Further Reaction To Revelation That Trump Russia Dossier Was Commissioned By The Clinton Campaign

Yesterday’s revelations that Clinton and the DNC were behind the Trump Russia dossier has resulted in objective observers agreeing that this should create considerable skepticism as to the validity of the report, much of which could not be verified despite efforts of many in the media (and presumably now Robert Muller). Some Clinton partisans have tried to ignore the significance. It is amazing how they will ignore well documented evidence of Clinton’s dishonesty while saying we should believe a report about Donald Trump which was commissioned by the Clinton campaign and which could not be verified by independent sources. Besides, there is enough evidence as to how rotten Donald Trump is in his own Twitter feed, leaving no reason to make up more.

Aaron Blake has discussed some of the ramifications. Here is a  portion:

Yes, the dossier was funded by Democrats

Some of the pushback on the left has focused on the fact that a still-unidentified Republican client retained Fusion GPS to do research on Trump before the Clinton campaign and the DNC did. Thus, they argue, it’s wrong to say the dossier was just funded by Democrats.

But The Post is reporting that the dossier’s author, Steele, wasn’t brought into the mix until after Democrats retained Fusion GPS. So while both sides paid Fusion GPS, Steele was only funded by Democrats.

Trump’s allegation of FBI payments is still dubious

After the story posted, some on the right seized upon The Post noting the FBI had agreed to pay Steele for information after the campaign. The argument seemed to be that the FBI was engaged in a witch hunt against Trump using Democrats’ sources.

But The Post originally reported on the FBI’s agreement back in February. At the time, it also reported it never actually paid for the work after the agent was identified in news reports:

The former British spy who authored a controversial dossier on behalf of Donald Trump’s political opponents alleging ties between Trump and Russia reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to pay him to continue his work, according to several people familiar with the arrangement.

Ultimately, the FBI did not pay Steele. Communications between the bureau and the former spy were interrupted as Steele’s now-famous dossier became the subject of news stories, congressional inquiries and presidential denials, according to the people familiar with the arrangement, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.
>Despite there being no proof the FBI actually paid Steele, Trump suggested it might have in a tweet last week — along with “Russia . . . or the Dems (or all).” Of those three groups, only Democrats have been reported to have actually paid Steele. And again, that was already kind-of known.

The appearance problems for Democrats

There is, presumably, a reason Democrats haven’t copped to funding the dossier — something they still haven’t publicly confirmed. Fusion GPS threatening to plead the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination raised eyebrows last week, for instance.

First among those reasons is paying a foreigner for opposition research for an American political campaign. Given Democrats’ argument that Russia’s interference on Trump’s behalf was beyond the pale, the Clinton camp and the DNC paying a Brit for information would seem somewhat problematic.

(The Clinton campaign has also, notably, denied working with the Ukrainian government to dig up dirt on Trump. Republicans have pushed dubious comparisons between the Ukraine allegation and Russia’s alleged Trump advocacy.)

It is also notable that this revelation of a second episode of the Clinton campaign working with foreigners to affect the election results also came shortly after a new report on the Clintons accepting bribes from Russia.

Yesterday I updated the post with this opinion from Vox, a normally pro-Democratic Party source:

Now, however, we know that the dossier’s research during much of 2016 was funded by a top lawyer working for the Clinton campaign itself. That of course doesn’t necessarily mean the information in it is deliberately false — campaigns usually try to dig up opposition research that is true, if they can.

But it certainly presents the possibility that the research of the dossier and subsequent circulation of it were more akin to a dirty trick than a genuine, disinterested effort to find the truth about Trump and Russia. After all, if a campaign hires a firm to find dirt on their opponent, that is what that firm will try and deliver, even if what they turn up is dubious or thinly-sourced.

Overall, viewing this uncorroborated document very skeptically was always a good idea, and the fact that its funders were Trump’s biggest opponents only makes that more the case.

While biased pro-Trump, Michael Goodwin could very well could be correct in arguing at The New York Post that The Trump dossier was Clinton’s dirtiest political trick:

Now it’s Democrats’ turn in the barrel.

The explosive report in the Washington Post goes a long way to explaining how the dossier was so widely spread among political reporters during the election. The Clinton camp must have passed it out like Halloween candy to its media handmaidens.

News organizations tried for months to confirm the salacious details, but couldn’t. The document became public when BuzzFeed, a loud Clinton booster, published it 10 days before the inauguration, while acknowledging it couldn’t verify the contents.

The Post report provides possible answers to other questions, too. Because Clinton’s team paid for the dossier, it’s likely that she gave it to the FBI, where James Comey planned to hire the former British agent who had compiled it to keep digging dirt on Trump.

The finding also raises the possibility that the dossier is what led the Obama White House to snoop on members of Trump’s team, and leak the “unmasked” names to the anti-Trump media in a bid to help Clinton.

In short, we now have compelling evidence that the dossier was the largest and dirtiest dirty trick of the 2016 campaign. And Clinton, who has played the victim card ever since her loss, was behind it the whole time.

This all basically provides further evidence of what I argued throughout the election that the race was between two of the worst people in America. It also casts further doubt on the validity of Clinton’s claims regarding Trump and Russia.

Update: The Campaign Legal Center has filed a complaint with the FEC arguing that the Clinton campaign’s failure to disclose their funding of this report is a violation of campaign finance laws.

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16 Comments

  1. 1
    Bob says:

    No, the dossier wasn’t commissioned by the DNC or Hillary:

    “The research was initially funded by an unnamed Republican during the Republican Party presidential primaries. After Trump won the primaries, the Democratic lawyer Marc Elias took over the funding on behalf of the DNC and Clinton presidential campaign.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump%E2%80%93Russia_dossier

  2. 2
    Bob says:

    And from the WaPo article you linked:

    “Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’s research into Trump was funded by an unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.”

    That means it wasn’t “commissioned” by Democrats, which implies they originated the project. They only continued it. Anyone interested in the chain of events can read this:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/10/25/gop-spin-about-the-new-steele-dossier-story-is-disingenuous-nonsense/

    I’m not sure what you are, but you’re definitely not liberal, especially as in “open minded”. Who do you think you’re fooling?

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    The Republicans used the company but as the follow-up story in The Fix and multiple other accounts show the specific dossier in question was financed by and commissioned by the Democrats.

    My fact based non-partisan posts versus your partisan bias for a conservative party clearly demonstrate that I’m the liberal and the open-minded one here.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    It is also notable that in the face of revelations of both election fraud on the part of the DNC and the Clintons, along with yet another major blow to the Russia hysteria you have been spreading, you choose to quibble about whether a report they financed was commissioned by them. Beside you being wrong in your claims that it was not commissioned by them, this is hardly the major point here. Even if the report was not commissioned by them, their funding the report, while both failing to disclose this campaign spending and subsequently lying about it, would be quite incriminating.  

  5. 5
    Bob says:

    This is just more anti-Clinton hysteria. In your own post on the 7-year-old uranium deal you admit “While there is no documentary evidence of a quid pro quo between Clinton and the Russians (possibly due to to Clinton having destroyed half of her emails from when she was Secretary of State in violation of the laws in effect in 2009)…”

    This is clearly a resort to innuendo worthy of Fox News. The story and absurdist Republican investigation is part of an effort to cover up the Trump campaign dealings with the Russians.

    You’re also ahead of yourself on the Steele dossier, parts of which have been verified:

    “It is legal under current campaign finance law for the Hillary Clinton campaign to commission an opposition research company to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. What is not legal, according to campaign legal experts, is for the campaign to pay a law firm who then hires other to perform campaign related activities without reporting the purpose of the expenditures.

    If the FEC finds that there was a violation, the DNC and the Clinton campaign could face fines. The fines could be higher if the FEC finds that they intentionally mislead the public.”

    https://lawnewz.com/high-profile/breaking-fec-complaint-says-clinton-campaign-dnc-violated-law-over-trump-dossier/

    You cite lots of speculation, but ignore the fact the FEC has not yet rendered a finding. Also, you don’t know when all the information in the Steele dossier was accumulated, only that Steele was hired by Fusion GPS after Democrats contributed. Steele’s activities go back to at least 2013:

    “But on this vitally important point – Kalugin’s status as a “spy under diplomatic cover” – people who saw the intelligence agree with the dossier, adding weight to Steele’s other claims.

    But then they knew him already.

    I understand – from former officials – that from 2013-16, Steele gave the US government extensive information on Russia and Ukraine.

    This was work done for private clients, but which Steele wanted the US authorities to see.

    One former senior official who saw these reports told me: “It was found to be of value by the people whose job it was to look at Russia every day.

    “They said things like, ‘How can he get this so quickly? This fits exactly with what we have.’ It was validated many times.”

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39435786

    Additionally, the DNC information passed on to Wikileaks was most likely a hack as revealed in testimony by Roger Stone:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/roger-stone-dnc-hacker-guccifer-russia-trump-2017-9

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Again a bunch of distortions on your part. Falsely comparing it to Fox is rather dishonest on your part. You ignore what I actually criticized Clinton for: Her pattern of accepting payments from parties which were having decisions made by the State Department under her accompanied by her failure to abide by the ethics agreement she entered into and her failure to abide by regulations regarding maintaining email.

    Saying the FEC has not yet rendered a finding is rather absurd one day after the complaint was filed. Of course they would not have rendered a finding yet. What is significant is that we have the evidence, just recently revealed, that her campaign paid for this report while both failing to report this campaign expense and lying about her campaign’s role in funding it. This story has nothing to do with covering anything up for Republicans–but it does show once again that the evidence you base your hysteria upon is faulty.

    Yes, parts of the report have been verified. So what? Other parts were found to be untrue and the validity of other parts could not be verified. It is commonplace in a political hit piece to include some truth while making up other things.

    It is not know whether the information released by Wikileaks was a hack or a leak, and if a hack it is not known for certain who the hack was by. There is evidence claimed both that it was a hack and disputing the claims of a hack.

  7. 7
    Bob says:

    The 17 US intelligence agencies are more convincing than any subsequent speculation:

    http://www.npr.org/2017/01/05/508355408/intelligence-chiefs-stand-more-resolutely-behind-finding-of-russia-election-hack

    We now also know the Trump campaign was in contact with Julian Assange and Wikileaks, who released the hacked emails:

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/25/politics/cambridge-analytica-julian-assange-wikileaks-clinton-emails/

  8. 8
    Bob says:

    The Uranium 1 deal is a load of nonsense based on a right wing propaganda book. According to Snopes:

    “Clinton was one of nine cabinet members and department heads that sit on the CFIUS, and the secretary of the treasury is its chairperson. CFIUS members are collectively charged with evaluating the transaction for potential national security issues, then turning their findings over to the president. By law, the committee can’t veto a transaction; only the president can. According to The New York Times, Clinton may not have even directly participated in the Uranium One decision. Then-Assistant Secretary of State Jose Fernandez, whose job it was to represent the State Dept. on CFIUS, said Clinton herself “never intervened” in committee matters.”

    https://www.snopes.com/hillary-clinton-uranium-russia-deal/

    You either are willing to believe anything bad about Hillary Clinton or are intentionally misleading people.

  9. 9
    Ron Chusid says:

    The claim of seventeen intelligence agencies saying this has been retracted as false.

  10. 10
    Ron Chusid says:

    This isn’t even about what I actually said about Clinton. My statement was confirmed once again in information just released per my recent post.

    It is you who are willing to believe anything to conform your political biases and are being intentionally misleading. My actual statements–as opposed to how you distort them–have been verified.

  11. 11
    Ron Chusid says:

    What I said about the subject is based upon a report from The Hill. It has nothing to do with right wing sources. You totally discredit yourself when you resort to such tactics as claiming that legitimate reports, based upon FBI reports, is “based upon a right wing propaganda book.”

    You can’t tell the difference between The Hill and FBI reports and right wing propaganda? Again, it is you who are willing to believe anything and are clearly trying to be misleading.

  12. 12
    Bob says:

    It is blatantly false the intelligence report has been retracted as false. Maybe you’ve been confused by Mike Pompeo:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/cia-director-distorts-intelligence-communitys-findings-on-russian-interference/2017/10/19/d7f8e05e-b4ed-11e7-9e58-e6288544af98_story.html?utm_term=.55933753a86c

    You’ve confirmed your own writing in a new post? Please explain how that would make you more accurate.

    Your accusations about me make no sense. Try a little harder.

  13. 13
    Ron Chusid says:

    Again you totally twisted what I said–again proving that what I said about you is true. As I said, a recent post has documentation from FBI reports as reported by The Hill verifying what I said.

    Yes, the statement re seventeen intelligence agencies has been retracted.

  14. 14
    Ron Chusid says:

    Seriously, do you have some issues with reading comprehension?

  15. 15
    Nick says:

    You sure keep moving those goal posts Bobbie. Ron's accusations about you make total sense and are right on target.

    No Ron, Bobbie doesn't have a problem with reading. He is just a plain old troll who knows what he is doing as wastes everyones time making it harder for good people like you to dig out the facts. Keep up the good work.

  16. 16
    Ron Chusid says:

    You are probably right that he is just trolling considering the degree to which he does repeatedly distort what was said and, as you put it, move the goal posts.

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