformer
russianintelofficerjoinedlobbyingeffort.
7
SeeLetterfromJoshuaA.LevytoSenatorCharlesE.Grassley,April7,2017,attachedatExhibitD.
8
SeeLetterfromJoshuaA.LevytoSenatorCharlesE.Grassley,June23,2017,attachedatExhibitE.
9
SeeLetterfromSenatorCharlesE.Grassley&SenatorDianneFeinsteintoGlennSimpson,July19,2017,
availableathttps://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/201707
19%20CEG%20DF%20to%20Glenn%20Simpson%20(Document%20Request).pdf.
10
SeeLetterfromSenatorCharlesE.Grassley&SenatorDianneFeinsteintoJoshuaLevy,August3,2017,
availableatExhibitF.
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October16,2017
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ofdocuments.OnAugust11,2017,SenateJudiciaryCommitteestaffacknowledgedthatthedocuments
wereresponsive,and,onAugust17,2017,wecontinuedtorespondtotheSenateJudiciaryCommittee
documentrequest.OnAugust22,2017,Mr.Simpsonsatfortenhoursofquestionsandtoldthetruth,at
avoluntarytranscribedinterviewbeforetheSenateJudiciaryCommittee.11Atranscriptofthattestimony
hasnotbeenreleasedbytheSenateJudiciaryCommittee.

B. CooperationwiththeSenateSelectCommitteeonIntelligence

OnJuly14,2017,theChairandRankingMemberoftheSenateSelectCommitteeonIntelligence
sentourclientsaletterseekingvoluntarycooperation.Sincethattime,wehavebeencooperatingwith
thatcommitteetobalancetheinterestsofthecommitteeinobtaininginformationforlegislationand
perfectingoversightwiththeneedforourclientstoprotectprivilegesandmeetotherlegalobligations.

C. CooperationwiththeHousePermanentSelectCommitteeonIntelligence

OnAugust18,2017,Rep.ConawayandtheRankingMemberofthisCommitteesentaletterto
counsel asking that Messrs. Catan, Fritsch and Simpson appear for voluntary interviews and produce
documents.12Theletter,however,didnotspecifytheinformationbeingsought.Yourstaffandcounsel
agreedtodiscusstheletterinSeptember.OnSeptember20,2017,committeestaffinformedcounselof
theCommitteesinterestininterviewingMessrs.Catan,FritschandSimpson;staff,however,didnotseek
documents. Staff said the interviews would pertain to the scope of the Committees investigation;
however, the Committee had not yetprovided counsel with that scope in writing, apologized for not
having included it with the August 18 letter and said staff would send us the written scope of the
investigationtous.Wetoldstaffthat,uponitsreceipt,wewouldreviewthedocumentanddiscussit
withthemfurther.Afterthecall,theChairsstaffsentcounselaonepagedocumentsettingforththe
parametersoftheinformationbeingsoughtthroughtheAugust18,2017,letter.Weunderstandthis
onepagerisanexcerptfromaCommitteepressrelease.Itisnotaformalcommitteeresolution.Inany
event,weintendedtodiscussthematteronthephonewithstaff.

Ratherthanentertainaphonecalltodiscussthematterfurther,majoritystaff,onSeptember26,
2017,sentcounselanemailstating:Pleaseletusknowwhichofyourclientshaveagreedtocomeinfor
an interview before our committee, the details of which we have outlined in previous telephonic

11
SeeTomLoBianco&TedBarrett,RussiaDossierFirmFounderSpeaksWithSenateJudiciaryInvestigators,
CNN,Aug.22,2017,http://cnn.it/2in58Rf;AliDukakisetal.,Attorney:GlennSimpsonDidNotRevealClientsFor
TrumpDossierToInvestigators,ABCNEWS,Aug.22,2017,http://abcn.ws/2w1dz7T.
12
SeeletterfromRep.K.MichaelConaway&Rep.AdamSchifftoJoshuaA.Levy,Aug.18,2017,atExhibitG.
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conversations. We hope to hear from you by close of business Thursday September 28. Thanks very
much.

OnSeptember28,wetimelyrespondedasfollows:

On September 20, we spoke on the phone with both staffs. In that call, we
informed you that we had not yet received language setting forth the scope of this
Committeesinvestigation.Onthesamecall,wesaidthatwewouldreviewthelanguage
once we received it, evaluate your request for interviews and get back to you the
followingweek.Laterthatday,yousentusamemorandumsettingforththescopeof
theCommitteesinvestigation.

Thescopeoftheinvestigationisexceedinglybroad,andthescopeofanyinterview,
bynecessity,wouldbenarrowerthanthescopeoftheentireinvestigation.Itwouldbe
helpfultohavenoticefromtheCommitteewhatthescopeoftheinterviewsforthese
threewitnesseswouldbe,sothatwecanproperlyevaluatehowsuchaninterviewwould
impact any of the companys legal obligations and privileges and/or that of its
clients.Dependingonwhatyouareseekingtolearnfromourclients,questionsmight
callfortestimonythatwouldbeprotectedbyvariousconstitutionalandcommonlaw
privileges,aswellasotherlegalobligations.PleaseunderstandthatmostofwhatFusion
GPS employees know derives from their confidentialclientbasedwork. Disclosure of
suchmaterialthereforerequirestheconsentofFusionGPS[clients],andwewillneed
greaterspecificityfromstaffinordertohelpobtainthatconsent.

As discussed, Mr. Simpson and Fusion GPS have cooperated with Congress. In
cooperatingwithCongress,Mr.Simpsontestifiedforten(10)hours.Beforedoingso,we
worked with another congressional committee on an agreement that balanced the
interestofthecommitteetoseekinformationwiththecompanysobligations,aswellas
the burdens imposed on this small company and its employees. As a matter of
fundamentalfairness,wewouldliketheopportunitytositdownanddiscussthesame
considerationswithyou.

Wecanmeetwithyouanytimenextweek.Pleaseletmeknowwhatdateswork
foryou.Thankyou.13

13
EmailfromJoshuaA.LevytoKashPatel(Sept.28,2017,4:28PMEST).
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Later that day, minority staff agreed to meet with majority staff and us. But your staff ignored our
considerations,aswellasourinvitationtositdownforameetingtodiscussthem.Instead,onSeptember
29,yourstaffemailedustosay:Asyouknow,yourclientshavebeeninvitedforavoluntaryinterview,
and are encouraged to provide information on that basis. However, if you are unwilling or unable to
supplyprospectiveinterviewdate(s)bynoononMonday,October2,2017,wewillresorttocompulsory
process.14

On October 2, we did what your staff asked and timely provided the requested prospective
interview date(s). We also explained that our clients could participate in voluntary transcribed
interviews, subject to certain assurances from the Committee about scope and the treatment of
privileges,andwerenewedourrequestforameetingtodiscussthesematters.Wewroteasfollows:

WehavetimesduringtheweeksofNovember6and13forinterviews,subjectto
certainassurancesfromtheCommitteeabouttheinterviewsscopeandthetreatment
ofprivilege,aswellasconsentfromFusionGPSsformerclients.Werenewoursimple
request to hold a meeting to discuss our considerations with you, as we had done
elsewhereinCongress.

HavingsatthroughtheSenateJudiciaryCommitteesinterviewofMr.Simpson,
wecantellyouthevastmajorityofhistestimonyfellwithinthescopeofthiscommittees
investigation.Weencourageyoutowaitforthereleaseofthetranscript.Itwillinform
your investigation and willhelp this committee narrow its areas of inquiry, without
further burdening Fusion GPS, a small company that already has spent considerable
resources cooperating with Congress. Fusion GPS has cooperated with Congress, the
informationfromthatcooperationcouldbeavailableverysoon,andCongressshouldnot
compelthissmallbusinesstodivertconsiderabletimeandmoneyinordertopreparefor
andansweraredundantsetofquestioning.

Further, we have never asked for the Committee to modify the scope of the
investigation itself. Rather, we have asked you to identify a narrower scope of the
interviews,withintheinvestigation.Asamatteroffairnesstothepotentialwitnesses
and your Committees time and resources, were we to know more about what the
Committeeseekstolearnfromourclients,wecouldhelptheCommitteereceivethat
informationinamaximallyefficientway.

Inthefaceofyourrequest,FusionGPSmustmeetitslegalobligationsandprotect
certainprivileges,whichitlackstheauthoritytowaive.ShouldthisCommitteecompel

14
EmailfromScottGlabetoJoshuaA.LevyandKashPatel(Sept.29,2017,3:16PMEST).
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FusionGPStodiscloseconfidentialinformationfromtheseclientmatters,FusionGPS
maybeforcedtostandonitsprivileges.Compulsoryprocessherewouldchillanyone,
including the members of this Committee, from conducting confidential opposition
research in a federal election campaign. Fusion GPS should not be forced to disclose
information about confidential opposition research conducted during a presidential
campaign, including but not limited to the identity of the clients, because such
informationisprotectedbytheFirstAmendment.

Fusion GPS worked with and for its clients in furtherance of its clients First
Amendment rights to engage in political activity and political speech, to speak
anonymously,toassociatefreelywithothers,toexercisefreedomofthepress,andto
petitiontheirgovernment.FusionGPScontinuedtowork,intheabsenceofaclient,in
furtheranceofthesameFirstAmendmentrights.Theinformationsoughtisprotected
bythoseFirstAmendmentprivileges.Thesefreedomsareonesweallvalueandlieat
the very foundation of our constitutional democracy. [S]peech on public issues
occupiesthehighestrunofthehierarchyofFirstAmendmentvalues,andisentitledto
specialprotection.Snyderv.Phelps,562U.S.443,452(2011)(internalquotationmarks
omitted).Onasimilarpedestalisthefreedomofassociation:theabilityoflikeminded
individualstoassociateforthepurposeofexpressingcommonlyheldviewsmaynotbe
curtailed.Knox v. Serv. Employees Intl Union, Local 100, 567 U.S. 298, 309
(2012).Likewise:therighttopetition[thegovernmentis]oneofthemostpreciousof
thelibertiessafeguardedbytheBillofRightsbecausetherightisimpliedbythevery
ideaofagovernment,republicaninform.BE&KConstr.Co.v.NLRB,536U.S.516,
52425(2002)(internalquotationmarksandalterationomitted).

TheSupremeCourthaslimitedtherightofCongresstodemandinformationand
materials from Americans when doing so would violate their First Amendment
rights.[T]heconstitutionalrightsofwitnesseswillberespectedbytheCongressasthey
are in a court of justice. Nor can the First Amendment freedoms of speech, press,
religion,orpoliticalbeliefandassociationbeabridged.Watkinsv.UnitedStates,354
U.S.178,188(1957).Forthatreason,theSupremeCourtruledthattheStateofAlabama
could not compel the NAACP to disclose the names of its members because such
compulsionwouldresultinasubstantialrestraintoftheirfreedomofassociationunder
theFirstAmendment.NAACPv.Alabama,357U.S.449,46263(1958).Whenthecourt
inPerry v. Schwarzeneggeranalyzed a claimants assertion of a First Amendment
privilegeinthefaceofasubpoena,thecourtfound:Theexistenceofaprimafaciecase
turnsnotonthetypeofinformationsought,butonwhetherdisclosureoftheinformation
willhaveadeterrenteffectontheexerciseofprotectedactivities.591F.3d1147,1162
(9thCir.2010).

FusionGPSalsomusthonorconfidentialityobligationsinitscontractswithclients,
anditlackstheauthoritytowaivethoseobligations.Similarly,whereithasworkedat
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the direction of counsel, in anticipation of litigation, Fusion GPS is not authorized to


waivetheattorneyworkproductprivilegeoversuchwork.

We remain committed to balancing the Committees interest in obtaining


informationforitsinvestigationwiththeneedforourclienttohonoritslegalobligations
and preserve its privileges, as well as those of its clients. To that end, as set forth in
correspondencelastweek,weareavailablethisweektomeetwithyoutodiscussissues
thatarelikelytoariseduringthecourseoftheinterview,andhowtomeetthemahead
oftime,sothatbothweandtheCommitteehaveclaritygoingforward.PerMs.Greenes
emailofSeptember28,theminoritystaffisavailableandwillingtomeetwithus.We
hopeyoucanbeavailable,too.15

Finally,yourstaffagreedtomeetwithus.

OnOctober3,2017,wemetwithmajorityandminoritystaff.Themeetingwasstraightforward,
cordialandlastedaboutanhour.Atthemeeting,wediscussedanumberofconsiderationsandseemed
tohavechartedawayforwardtowardcooperation,intheabsenceofcompulsoryprocess.Justaswe
hadsoughtwithsuccessfromtheSenateJudiciaryCommitteeChairandRankingMember,weasked
forabroad,butmorelimitedscopeandwrittenassurancesfromtheCommittee,atthememberlevel,
that nothing said in those interviews would interfere with their ability to assert privileges before the
Committeeatalaterdate.Asnotedwithyourstaff,weretheCommitteetohavegrantedthoserequests,
wewouldhaveworkedwithFusionGPSclientstoobtainconsent,sothattheappropriateindividuals
couldtestify.Atthemeeting,wehadtoldstaffthatMr.Simpsonwouldhavethemostinformation,and
thattheothertwowitnesseswouldhavelittletonoinformation.Weencouragedstafftoreviewthe
SenateJudiciaryCommitteetranscriptbecauseit,oncepublic,wouldbepartoftherecordanywayand
would,bynecessity,saveeveryonefromwhatlikelywouldbearedundantsetofquestioning.Yourstaff
indicatedaninterestinattorneyproffers,sothattheCommitteecouldbetterunderstandthevaluein
talkingtoalloronlysomeofthethreeindividuals,aswellasthedesiredscopeoftheinterviews.Your
staff also discussed the possible prioritization of Mr. Simpsons interview over, and instead of, the
interviews of the other two individuals, whose knowledge is far less and likely repetitive of what Mr.
Simpsonknows.WeretheCommitteetohavelimitedthescopeoftheinterviewsandagreedtoour
requestedwrittenassurancesaboutprivilege,wewerepreparedtomakethoseproffers.Wealsotold
theCommitteestaffthatwewereopentootherthoughtsaboutawayforwardforvoluntarycooperation.
Surprisinglyatthismeeting,givenyourstaffsoncepurportedurgentneedforinterviewdatesfromus,
noonefromyourstaffevermentionedwhethertheproposeddateswereeitheravailable,tooearlyor

15
EmailfromJoshuaA.LevytoScottGlabe,ShannonGreen,andKashPatel(Oct.2,2017,11:01AMEST).
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toosoon.Weexitedthemeetingwithanexpectationthatwewouldreceiveaconstructiveresponse
fromtheCommitteeinthenextcoupledays,andthatwewouldbeabletocontinuetoworkwithstaff
aboutapathtowardvoluntarycooperation.

Butwereceivednothingofthesort.Tothecontrary,ontheverynextday(i.e.October4,2017),
we received the three instant subpoenas for documents and deposition testimony. The subpoenas
requireddepositionsofMessrs.CatanandFritschnotinNovember,aswehadproposed,butonOctober
18,2017.TwoofthesubpoenasrequiretheproductionofdocumentsnolaterthanOctober11,2017.The
thirdsubpoenarequiresproductionofdocumentsbyOctober17,2017,andadepositionforMr.Simpson
onNovember8,2017.

OnOctober6,2017,weaskedyourstaffforareasonabletwoweekextensionoftimebywhich
torespondtothesubpoenasrequiringproductionofdocuments.Yourstaffrejectedthatrequestand
requiredustorespondonOctober16,2017.

II. GeneralObjectionstotheSubpoenasforTestimonyandDocuments

Throughthesesubpoenas,youdemandtestimonyanddocuments.Thesesubpoenasincludea
numberofinfirmities,asageneralmatter,including:

A. You,asChair,WereNotAuthorizedtoIssueSubpoenasinThisInvestigation.

We object to this subpoena because you are no longer authorized to issue subpoenas for
testimonyormaterialsinthisinvestigation,onyourown.Inasmuchasyou,asChair,wereauthorizedto
issuethesesubpoenas,yourunilateralexerciseofthatpowerwasunethical,givenyourownpledgeof
recusalandyourstatusinthisinvestigationasawitnesstoallegedobstructioneffortsnamely,thatyou
surreptitiously worked with White House officials to discuss and bring to light classified documents,
withoutconsultingtheRankingMember,inordertohelpdefendtheWhiteHouseinwhatwassupposed
tobeanoversightinvestigationconductedbytheCommitteeyouchairs.16

16
SeeBrianBarrett,DevinNunes:ARunningTimelineofHisSurveillanceClaimsandWhiteHouseTies,WIRED,
Apr.12,2017,availableathttps://www.wired.com/2017/04/devinnuneswhitehousetrumpsurveillance/.
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In early April 2017, the House Ethics Committee began investigating you for ethical breaches
related to to this alleged misconduct, in connection with HPSCIs Russia investigation. Upon the
commencementoftheHouseEthicsCommitteeinvestigation,youannouncedonApril6,2017,thatyou
would continue to fulfill all [your] other responsibilities as Committee Chairman, but that
Representative Mike Conaway, with assistance from Representatives Trey Gowdy and Tom Rooney,
temporarily take charge of the Committees Russia investigation while the House Ethics Committee
looksintothismatter.17TheHouseEthicsCommitteeinvestigationcontinues.

When,inlateMay2017,youemergedfromyourrecusaltosignsubpoenasinthisinvestigation,
without written authority from Messrs. Conaway, Gowdy or Rooney, Ranking Member Adam Schiff
statedthattheauthoritytoissuesubpoenasinthisinvestigationshouldhavebeendelegatedtoMike
Conawayinconsultationwithmyself.Thathasnthappenedyet,[a]ndIthinkthatsaviolationofthe
recusal by the chairman.18 Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21 and longtime advocate of
bipartisancampaignfinancereform,said:Thisisanincrediblyinappropriateaction,anditisamatter
thattheHouseEthicsCommitteemustlookatpromptly.Nunesissupposedtobecompletelyoutofthe
Russiainvestigation.19

TheOctober4,2017,subpoenasbearyoursignatureandomitanyindicationthatMr.Conaway
authorized them. Nor does the subpoena indicate any prior consultation with the Ranking Member.
WhileyoumighthaveretainedotherdutiesasChair,youarenolongerrunningthisinvestigationand
thuslacktheauthoritytoissueandservesubpoenaspursuanttoit.Wethereforeobjecttotheissuance
andserviceofthesesubpoenasonthatbasis.

B. TheSubpoenasWereNotIssuedPursuanttoaFormalUnambiguousResolution.

The Committee has failed to pass a public resolution regarding this investigation. None is
attachedtothesesubpoenas.Infact,attachedtopriorcorrespondenceandthesesubpoenas,inlieuof
aresolution,isanodd,onepage,unsignedMicrosoftOfficedocumentthatincludesfourbroadquestions
and press statements from the committee chair and ranking member.20 Indeed, it appears to be an

17
PressRelease,NunesStatementonRussiaInvestigation,CongressmanDevinNunes,Apr.6,2017,availableat
https://intelligence.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=775.
18
RussellBerman,TheUnRecusalofDevinNunes,THEATLANTIC,Jun.1,2017,availableat
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/06/theunrecusalofdevinnunes/528882/.
19
Id.
20
See,e.g.,ExhibitA.
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excerpt from a press release. It is thus impossible for anyone in the greater public, including this
investigations witnesses such as our clients, to evaluate whether a subpoena, in this investigation,
seeksmatterspertinenttolegitimatequestionsunderinquiry,seeWatkinsv.U.S.,354U.S.178(1957),
andwhethertheissuanceofthissubpoenaconstitutesactivitythatfallswithinthelegitimatelegislative
sphere.Eastlandv.U.S.ServicemansFund,421U.S.491,503(1975)(emphasisadded).InEastland,the
CourtfoundthataSenatesubcommitteesissuanceofasubpoenafellwithinthesphereoflegitimate
legislative activity and was thus afforded protection under the Speech or Debate Clause because,
amongotherthings,thesubcommitteewasactingunderanunambiguousresolutionfromtheSenate
authorizing it to make a complete study of the administration, operation, and enforcement of the
InternalSecurityActof1950,id.at506(citingS.Res.341,91stCong,2dSess.(1970)),and[t]hatgrant
ofauthorityissufficienttoshowthattheinvestigationuponwhichtheSubcommitteehadembarked
concernedasubjectonwhichlegislationcouldbehad.Id.(citingcases).Bycontrast,nounambiguous
resolution is present here; instead, we have a vague, unsigned onepager that seemed to have
undergonenodemocraticprocessorvoteofanycongressionalbodyorsubbody.Wethereforeobject
tothesesubpoenasbecausetheywerenotissuedpursuanttoaformalunambiguousresolutionandthus
donotfallwithinthesphereoflegitimatelegislativeactivity.Id.(emphasisadded).

C. TheSubpoenasViolatetheCommitteesRules.

HPSCICommitteeRule10(e)providesthat[e]achsubpoenashallhaveattachedtheretoacopy
oftheserules.21Butthesubpoenasissueddidnotincludeacopyofthecommitteesrules.Ratherthan
hidetheballandsettrapsforourclients,youasChairandyourstaffshouldhavebeentransparentand
shouldhaveattachedacopyoftheCommitteesrulestothesesubpoenas.Buteitheroutofmaliceoras
a consequence of your haste to circumvent the Committees process and its Ranking Member, you
omitted them from these subpoenas. Without the rules attached to the subpoenas, you issued the
subpoenasinviolationoftheCommitteesrules.Wethereforeobjecttothesubpoenasonthatbasis.

D. EnforcementofTheseSubpoenasWouldViolatetheFirstAmendmentRightsof
OurClientsandTheirClients.

21
RulesofProcedureforthePermanentSelectCommitteeonIntelligence,U.S.HouseofRepresentatives,10(e),
availableathttps://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hpsci_rules_of_procedure__115th_congress.pdf.
LettertoChairmanD.Nunes
October16,2017
Page13of17

TheimmediateproductiondemandsassetforthinScheduleAattachedtothesubpoenas,taken
ontheirownterms,constituteabroad,undifferentiatedandimpermissibleinquiryintoFusionGPSand
its clients constitutionally protected free speech and free association activities under the First
Amendment, and the information sought through this unconstitutional inquiry is not relevant or
pertinenttothescopeofthisinvestigation,howeverimproperly orpoorlydefined.These subpoenas
demandtheproductionofalldocumentationreflectinganyconfidentialoppositionresearchconducted
on a presidential candidate. Enforcement of this subpoena would certainly chill the exercise of
confidentialoppositionresearchinelectionsandmightputahalttoit,onceandforall,furtherdepriving
ourfellowcitizensofinformationbeforetheyvotefortheirnextpresident.

There is no general governmental authority either in the Legislature or the Executive to


requirethoseengagedinthefreeassociationandfreespeechactivityprotectedbytheFirstAmendment
to give up their books and records or to provide whatever other information about that activity the
governmentmaydemand.

To the contrary, the first principle here is that compelled disclosure, in itself, can seriously
infringeonprivacyofassociationandbeliefguaranteedbytheFirstAmendmentand,becausethatis
so,significantencroachmentsonFirstAmendmentrightsofthesortthatcompelleddisclosureimposes
cannotbejustifiedbyamereshowingofsomelegitimategovernmentalinterest.Buckleyv.Valeo,424
U.S.1,64(1976).Thus,thesubordinatinginterestsoftheStatemustsurviveexactingscrutiny,and
theremustbearelevantcorrelationorsubstantialrelationbetweenthegovernmentalinterestand
theinformationrequiredtobedisclosed.Id.(footnotesomitted).

Inthecontextofalegislativeinquiry,asGibsonv.Fl.Legis.InvestigativeCommn,372U.S.539
(1963),recognizes,beforeproceedinginsuchamanneraswillsubstantiallyintrudeuponandseverely
curtail or inhibit constitutionally protected activities or seriously interfere with similarly protected
associationalrights,theinquiringcommitteemustestablishafoundationbasedonfactandreason
thatdemonstratesthenecessityofdisclosuretoachievementofacompellingpublicinterest.Id.at
557.

Theessentialpoint,then,istheonetheSupremeCourtcrystallized60yearsago:Itisparticularly
important that the exercise of the power of compulsory process be carefully circumscribed when the
investigativeprocesstendstoimpingeuponsuchhighlysensitiveareasasfreedomofspeechorpress,
LettertoChairmanD.Nunes
October16,2017
Page14of17

freedomofpoliticalassociation,andfreedomofcommunicationofideas.Sweezyv.NH,354U.S.234,
245(1957).

TheFirstAmendmentsprotectioninthisregardreflectsourprofoundnationalcommitmentto
theprinciplethatdebateonpublicissuesshouldbeuninhibited,robust,andwideopen,Buckley,424
U.S.at14,and,thatprotectionextendstoallaspectsandstagesofthedebate.Id.Fromtheabstract
discussionofpoliticalpolicygenerally[to]advocacyofthepassageordefeatoflegislation,tothe
righttoengageinvigorousadvocacy,id.at48,allpoliticalactivitiesinthecontinuumofthepublic
discourselieattheverycoreoftheFirstAmendment,Brownv.SocialistWorkers74CampaignComm.,
459U.S.8797(1982).

Itis,moreover,beyonddebatethattheFirstAmendmentprotectslawfulassociationalactivity
aswellasindividualactivity.NAACPv.Alabama,357U.S.449,46061(1958).[E]ffectiveadvocacyof
bothpublicandprivatepointsofviewisundeniablyenhancedbygroupassociation,Buckley,424U.S.
at22(quotingNAACP,357U.S.at460).Forthepurposesofassociationalrights,itisimmaterialwhether
thebeliefssoughttobeadvancedby[the]associationpertaintopolitical,economic,religiousorcultural
matters,andstateactionwhichmayhavetheeffectofcurtailingthefreedomtoassociateissubjectto
theclosestscrutiny.NAACP,357U.S.at46061.AstheConstitutionrecognizes,theassociationexists
asameansforengagingineffectiveadvocacyofthegroupsbeliefs;and,accordingly,theautonomy
andintegrityoftheassociation,nolessthanthatofitsmembers,mustbefreefromcompromise.

The danger to First Amendment protected associational activity posed by government


compelleddisclosureisparticularlyacutewheretheactivityinquestionispoliticalactivityandwherethe
disclosureisrequiredofcertainassociationsengagedinpoliticalactivityandnotothers.Asthethree
judgedistrictcourtstatedinPollardv.Roberts,283F.Supp.248(E.D.Ark.),affd,393U.S.14(1968)(per
curiam),inenjoiningaprosecutingattorneyssubpoenaofthebankrecordsandcontributorlistsofthe
ArkansasRepublicanParty:

To the extent that a public agency or officer unreasonably inhibits or discourages the
exercise by individuals of their right to associate with others of the same political
persuasion in the advocacy of principles and candidates of which and of whom they
approve,andtosupportthoseprinciplesandcandidateswiththeirmoneyiftheychoose
todoso,thatagencyorofficerviolatesprivaterightsprotectedbytheFirstAmendment.
[283F.Supp.at25859.]

Thatdangerisaccentuatedwhenthebroadsubpoenaseekingmaterialsofadelicatenature
is directed to an independent association engaged in political activity. Fed. Election Commn v.
LettertoChairmanD.Nunes
October16,2017
Page15of17

MachinistsNonPartisanPoliticalLeague,655F.2d380,388(D.C.Cir.),cert.denied,454U.S.897(1981).
TheMachinistsCourtcautioned:

[T]hesubjectmatterof[thesubpoenaed]materialsrepresent[ed]theveryheartofthe
organism which the first amendment was intended to nurture and protect: political
expressionandassociationconcerningfederalelectionsandofficeholding.TheFECfirst
demands all available materials which concern a certain political groups internal
communications,whereinitsdecisionstosupportoropposeanyindividualinanyway
fornominationorelectiontotheofficeofPresidentin1980arerevealed....Thenthis
federalagency,whosemembersarenominatedbythePresident,demandsallmaterials
concerningcommunicationsamongvariousgroupswhoseallegedpurposewastodefeat
thePresidentbyencouragingapopularfigurefromwithinhispartytorunagainsthim.
Asafinalmeasure,theFECdemandsalistingofeveryofficial,employee,staffmember
andvolunteerofthegroup,alongwiththeirrespectivetelephonenumbers,withoutany
limitationonwhenortowhatextentthoselistedparticipatedinanyMNPLactivities.The
government thus becomes privy to knowledge concerning which of its citizens is a
volunteerforagrouptryingtodefeatthePresidentatthepolls....[R]eleaseofsuch
informationtothegovernmentcarrieswithitarealpotentialforchillingthefreeexercise
of political speech and association guarded by the first amendment. [655 F.2d at 388
(footnotesomitted).]

Itisapparentthatthesedangersaremostacutewhenthesubpoenaedmaterialsrepresentthe
very heart of ... political expression and association concerning federal elections and office holding,
when the inquiring body is constituted, not of appointed lawenforcement officials but of successful
candidatesforpoliticalofficewhointhenatureofthingshaveaprofoundpoliticalinterestinobtaining
andevaluatingthosematerials,andwhenthepoliticalbranchdeploysitsgovernmentalpowersagainst
independentactorsonthepoliticalscene.

So it is here. A Congressman, who served on and advised Donald J. Trumps presidential


campaign, has used the office to which he was elected to issue a subpoena to a third party that had
engagedinoppositionresearchonMr.Trumpthattookplaceduringthesamecampaign.Thethreatto
theFirstAmendmentinterestsatstakecouldnotbegreater.Thesubpoenasseektoburdenacategory
of speech that is at the core of our First Amendment freedomsspeech about the qualifications of
candidatesforpublicoffice.RepublicanPartyofMinnesotav.White,536U.S.765,774(2002).

LettertoChairmanD.Nunes
October16,2017
Page16of17

Significantly,FirstAmendmentfreedomofassociationprotectsnotonlytheprivacyof group
affiliation, but also the confidential internal documents of organizations involved in political activity.
[T]he Supreme Court has concluded that extensive interference with political groups internal
operations and with their effectiveness [ ] implicate[s] significant First Amendment interests in
associationalautonomy.Am.FednofLabor&Cong.ofIndus.Organizationsv.Fed.ElectionCommn,
333F.3d168,17677(D.C.Cir.2003)(AFLCIOv.FEC)(citingEuv.SanFranciscoCountyDemocratic
CentralCommittee,489U.S.214(1989)andTashjianv.RepublicanParty,479U.S.208,224(1986)).In
AFLCIOv.FEC,theD.C.CircuitheldthataFederalElectionCommissionregulationthatrequiredpublic
releaseoftheCommissionsinvestigatorymaterialsafterthecloseofaninvestigationviolatedtheFirst
Amendmentassociationalrightsofthegroupssubjecttotheinvestigation,inthatcase,theDemocratic
NationalCommitteeandtheAFLCIO.Thecourtgroundeditsdecisiononthefactthatdisclosureofthe
groups confidential internal materials would unlawfully intrude into the groups privacy of
association and belief guaranteed by the First Amendment, . . . as well asseriously interfere[] with
internalgroupoperationsandeffectiveness.Am.FednofLabor&Cong.ofIndus.Organizationsv.Fed.
ElectionCommn,333F.3d168,17778(D.C.Cir.2003)(quotingBuckley,424U.S.at64).

Thesubpoenashereseektoexposetheconfidentialinternalrecordsofanorganizationinvolved
inpoliticalactivitymerelytoharassagroupwhoseworkyouasChairmanwanttodiscreditforpolitical
reasons. The First Amendment prevents use of the power to investigate enforced by the contempt
powertoprobeatwillandwithoutrelationtoexistingneed.DeGregoryv.AttorneyGen.ofStateofN.
H., 383 U.S. 825, 829 (1966) (citing Watkins v. United States, 354 U.S. 178, 197 200 (1957)). The
subpoenas here are not related to any existing need, and certainly no compelling government
interest.Thesubpoenasseekdocuments,thedisclosureofwhichwouldhaveapotentialforchillingthe
free exercise of political speech and association guarded by the First Amendment, Wyoming v. U.S.
DeptofAgric.,208F.R.D.449,454(D.D.C.2002)(internalquotationmarksomitted),andwouldalso
cripple political research organizations ability to operate effectively[,] reduc[ing] the free
circulationofideasbothwithinandwithoutthepoliticalarena.Brown,459U.S.at98(quotingBuckley,
424U.S.at71).

E. TheSubpoenasDemandIrrelevantInformationandMaterial.

Basedonthedemandfordocuments,itappearsasthoughthesesubpoenasareavehicletoassist
Senator Grassley obtain materials sought in March 2017, regarding an unrelated Senate Judiciary
CommitteeoversightquestionastowhethertheFBIhadcompliedwithitsconfidentialinformantpolicy.
Thatmatter,ofcourse,isnotpertinenttoeventheparametersofthisinvestigationsetforthinthe
excerptfromtheHPSCIpressrelease,attachedtothesesubpoenas.


LettertoChairmanD.Nunes
October16,2017
Page17of17

SuchamatterhasnothingtodowithwhethertheRussiangovernmentinterferedwiththe2016
election, countermeasures against it, leaks or cyberintrusion. It is a simple question of FBI policy
compliance.

Secondarily, these subpoenas seek to help Senator Grassley obtain the answer to another
irrelevantandinappropriatequestiontheidentitiesofFusionGPSclients.WhocontractedwithFusion
GPSduringthe2016electioncampaignhasabsolutelynobearingonwhatfindingsChristopherSteele
developed overseas, let alone on whether the Russian government interfered with the 2016 U.S.
presidentialelection.

CONCLUSION

Incorporatingtheforegoingpointsandauthoritiesbyreference,wesetforthspecificobjections
tothesubpoenasfordocumentsandhaveattachedthosespecificobjectionstothisletteratAppendix
A.Likewise,fortheforegoingreasons,weobjecttothesubpoenasforourclientstestimony.

Should you compel any of our three clients to appear at the scheduled deposition, they will
invoketheirconstitutionalprivilegesnottotestify.Sincethatwillbethecase,weaskthattheCommittee
excusethemfromappearing.22

Sincerely,

JoshuaA.Levy
RobertF.Muse
RachelM.Clattenburg

cc: Rep.MichaelConaway
Rep.AdamSchiff

Enclosures

22
SeeD.C.LegalEthicsOpinion358,SubpoenaingWitnessWhenLawyerforCongressionalCommitteeHasBeen
AdvisedthatWitnessWillDeclinetoAnswerAnyQuestionsonClaimofPrivilege;LegalEthicsOpinion31
Revisited,availableathttps://www.dcbar.org/barresources/legalethics/opinions/opinion358.cfm.