BOOM: Clinton Campaign, DNC Paid for Research That Led to Russia DossierPosted: October 25, 2017
Fusion GPS was hired by a Democratic lawyer acting on behalf of campaign and committee.
Adam Entous, Devlin Barrett and Rosalind S. Helderman report: 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 firm in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’s research into Trump was funded by a still unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.
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. It is unclear how or how much of that information was shared with the campaign and DNC, and who in those organizations was aware of the roles of Fusion GPS and Steele. One person close to the matter said the campaign and the DNC were not informed of Fusion GPS’s role by the law firm.
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.
Some of the details are included in an Oct. 24 letter sent by Perkins Coie to a lawyer representing Fusion GPS, telling the research firm that it was released from a client-confidentiality obligation. The letter was prompted by a legal fight over a subpoena for Fusion GPS’s bank records.
People involved in the matter said that they would not disclose the dollar amounts paid to Fusion GPS, but said that 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 … (read more)
Source: The Washington Post