The investigation into the outlandish “Trump dossier” has amplified recently, with breaking developments made into who was actually behind the document’s creation: the Democrat National Committee and Hillary Clinton.
After Fusion GPS tried to block the House Intelligence Committee’s request for bank records, the records have finally been obtained. On Saturday, the Committee announced it had struck a deal to obtain the banking records of the company behind the dossier, according to Fox News. Now the investigation can move forward to reveal specifically what payments Fusion GPS collected, and from who.
The deal will ensure that the Committee can gain access to the records that are essential to the investigation.
Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes (R-CA), had submitted a subpoena for Fusion GPS’ banking records on October 4th. Fusion GPS responded by seeking a “temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction” to prevent the records’ release, citing infringement on their First Amendment rights of free speech and expression.
This comes just shortly after two officials from Fusion GPS invoked their Fifth Amendment rights and refused to answer any questions posed by the House Panel. The firm’s executives, Peter Fritsch and Thomas Catan, refused to answer a single question in a session spanning nearly half an hour, including basic questions, such as who paid for the dossier.
A letter sent to Chairman Nunes last week by Fusion GPS’ attorneys stated all three partners would refuse to cooperate with the Committee, claiming First Amendment protections.
Fusion GPS had hired former British spy, Christopher Steele, to compose a 35-page dossier to humiliate and derail Trump during the presidential campaign. The dossier was supposed to prove President Trump’s ties to Russia, although most of the claims were outrageous and completely unverified.
Now that a deal has been struck, a deeper glimpse into the firm’s banking records could show just who was responsible for paying for the commissioned document — full of libelous, unverified claims to discredit Trump and supposedly reveal his connection to Russia.
The Hill reported earlier this week that in April 2016, both the Democrat National Committee and the Clinton campaign retained Fusion GPS’ opposition research services via their lawyer Marc Elias and his firm, Perkins Coie. The partnership began even before the firm hired Steele, indicating that either the DNC or the Clinton campaign could have directly influenced or funded the dossier created by Steele.
However, both the Clinton campaign and the DNC claimed they were unaware that Elias and Perkins Coie had any relationship with Fusion GPS. The claim is hard to believe, given their history working together and the amount of money exchanged.
Is Hillary Clinton guilty?
Campaign finance records indicate that the Clinton campaign had paid Perkins Coie $5.6 million in legal fees from June 2015 until December 2016, and that the DNC had also paid the firm $3.6 million for “legal and compliance consulting” since November 2015. It’s unclear how much of the money was used for legal matters or how much went to fund Fusion GPS’ efforts in hiring Steele to create the infamous dossier.
Hopefully, the House Intelligence Committee finally gaining access to the Fusion GPS banking records means that the investigation can make headway and successfully get to the bottom of who paid for the dossier — and who paid to libel Donald Trump.