Just so we’re clear… The Clinton campaign and the DNC paid a firm that’s known for doing business with the Kremlin for an opposition research file on President Trump.
The Obama administration took it seriously, many in the media took it seriously, and it’s served as a springboard for the Russia investigation we have today.
Oh, and the Democrats have spent the last year lying about it.
Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year https://t.co/vXKRV1wRJc— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) October 24, 2017
Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier
Adam Entous, Devlin Barrett & Rosalind S. Helderman
October 24, 2017 – 6:21 PM
The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about Donald Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.
Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.
Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community.
Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the firm in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. … The Clinton campaign and the DNC through the law firm continued to fund Fusion GPS’s research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day.
Fusion GPS gave Steele’s reports and other research documents to Elias, the people familiar with the matter said.
The dossier has become a lightning rod amid the intensifying investigations into the Trump campaign’s possible connections to Russia. Some congressional Republican leaders have spent months trying to discredit Fusion GPS and Steele, and tried to determine the identity of the Democrat or organization that paid for it.
Trump tweeted as recently as Saturday that the Justice Department and FBI should “immediately release who paid for it.”
Elias and Fusion GPS declined to comment on the arrangement. Spokespersons for the Clinton campaign and the DNC had no immediate comment.
People involved in the matter said they would not disclose the dollar-amounts paid to Fusion GPS, but said the campaign and the DNC shared the cost.
Steele previously worked in Russia for British intelligence. The dossier is a compilation of reports he prepared for Fusion. The dossier alleged that the Russian government collected compromising information about Trump and the Kremlin was engaged in an active effort to assist his campaign for president.
The Clinton campaign paid Perkins Coie $5.6 million in legal fees from June 2015 to December 2016, according to campaign finance records, and the DNC paid the firm $3.6 million in “legal and compliance consulting’’ since Nov. 2015 — though it’s impossible to tell from the filings how much of that work was for other legal matters and how much of it related to Fusion GPS.
After the election, the FBI agreed to pay Steele to continue gathering intelligence about Trump and Russia, but the bureau pulled out of the arrangement after Steele was publicly identified in news reports.
In early January, then-FBI Director James B. Comey presented a two-page summary of Steele’s dossier to President Barack Obama and President-elect Trump.
Congressional Republicans have tried to force Fusion GPS to identify the Democrat or group behind Steele’s work, but the firm has said that it would not do so, citing confidentiality agreements with its clients.
Last week, Fusion GPS executives invoked their constitutional right not to answer questions from the House Intelligence Committee. The firm’s founder, Glenn Simpson, had previously given a 10-hour interview to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Over objections from Democrats, the Republican leader of House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), subpoenaed Fusion GPS’s bank records in order to try to identify the mystery client.
Fusion GPS has been fighting the release of its bank records. The judge in the case could issue a decision as early as Tuesday.
To read more, click here.