WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – A report has surfaced that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped pay for research that produced the dossier of allegations about President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.
According to the Washington Post report, lawyer Marc E. Elias, who represented both Clinton’s campaign and the DNC, and his law firm Perkins Coie retained the firm Fusion GPS in April 2016 to investigate any connections, according to the Post. Before then, a still-unknown Republican client funded Fusion GPS’ research during the Republican primaries. Fusion had hired former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to conduct the research.
The DNC and Clinton campaign-funded research continued through the end of October 2016, according to the Post’s report.
It’s unclear how much the DNC and Clinton’s campaign paid toward the research. According to campaign finance records obtained by The Washington Post, Clinton’s campaign paid Perkins Coie $5.6 million in legal fees from June 2015 to December 2016. But it’s impossible to say how much of that related to research for the dossier, and how much related to other work. The DNC also paid the firm $3.6 million in “legal and compliance consulting” fees from November 2015 onwards, but the same question of how much related to Fusion GPS applies.
For months, the DNC and Clinton associates denied any connection to Fusion GPS.
The people the Post spoke with said at no point did the Clinton campaign or DNC direct Steele’s probe, something the DNC also said.
“Tom Perez and the new leadership of the DNC were not involved in any decision-making regarding Fusion GPS, nor were they aware that Perkins Coie was working with the organization,” DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa said in a statement provided to CBS News. “But let’s be clear, there is a serious federal investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, and the American public deserves to know what happened.”
Buzzfeed published the dossier in January of this year.
The report gives some weight to the Republican focus on Fusion GPS.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has made Fusion GPS a focal point in its Russia-related queries — the committee interviewed the co-founder of Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson in the summer. House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes signed off on a subpoena to Fusion GPS after he had recused himself from the Russia probe, and without telling Democrats, sources have told CBS News.