We already know that the DNC and the Hillary campaign, through the law firm of Perkins Coie, directed huge sums of money to Fusion GPS for what they are calling “opposition research” in 2016; that’s established. But that’s not the whole story.
Fusion, of course, is the research firm that hired former MI6 officer Christopher Steele, who compiled the infamous dossier known variously as the Steele Dossier or the Trump Dossier.
This isn’t exactly easy to follow, but stick with me here. Or more accurately, stick with Sean Davis, who at the Federalist has compiled a great deal of research to draw the lines today. Which are not, as I mentioned, especially easy to follow.
First, the money. From Federalist:
Since April of 2016, Obama For America (OFA) has paid over $972,000 to Perkins Coie, records filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) show.
For clarity and comparison, here are the numbers for the rest of them:
Federal records show that Hillary Clinton’s official campaign organization, Hillary For America, paid just under $5.1 million to Perkins Coie in 2016. The DNC paid nearly $5.4 million to the law firm in 2016.
You’ll recognize the name Perkins Coie as that of the law firm where Marc Elias works. Elias, who sat next to John Podesta as he testified (questionably) before the Senate committee. The testimony where Podesta claimed to have no knowledge of any relationship with Fusion GPS. Marc Elias, seated beside him, was literally the person giving Fusion the money. On behalf of the DNC and the Clinton campaign.
Oh, and want to know something else about Elias? From Davis:
FEC records as well as federal court records show that Marc Elias, the Perkins Coie lawyer whom the Washington Post reported was responsible for the payments to Fusion GPS on behalf of Clinton’s campaign and the DNC, also previously served as a counsel for OFA.
Yeah. He was a lawyer for OFA, Obama’s former campaign org, reorganized as an anti-Trump group. The group, as we mentioned above, that paid his firm almost a million dollars. And that was paying the firm while the dirt was being dug.
The timing and nature of the payments to Perkins Coie by Obama’s official campaign arm raise significant questions about whether OFA was funding Fusion GPS, how much Obama and his team knew about the contents and provenance of the dossier long before its contents were made public…
I’m cutting off that excerpt there. One, so you can read the whole article, and two, to make a point.
OFA was paying Perkins Coie, who were also paying Fusion GPS. OFA was doing so during the same time that the DNC and the Clinton campaign were paying Fusion GPS through Perkins Coie. They were doing so during the same time that Fusion GPS was paying Steele, who was compiling the information that later became the dossier.
That is not the same thing as saying “Obama paid Steele.” But it should absolutely raise the question.
Also, here’s a second point. The FBI was not giving money to Fusion GPS or to Christopher Steele during this period of time. According to the Washington Post, the money that went to Steele, as reimbursement of expenses (a dinner in D.C. for all we know), was not only after the Clinton and DNC and Obama money, it was after the dossier was already made public by Buzzfeed. You know, post-election.
That’s not absolution. We have already written here about FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the subject of Sen. Chuck Grassley’s first letter to James Comey. McCabe’s wife is a Clinton associate, Democrat insider, bundler, and more. This association had McCabe already under investigation by the DoJ regarding whether he should have recused himself from the Clinton email investigation. It’s absurd that he would be involved in the dossier investigation as well, and Grassley said so emphatically. And correctly, I might add.
The FBI also refused to comply with subpoenas for information regarding the Trump dossier for months, only finally complying this week. It should be noted that this intransigence continued even after Trump appointee Wray took over as director. And this isn’t even close to covering all the questions they need to answer. The impartiality of the operation of the FBI under the leadership of James Comey is, to say the very least, suspect.
But barring any additional information, it looks to be the case that the funding of the dossier came not via the FBI but rather from the DNC and the Clinton campaign. And now, potentially, possibly, the Obama campaign.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, there’s yet another creepy connection here.
In 2014, Fusion was doing work for Russians, as is their wont. (A wont that has them accused of acting as unregistered foreign agents, by the way.) Specifically, in 2014 they were assisting in the legal defense of Prevezon Holdings in a civil action brought by the government. Prevezon is owned by the son of a high-ranking Russian government official.
The law firm that retained Fusion GPS in this matter, this defending a Russian oligarch matter, also employs Natalia Veselnitskaya, who worked on the case. She also did something else. She met with Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner at the infamous Trump Tower meeting.
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about what all this means, and we’ll try to address those here at RedState in the next few days. It’s complex, and we have to get it straight in our heads, too. But one thing that is not murky, and that we can all agree on, is that this is end-to-end rotten.
Russia interfered with our election in 2016. We have known this all year. The intelligence community has reiterated this truth countless times. Russia has already been caught meddling in the elections of European nations as well, a fact the FBI was privvy to some time ago. Russia did this to disrupt and to cause chaos and perhaps to influence the outcome. Russia is not your friend.
What appears to be the case, but is not yet a matter of fact, is that Russians or Russian intelligence attempted to (and perhaps successfully did) act as a corrupting and disruptive influence in both the Trump and Clinton campaigns, and maybe others as well. It appears that Fusion GPS was a partner in this.
It especially appears that all sorts of people were paying for dirt on Donald Trump, including the FBI, the DNC, the Clinton campaign, press organizations, Putin, and the bloody kitchen sink. In any case, that’s how I understand it.
And we haven’t even started on whatever the Mueller investigation has turned up.
Instead of more from CNN, here’s more about CNN’s suspect coverage to date.