The Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign helped pay for opposition research that resulted in the salacious intelligence dossier that contained allegations about Donald Trump's connections to Russian Federation, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.
The newspaper, citing people familiar with the matter, said a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC hired Fusion GPS, which in turn hired former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, whose research makes up the document. Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen is heavily featured in the dossier and appeared Tuesday before a closed hearing of the House Intelligence Committee.
"It was a group of opponents that got together, sick people, and they put that crap together".
Beyond that, Washington Post reporter Adam Entous clarified that there isn't any evidence so far that the actual dossier- or any reports authored by Steele- were shared with the Clinton campaign.
But despite the embarrassing allegations against Trump in the dossier, the Clinton campaign did not leak any details before the election. That Republican's identity is not yet known.
The Clinton campaign paid Perkins Coie $5.6million legal fees during the period of June 2015 to December 2016, according to campaign finance records, while the DNC paid $3.6million in "legal and compliance consulting", according to the Post. but it's unclear how much of that was related to Fusion GPS.
Washington Post reporters Tom Hamburger and Rosalind S. Helderman explain the story behind a controversial dossier on President Trump.
Multiple investigations have been launched into whether or not Trump or his campaign officials colluded with Russian officials to win the election.
If true, the report partly confirms a tweet posted by Trump last week that was considered an outrageous allegation at the time. The FBI and the Central Intelligence Agency have said with high confidence that the effort was aimed at hurting Clinton's candidacy and helping Trump.
Trump tweeted as recently as Saturday that the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation should "immediately release who paid for it". So while both sides paid Fusion GPS, Steele was only funded by Democrats. CNN's John Berman questioned the pursuit of opposition research rationale by noting how that was supposedly the same reason why Donald Trump Jr. met with various Russian officials previous year.
The dossier also includes salacious allegations of sex acts purportedly orchestrated and witnessed by Trump, aka the "pee tape", which is how some news outlets now describe the entire dossier.
"The point here is that it is deeply irresponsible for a president of the United States to even flirt with this sort of conspiracy talk", CNN's Chris Cillizza wrote.
The confirmation that the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign contributed funding that led to the dossier comes as Trump continues to train his fire on the explosive document, most recently tweeting, "Workers of firm involved with the discredited and Fake Dossier take the 5th".
"So Trump just accused the FBI, led by the FBI Director he appointed, of going rogue".
Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the firm in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC.