(National Review) -- Remember that infamous Russian “dossier,” the unverified document that BuzzFeed unceremoniously dumped into the public square earlier this year? You might recall it as making a series of incredibly salacious and completely unproven accusations against the sitting president of the United States. Well, it turns out that it was a piece of partisan opposition research, bought and paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, both of which then denied having anything to do with it after the fact.
Last night the Washington Post reported that the Clinton campaign and the DNC used a lawyer named Marc Elias to retain the oppo-research firm Fusion GPS to conduct research on the Trump campaign (the firm had previously worked on behalf of a still-unidentified Republican to investigate Trump). Fusion GPS then hired a former intelligence officer named Christopher Steele, who conducted an investigation and authored the dossier. According to the Post, the Clinton campaign and the DNC used the law firm to pay Fusion GPS right until the end of October 2016.
As my colleague Andrew McCarthy notes, it’s a clever arrangement. The use of the law firm adds a layer of deniability, and when controversy arises, Fusion GPS is able to appeal to attorney-client privilege to shield itself from scrutiny.
Advertisement - story continues below