Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee paid opposition research firm Fusion GPS to compile the “Russian dossier” that triggered an FBI investigation into possible collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government, according to a report Tuesday by the Washington Post.
A Republican had contracted first with Fusion GPS, and Clinton and the DNC continued to fund Fusion GPS’s work, the report says.
According to the Post:
Mark 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 …
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.
The “Russian dossier,” whose contents Trump has denied and which has been widely discredited, is believed to have led the FBI to investigate the Trump campaign and several Trump associates.
Until now, Fusion GPS has continued to refuse to cooperate with congressional panels investigating Russian attempts to intervene in the election, and how the Obama administration probed those efforts. Democrats have also protected the company.
The revelation that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee were involved in procuring the salacious accusations against Trump that fed their own later accusations of Russian interference in the election lends credence to those who, like Trump himself, have regarded the Russia accusations as conspiracy theories.
Last week, Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal observed:
The Washington narrative is focused on special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. But the ferocious pushback and unseemly tactics from Democrats suggest they are growing worried. Maybe the real story is that Democrats worked with an opposition-research firm that has some alarming ties to Russia and potentially facilitated a disinformation campaign during a presidential election.
On the heels of revelations that the FBI was investigating Russian attempts to influence Hillary Clinton to approve a controversial uranium deal, Democrats will have more questions to answer about possible collusion with Russia. The FBI, too, will face additional scrutiny from Congress — especially as it agreed to pay Steele after the election for additional research into Trump’s potential Russia ties.