Shortly after a report emerged Tuesday evening claiming that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee in part funded a dossier containing explosive allegations about President Donald Trump’s links to Russia, the Republican National Committee trumpeted the story in outrage.
There was just one problem with the version of the Washington Post story that the RNC reposted on its website: a line stating that prior to the Clinton campaign picking up the tab, the research was “funded by an unknown Republican during the GOP primary” was notably absent.
It has been widely reported for several months that the campaign of an anti-Trump Republican initially funded the dossier before Democrats took over payments to Washington firm Fusion GPS as the 2016 primaries began to conclude.
The Post’s story came amid intensifying efforts from some Republicans on Capitol Hill to compel Fusion GPS to reveal who financed the dossier, which was compiled by former British intelligence operative Christopher Steele. Last week, two partners in the firm appeared before the House Intelligence Committee but refused to testify.
A lawyer for Fusion GPS, Josh Levy, accused the Republican chairman of the committee, Devin Nunes, of an “abuse of power” for his issuing of a subpoena. The firm has said it will not violate its clients’ confidentiality and have accused Republicans of a campaign designed to discredit it and its research.
Trump suggested, without evidence, last week that Democrats, the FBI, Russia, or a combination of all three may have been responsible for financing the dossier.
The 35-page dossier contains a series allegations concerning Russia’s attempts to help Trump get elected, including claims of contacts between Russian officials and the Trump campaign. Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen is heavily featured in the dossier and appeared Tuesday before a closed hearing of the House Intelligence Committee. He was due to meet with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday.
The dossier began to come to light late last year, when Steele shared some of his findings with the FBI and reached an initial agreement for the bureau to continue to fund its research. The deal never came to fruition but a report of the findings was passed by FBI Director James Comey to then President Barack Obama and President-elect Trump shortly before January’s inauguration.
Trump has called the dossier “totally made-up stuff” and also slammed Steele as a “failed spy.” Steele is widely respected in intelligence circles and spent time working in Moscow under diplomatic over toward the end of the Cold War. The man leading the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, Robert Mueller, would also appear to be taking the dossier’s findings seriously. His team has taken over scrutinizing the findings and recently met with Steele.
Following Tuesday’s news, Clinton’s former campaign press secretary Brian Fallon tweeted that “if even a shred of that dossier ends up helping Mueller, it will prove money well spent.”
Posted with permission from Newsweek