A federal court unsealed documents pertaining to Fusion GPS’s bank records this week, giving us new insight into the financial and research activities of the firm behind the infamous Trump/Russia dossier. The new documents not only show that the opposition research company was paid handsomely by a DNC-affiliated law firm in the weeks heading up to the election but that they were also paid well by a Russian-related bank interested in preventing the Magnitsky Act from becoming law. Even more troubling, the records reveal that Fusion GPS paid three journalists for their work, broaching the possibility that active American reporters were collecting a moonlight paycheck for anti-Trump research.
In total, the unsealed documents reveal 112 transactions involving Fusion GPS, though most of them have been redacted from public view. In the ones that have not been redacted, Fusion is seen accepting payments from the law firm Perkins Coie – the same firm that represented the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign. Between May and December of 2016, the law firm paid Fusion GPS a little more than a million dollars for their opposition research work. How much of that money was passed on to former British spy Christopher Steele is not revealed by the documents.
The law firm BakerHostetler was also paying Fusion GPS during this time period. The bank had hired Fusion to investigate London banker Bill Browder, who was one of the primary figures pushing Congress and the Obama administration to pass the Magnitsky Act, a sanctions law that the Kremlin remains strongly opposed to. This is pro-Kremlin work by any standard, and it is work that Fusion’s investigators collaborated with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya to complete. You’ll remember Veselnitskaya as the woman who met with Donald Trump Jr. and other Trump campaign associated last summer in what the media portrayed as a smoking gun of collusion.
If you don’t smell something fishy about all of this, you may need to get your sinuses checked. Fusion just happened to be involved in both pro-Kremlin work AND this ludicrous Trump/Russia dossier? They just happened to be working hand in hand with the same lawyer who showed up at Trump Tower. If this doesn’t scream setup, we don’t know what would.
The documents also reveal that the House Intelligence Committee is attempting to get records related to Fusion’s payments to “journalists who have reported on Russia issues relevant to its investigation.”
The thing about the journalists may be nothing…or it may be the most disturbing part of this entire release. It all depends on whether or not those journalists were simultaneously “reporting” on the Trump/Russia collusion story and feeding Fusion GPS information behind the scenes. This would represent a stunning conflict of interest and potentially – depending on which journalists we’re talking about – derail this entire conspiracy theory the Democrats have cooked up. We hope Congress can get to the bottom of all this sooner rather than later.