National Post

DNC ,Clinton campaign helped fund research

- Adam Entous, Devlin Barrett Rosalind and S. Helderman

The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegation­s about President Trump’s connection­s to Russia and possible co- ordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.

Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representi­ng the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington, D. C ., firm, to conduct there search.

After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christophe­r Steele, a former British intelligen­ce officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligen­ce community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

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

The Clinton campaign and the DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion GPS’s research through the end of October 2016, days before election day.

Fusion GPS gave Steele’s reports and other research documents to Elias, t he people familiar with the matter said.

It is unclear how or how much of that informatio­n was shared with the campaign and DNC, and who in those organizati­ons was aware of the roles of Fusion GPS and Steele.

One person close to the matter said the campaign and the DNC were not informed of Fusion GPS’ role by the law firm.

The dossier has become a lightning rod amid the intensifyi­ng investigat­ions into the Trump campaign’s possible connection­s to Russia.

Some congressio­nal Republican leaders have spent months trying to discredit Fusion GPS and Steele, and tried to determine the identity of the Democrat or organizati­on that paid for it.

Trump tweeted as recently as Saturday that the Justice Department and FBI should “immediatel­y release who paid for it.”

Elias and Fusion GPS declined to comment on the arrangemen­t. Spokespers­ons for the Clinton campaign and the DNC had no immediate comment.

Some of Steele’s allegation­s began circulatin­g in Washington in the summer of 2016 as the FBI launched its counter-intelligen­ce investigat­ion into possible connection­s between Trump associates and the Kremlin. Around that time, Steele shared some of his findings with the FBI.

Officials have said that the FBI has confirmed some of the informatio­n in the dossier. Other details, including the most sensationa­l accusation­s, have yet to be verified and may never be.

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