A new report released on Tuesday evening claims that the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) helped pay for the largely unproven Trump-Russia dossier which contains wild and salacious claims and was used as the basis for starting an investigation into Trump’s campaign for alleged ties to Russian officials.
The bombshell report from The Washington Post comes just days after Clinton told C-SPAN that President Trump and Fox News were trying to distract the nation from the “real Russian ties between Trump associates and real Russians,” and that the real story was how “nervous” the Trump administration was becoming.
In that vein, here is what you need to know from The Washington Post’s report:
- Marc E. Elias, an attorney who represented Clinton’s campaign and the DNC, used Fusion GPS to conduct “research” on then-candidate Donald Trump.
- According to sources, Fusion GPS hired former British intelligence official Christopher Steele to compile the dossier.
- Elias reportedly retained Fusion GPS starting in April 2016 “on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC” — right before Trump became the GOP presumptive nominee — all the way until the end of October 2016.
- Prior to working for the Clinton campaign and the DNC, Fusion GPS began researching Trump and was funded by “a still unknown Republican client.”
- While it is still unknown how much was paid for the dossier, the Post alleges that the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid Elias’ law firm, Perkins Coie, a total of $9.2 million from June 2015 through December 2016.
- The Post claims that neither the Clinton campaign nor the DNC directed Steele’s activities who then shared some of his findings with officials at the FBI.
- “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 Post reports.
Other important facts to remember about the dossier:
- Evidence suggests Fusion GPS was paid by Russia while compiling the Trump dossier, which is important because, if true, it destroys the narrative that Russia was trying to help Trump win.
- Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) “who was informed about the existence of the documents separately by an intermediary from a western allied state, dispatched an emissary overseas to meet the source and then decided to present the material to Comey in a one-on-one meeting on 9 December, according to a source aware of the meeting,” The Guardian reported.
- Fusion GPS sent their “findings” to The New York Times, The Washington Post, Yahoo, The New Yorker, and CNN, who all initially refused to publish them.
Fusion GPS also does not have the most credible and ethical track record. The firm is accused of “spreading misinformation, disinformation and smears” by a Venezuelan journalist who claimed Fusion GPS tried to ruin him after he reported on a company that hired the firm, Fox News reported. The Venezuelan journalist, Alek Boyd, told Fox News that Fusion GPS labeled him as a “pedophile,” “extortionist,” and “drug trafficker” after he exposed corruption inside one of Fusion’s clients.