Trump Wants to Know How Dems Are Ignorant of Who Approved Millions to Fusion GPS Funder

In a Monday tweet, President Donald Trump questioned the validity of Democrat leaders’ claims that they do not know who approved millions of dollars to pay the firm that produced the controversial “Trump dossier” of unverified allegations about the president’s activities and supposed connections in Russia.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid political consulting firm Fusion GPS $12.4 million for opposition research they compiled on Trump, yet no Democrat claims to have any knowledge of who approved the funding.

“Report out that Obama Campaign paid $972,000 to Fusion GPS. The firm also got $12,400,000 (really?) from DNC. Nobody knows who OK’d!” Trump tweeted Monday morning.

The Campaign Legal Center, a bipartisan watchdog group based in Washington, D.C., is also seeking answers regarding the monies paid to Fusion GPS.

On Wednesday, the group filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission in which it accused the DNC and the Clinton campaign of violating campaign finance law by failing to accurately disclose the money spent on the Trump-Russia dossier.

“Questions about who paid for this dossier are the subject of intense public interest, and this is precisely the information that FEC reports are supposed to provide,” Brendan Fischer of The Campaign Legal Center said in a statement to Fox News.

Finances collected from the DNC, the Clinton campaign and Obama for America were paid to the Perkins Coie law firm which funded the dossier — although the press widely reported that the project was originally funded by Republican groups.

On Friday, lawyers for The Washington Free Beacon informed the House Intelligence Committee their organization originally funded an opposition research effort from the fall of 2015 through the spring of 2016. The research was reportedly aimed at multiple Republican candidates, including Trump.

The Free Beacon withdrew funding in the spring of 2016 and a Trump-specific project was then undertaken by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, according to the Washington Examiner.

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Fusion GPS was retained last year by Marc E. Elias, an attorney representing the DNC and the Clinton campaign. The firm subsequently hired former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to compile the Trump-Russia dossier.

Funds provided for the dossier were reportedly routed from the Clinton campaign and the DNC through the law firm Perkins Coie. On FEC reports these funds were described as legal services.

According to records, the Clinton campaign paid Perkins Coie nearly $6 million from June 2015 to December 2016, while the DNC paid $3.6 million, though the amount of money that went to Fusion GPS has not been specified.

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When asked about the funding revelations, Brian Fallon, former spokesman for the Clinton campaign, compared the gathering of information for the dossier to the type of “oppo research” that “happens on every campaign.”

The Campaign Legal Center disagreed, describing the FEC reports as “misleading.”

“Payments by a campaign or party committee to an opposition research firm are legal, as long as those payments are accurately disclosed,” Fischer said. “But describing payments for opposition research as ‘legal services’ is entirely misleading and subverts the reporting requirements.”

A spokesman for Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, who chaired the DNC at the time, told Fox News on Wednesday that she “did not have any knowledge of this arrangement.”

Fallon also claimed to know nothing about the Clinton campaign’s involvement with the dossier.

“I personally wasn’t aware of this during the campaign,” Fallon said in a statement. “The first I learned of Christopher Steele or saw any dossier was after the election. But if I had gotten handed it last fall, I would have had no problem passing it along and urging reporters to look into it.”

This post was last modified on March 17, 2018, 12:39 pm