It’s long been rumored that Democrats were at least part of the push behind the Russian “dossier,” that allegedly links President Donald Trump to all sorts of infamous activity.
Now the Washington Post says that’s a fact.
In a report on Tuesday from Adam Entous, Devlin Barrett and Rosalind Helderman, the paper claimed the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-infamous dossier containing allegations about Donald Trump’s connections to Russia.
According to the links outlined by the Post, Marc Elias, a lawyer for the Hillary Clinton campaign and the party, hired Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, for the “research.”
Then Fusion hired Christopher Steele, a former British agent who has ties to the FBI and others, to write it up.
The report said Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, long linked to President Obama, hired Fusion in 2016 “on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC.”
The Post said before then, some unknown Republican had been paying for the research.
The Democrats’ support of Fusion ran nearly to Election Day in 2016, it said.
Citing sources without naming them, the Post said Fusion handed over Steele’s writings to Elias.
Many claims in the dossier never have been verified and likely never will be, but it was published by Buzzfeed News in January. At the time, then-FBI chief James Comey, who later was fired by Trump, handed over a summary of Steele’s claims to Obama.
Citing “people familiar with the matter,” the Post said some of the information was given to the campaign, some to the DNC, but details on who saw what were unclear.
The Post said the dossier has become a flashpoint, with Trump critics claiming it’s truth, and Trump supporters pointing to its largely unverified claims.
The Post said Elias, Fusion GPS, the Clinton campaign and the DNC all had no immediate comment.
The report also said the newspaper’s sources would not disclose who was paid what, or by whom.
The Post said Steele had spent time working for British intelligence and his work included allegations the “Russian government collected compromising information about Trump and the Kremlin was engaged in an active effort to assist his campaign for president.”
American intelligence later claimed Russia “intervened” in the 2016 election on Trump’s behalf.
The president has charged that the claims are false.
The report, again citing “people familiar” with the issue, said while the work was launched by a member of the GOP during the primary season, “Elias, acting on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC, agreed to pay for the work” after the Republican support stopped.
The report noted Clinton’s campaign paid Perkins Coie $5.6 million for the year and a half from the middle of 2015 to the end of 2016.
The report even claims, “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.”
Fusion officials have refused to identity their sponsor for congressional Republicans.
It was reported in August that Fusion founder Glenn Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, was paid a million dollars by rich Republicans opposing Trump in the primary, and later by Democrats.
ABC reported they all “wanted to dig up dirt on Trump and plant negative news stories.
“What is the company hiding?” the Post asked. “Fusion GPS describes itself as a ‘research and strategic intelligence firm’ founded by ‘three former Wall Street Journal investigative reporters.'”
But the Post said its sources revealed it actually was an opposition-research group for Democrats with a pro-Hillary bias.
The participants actually may be more joined by an anti-Trump sentiment, since the Daily Mail revealed Sen. John McCain, a Republican but nevertheless still a Trump opponent, had obtained the dossier and turned it over to the FBI.