(National Sentinel) Election 2016: For a year Americans have been waiting for answers about who financed what ultimately turned out to be a bogus “dossier” on then-GOP presidential candidate Donald J. Trump, and now — finally — we have some answers, though in reality, no one should be surprised.
The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President 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.
After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’s research into Trump was funded by an unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.
The news comes as a legal battle was shaping up between the House Intelligence Committee and Fusion GPS over the latter’s bank records. The House panel had subpoenaed the banking records in order to find out who was paying Fusion GPS to create the dossier.
Now, at least part of that question has been answered, but part of it remains a mystery — in particular, the Republican client.
In June, we reported that Democrats may have indeed been behind the dossier. Quoting the New York Post‘s Paul Sperry:
“These weren’t mercenaries or hired guns,” a congressional source familiar with the dossier probe said at the time. “These guys had a vested personal and ideological interest in smearing Trump and boosting Hillary’s chances of winning the White House.”
The following month we reported that Russia fed info into the dossier — information that was collected by former British spy Christopher Steele. Quoting the Washington Times:
Some Democrats have widely circulated the discredited information. Mr. Steele was paid by the Democrat-funded opposition research firm Fusion GPS with money from a Hillary Clinton backer. Fusion GPS distributed the dossier among Democrats and journalists. The information fell into the hands of the FBI, which used it in part to investigate Mr. Trump’s campaign aides.
[We now know that ‘Clinton backer’ was the Clinton campaign and the DNC, among others.]
“If anyone colluded with the Russians, it was the Democrats,” a former Trump campaign adviser who asked not to be identified because of the pending investigations told the Times. “After all, they’ve routinely shopped around false claims from the debunked Steele dossier, which listed sources including senior Kremlin officials.
As we reported, Steele himself has admitted the dossier was bunk, and has slammed the web site Buzzfeed for publishing it earlier this year, even with the caveat that none of it could be substantiated. The Times was the first to report Steele’s revelations.
As for the president, Trump tweeted as recently as Saturday that the Justice Department and FBI should “immediately release who paid for it.”
Finally, readers may recall that the reason why special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed in the first place was because the dossier asserted that Moscow intervened in the 2016 election to help Trump, a claim that was later asserted by the U.S. intelligence community.
But no one has ever produced any evidence to publicly support that claim. And as we’ve noted, the dossier has been debunked.
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