Earlier this year, BuzzFeed News broke a shocking story: the FBI had reported an intelligence dossier making its way around Washington, D.C. to President Trump. That dossier contained allegations ranging from the credible to the wild — the wildest, of course, being the accusation that Trump had hired prostitutes while in Moscow to urinate on a bed slept on by the Obamas. The dossier itself, compiled by one British spy named Christopher Steele, had been commissioned by a Democratic firm called Fusion GPS.
Now we learn from The Washington Post that the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee were behind funding the dossier:
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.
Clinton campaign lawyer Elias allegedly denied for a year that he had anything to do with the dossier. That appeared to be a lie, according to Maggie Haberman of The New York Times:
Fusion GPS officials had pled the Fifth before the House Intelligence Committee to avoid answering funding questions. Furthermore, the FBI continued to fund Steele to do research for them after the election, according to the Post:
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.
The FBI used the dossier to obtain a FISA warrant against Trump foreign policy aide Carter Page, according to CNN.
In September 2016, Fusion GPS began “shopping the dirty dossier on Trump aroud Washington,” according to the New York Post.
Fusion GPS has Russian ties of its own. William Browder, a businessman who pushed for sanctions on Russia, testified that the Russian government had used Fusion GPS before to conduct a smear campaign against him. Browder admitted he couldn’t connect Russian funding to the anti-Trump dossier, which means that President Trump’s theory of FBI-Democratic-Russian collusion isn’t supported by the evidence. But certain key Democrats did apparently lie about the Fusion GPS report funding.