But experts say the argument their lawyers are using to ask that they be excused relies on shaky legal grounds, and is unlikely to hold.
Attorneys from Cunningham, Levy & Muse said in a letter that, if called to testify, their clients planned to invoke their first amendment rights to exempt them from answering questions. The move - which has all the hallmarks of a stalling tactic - is the latest attempt by the firm's founders, who reportedly were aware that not all of the allegations contained in the dossier were credible before turning it over to the FBI, to forestall delivering public testimony. Glenn Simpson, a former WSJ investigative reporter and one of the firm's three founders, met privately with the Senate Judiciary Committee for ten hours over the summer. Afterwards, a group of senators, including Democrat Richard Blumenthal, pushed for Simpson's testimony to be made public, and the committee is reportedly still mulling whether to release it.