A new report released by House Intelligence Committee Republicans reveals between seven and 10 “secret donors” behind the anti-Trump dossier continued to pour cash into a coordinated effort to “continue exposing Russian interference” even after the 2016 presidential election.
While the 243-page report released last week doesn’t name the secret donors who funded the opposition research team, it has triggered speculation about which wealthy donors were behind the effort. (For example, leftist billionaire George Soros’ son, Alexander Soros, is a wealthy political donor in New York who pumped nearly $1.3 million into Democratic Party candidates and causes in 2016. George Soros, who also lives in New York, contributed $1.1 million to Democrats in 2016.)
The House Intelligence Committee report does reveal that Daniel J. Jones, a former staffer for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and president of the Penn Quarter Group, “secured the services” of former British spy and Trump dossier author Christopher Steele “to continue exposing Russian interference” after the November election had concluded. Jones also hired the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which was behind the Trump dossier.
Jones reportedly raised $50 million. He told the FBI that his investigative firm, Penn Quarter Group, was funded by seven to 10 wealthy donors, most of whom are in California and New York.
As WND has reported, Steele and Fusion GPS were behind the Trump dossier funded by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The DOJ and FBI reportedly cited the dossier in the effort to secure surveillance warrants on a member of Trump’s campaign.
Jones told the FBI that his organization planned to present any of the post-election findings to the bureau, the media and policymakers on Capitol Hill. He claimed Penn Quarter Group was “exposing foreign influence in Western elections.”
President Trump has repeatedly stated that his campaign never “colluded” with Russia. The president has called the Russia investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller a “witch hunt,” a statement he made again Tuesday in a tweet that stated: “It would seem very hard to obstruct justice for a crime that never happened! Witch Hunt!”
It would seem very hard to obstruct justice for a crime that never happened! Witch Hunt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 1, 2018
While the Intelligence Committee report redacts Jones’ name, his identity is fairly obvious based on his LinkedIn profile and Penn Quarter Group biography.
Sen. Feinstein is the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is probing Fusion GPS. She made headlines when she leaked a transcript of the committee’s interview with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson in January. But at that time, Feinstein didn’t reveal that her own staffer, Jones, was behind the firm’s investigation while the committee was looking into the matter.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, blasted Feinstein’s unilateral decision to release the transcript, saying it was “confounding” for her to do so in the “middle of an ongoing investigation.”
As WND reported, the Trump dossier contained some curious allegations from Russian government sources and was published on the anti-Trump website Buzzfeed, which admitted, “The allegations are unverified, and the report contains errors.” The 35-page document included lewd allegations concerning Trump’s personal life and claims regarding his purported financial ties to Russia. Some of the dossier assertions include:
- “[The] Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting Trump for at least 5 years.”
- “Trump has declined various sweetener real estate business deals offered him in Russia in order to further the Kremlin’s cultivation of him. However, he and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals.”
- “Former top Russian intelligence officer claims FSB (Russia’s Federal Security Service) has compromised Trump through his activities in Moscow sufficiently to be able to blackmail him. … [Trump’s] conduct in Moscow has included perverted sexual acts which have been arranged/monitored by the FSB.”
- “A dossier of compromising material on Hillary Clinton has been collated by the Russian Intelligence Services over many years and mainly comprises bugged conversations she had on various visits to Russia and intercepted phone calls rather than any embarrassing conduct.” It said the Clinton dossier is controlled by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Putin’s orders but hadn’t been distributed abroad or given to Trump.
- The dossier also contains a claim that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen met with a Russian official in Prague during the election.