from Zero Hedge:
What was previously widely suspected has now been confirmed. In its latest bombshell report that – for once – doesn’t include some nefarious allegations of wrongdoing or incompetence involving President Donald Trump or members of his administration, the Washington Post reported Tuesday that the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign jointly financed the creation of the infamous “Trump dossier,” which helped inspire the launch of the floundering investigations into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians.
Though neither the DNC nor the Clinton campaign worked directly with former British spy Christopher Steele as he compiled the document, the fact that Democrats funded the dossier – which includes information primarily gleaned from sources in Russia – ironically suggests the Democrats indirectly leveraged Russian sources to try and spread information of dubious veracity about a political opponent to try and sway an election.
Even though the scandalous accusations contained within the dossier weren’t made public until after the vote, presumably waiting to see what foot the shoe would end up on, this would’ve provided serious grist for the collusion narrative, which we imagine would’ve been stretched to include the entire Republican establishment as accomplices.
While it’s impossible to determine exactly how much money was spent on the dossier, the Clinton campaign paid Perkins Coie – the law firm of Clinton superattorney Marc Elias – $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. Some of that money was presumably used to pay for the dossier.
Fusion GPS’s work researching Trump began during the Republican presidential primaries when an unidentified GOP donor reportedly hired the firm to dig into Trump’s background. The Republicans who were involved in the early stages of Fusion’s efforts have not yet been identified. Fusion GPS did not start off looking at Trump’s Russia ties, but quickly realized that those relationships would be a fruitful place to start, WaPo reported.
Steele previously worked in Russia for British intelligence. The dossier, which was primarily compiled in Moscow, is a compilation of reports Steele prepared for Fusion. Allegations contained in the dossier included claims the Russian government collected compromising information about Trump and the Kremlin was engaged in an active effort to assist his campaign for president.
Fusion turned over Steele’s reports and other research documents to Elias, and it’s unclear how much of it he shared with the campaign.
The revelation about who funded the dossier comes just days after Trump tweeted that the FBI and DOJ should publicly reveal who hired Fusion GPS. And lo and behold, that information has now been made public.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Dunes has tried to compel Fusion’s founders to disclose who paid for the dossier, but all three of them pled the fifth during public testimony last week. Nunes has also tried subpoenaing the firm’s bank records.
The most salacious accusations contained in the dossier have not been verified, and may never be. Still, 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. Officials also decided to withhold information from the dossier in an intelligence community report published in January alleging that Russian entities had tried to sway the US election on behalf of the Russian government.
Of course, we still don’t know who leaked the dossier to Buzzfeed and CNN back in January. John McCain – one of the primary suspects – has repeatedly denied it, and Fusion GPS has said in court documents that it didn’t share the document with Buzzfeed. However, we do known that 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.
It therefore strongly suggests that it was the FBI that was instrumental in spreading the dossier to the media, most of which was too embarrassed to publish it until Buzzfeed came along and did it… for the clicks.
So to summarize:
- Hillary Clinton and the DNC paid to uncover and package dirt, whether factual or not, on Trump which eventually found its way in the Trump dossier
- In doing so, the Clintons and the DNC were effectively collaborating with “deep” sources, both among the UK spy apparatus and inside Russia
- Once Trump won, the FBI was instrumental in “leaking” the dossier to the mainstream media and select still unknown recipients (the same way Comey “leaked” his personal notebooks just a few months later, following his termination, to launch a probe of Trump).
- The former head of the FBI who was supposed to probe Clinton’s State Department – and the Clinton Foundation – for a bribery and kickback scheme involving Russia’s U.S. nuclear business, is now investigating Trump for Russia collusion instead
But wait, it gets better: as Ken Vogel, formerly the chief investigative reporter at Politico and currently at the NY Times just reported, “When I tried to report this story, Clinton campaign lawyer @marceelias pushed back vigorously, saying “You (or your sources) are wrong.”