I don’t often use the term “bombshell” but it seems appropriate here. The Washington Post originally reported the story, with others following up and providing even more details. Remember the famous “Trump dossier” document that contained stories from Russia involving prostitutes and “golden showers,” among other things? Turns out, after it originated from an anonymous GOP donor during the primary in 2016, it went on to be funded by Clinton campaign in tandem with the DNC, and was also eventually funded by… the FBI.
The Seattle Times picks up the story:
The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) 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 Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington, D.C., 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, Seattle-based Perkins Coie, retained the firm in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’ 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’ research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day.
If you’ll also recall, the document served as the basis for many of the stories questioning whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to hurt the Clinton campaign during the election last year. However, the question of who was funding the dubious research, had never been revealed fully, until now.
The Trump-Russia research was originally being done by a Republican donor during the primaries, but that donor decided to halt things once Trump won the nomination. After that, the DNC and the Clintons started picking up the tab:
Fusion GPS’ work researching Trump began during the Republican presidential primaries when the GOP donor paid for the firm to investigate.
When the Republican donor stopped paying for the research, Elias, acting on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC, agreed to pay for the work to continue.
Amazingly, the FBI then continued to fund the research after the election:
After the election, the FBI agreed to pay Steele to continue gathering intelligence, but the bureau pulled out of the arrangement after Steele was publicly identified.
The dossier was published by BuzzFeed News in January. Fusion GPS has said it did not give BuzzFeed the document. Officials have said the FBI has confirmed some of the information in the dossier. Other details have yet to be verified and may never be.
Just amazing really, how intricate this document was to the campaign last year, and how it ended up being funded eventually by the FBI, which falls under none other than former Director James Comey.
The BBC world news goes a step further, calling the claims within the document as “unfounded”:
Unfounded claims that Mr Trump had been filmed with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel surfaced in the closing stretch of last year’s White House race.
Mrs Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) reportedly helped fund the research.
“The victim here is the President,” Mr Trump tweeted on Wednesday.
According to US media reports, Perkins Coie, a law firm representing the Clinton campaign and DNC, hired intelligence firm Fusion GPS in April 2016.
In a separate story from a few hours ago, the Washington Post also noted that the reaction from the Clinton campaign concerning the release of the dossier back during 2016 was “disingenuous,” at best:
When BuzzFeed published that now-infamous dossier of unproven claims about Donald Trump and Russia, in January, former Hillary Clinton campaign aides expressed outrage that news outlets that had obtained the dossier before Election Day did not make its contents public in time to influence voters, and Clinton later aired the same grievance in her book about the presidential race.
It turns out that the reaction of the Democratic presidential nominee and her team was disingenuous. The Washington Post reported on Tuesday night that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund the dossier, compiled by a former British intelligence officer, through a law firm hired to conduct opposition research.
The Clinton camp left out its own role in the dossier’s creation, as it ripped the media for sitting on information that journalists had been unable to verify. What Clinton and her advisers presented as their judgment that the media had made the wrong call was, in fact, their frustration at having failed to plant negative news reports before ballots were cast.
News agencies were sitting on it because they couldn’t verify it, so they didn’t report it. Buzzfeed chose to publish it, probably for the click-bait and traffic, though they did so with a disclaimer that most if it couldn’t be authenticated.
This tangled web is still being weaved. Stay tuned for further developments.