When the Hillary Clinton for President campaign did opposition research in 2016, it logged it in as “legal” expenses.
Now, six years after the failed 2016 campaign paid for lies to be promulgated against Donald Trump, linking him to Russians in what became known as the Steele Dossier, the Federal Election Commission has given the Clinton campaign a hand-slap fine of $8,000 for lying about the work the campaign was actually doing. The FEC also fined the Democratic National Committee $105,000 for categorizing the opposition research as legal work.
The work in the Steele Dossier was enough in 2016 for the politically motivated FBI to open up an investigation into the Trump campaign. The dossier contains explosive and salacious claims about Trump’s sexual preferences, and indicates the Russians were out to get Clinton.
The Steele Dossier was originally leaked by BuzzFeed, a gossip and click-bait website, in January 2017, and then reported by mainstream media across the country. The report was made up of raw claims and unsubstantiated intelligence compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British spy. Steele was contracted by Fusion GPS, and Fusion GPS was paid by the Hillary Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
There was also a link to Marc Elias, a partner at the Seattle-based Perkins Coie law firm who works on behalf of the Democratic Party. Elias actually hired Fusion GPS to do the work, which is how it came to be logged as “legal” work. The research tab was then picked up by Clinton and the DNC. Elias left Perkins Coie in 2021.
“What is being called the dossier was actually a series of single-source intelligence reports over a period of time, if you like, almost a running commentary on the election campaign and Russia’s perspective on it — and it comes from the Russian perspective of the telescope, if you like,” Steele told a reporter, in explaining the report. “The sources were Russian, they were reporting on how Russia saw it, and of course, that may in some cases be rather different than how it was viewed in America at the other end of the telescope.”
Former FBI director Robert Mueller was brought on as special counsel to investigate the origins of the dossier. In a 448-page report, he officially debunked the entire Steele Dossier and other non-dossier conspiracy charges that Democrats and the corporate media — from the Washington Post to every newspaper in America — had spun up against Trump in 2016.
In November, Department of Justice special counsel John Durham won an indictment against one of the main actors – a Russian spy — for lying to the FBI about sources he used in the conspiracy dossier.
According to that indictment, on July 31, 2016, the FBI, using the Steele Dossier as its shield, opened up an investigation it called “Crossfire Hurricane” to determine if the Trump campaign was coordinating with the Russian government. The investigation was exclusively based on the now-discredited opposition research produced by Clinton’s campaign law firm and a research group called Fusion GPS, all funded with millions of dollars from both the Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
The indictment against Russian operative Igor Danchenko described that Clinton’s campaign was fully responsible for the ginned-up lies against Trump:
“Earlier that year, a U.S.-based international law firm (“Law Firm-1”) acting as counsel to the Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign (the “Clinton Campaign” ), had retained a U.S.-based investigative firm (U.S. Investigative Firm – 1”) to conduct research on Trump and his associates. In or about June 2016 , (“U.S. Investigative Firm – 1)”, in turn , retained U.K. Person-1, a former officer in a friendly foreign intelligence service (“Foreign Intelligence Service – 1 ), and his U.K-.based firm to investigate Trump’s purported ties to Russia,” the grand jury charged.
“During the U.S. presidential election season and afterwards, U.K. Person-1 and employees of U.S. Investigative Firm -1 provided the Company Reports to multiple media outlets and to U.S. government personnel,” the grand jury indictment said