Zero Hedge
0
All posts from Zero Hedge
Zero Hedge in Zero Hedge,

Intel Committee Demands Fusion GPS Bank Records; Suspects Journalists Paid To Spread "Russian Collusion" Claims

For nearly a year now we've all been inundated with 24x7 media coverage of the "Russian Collusion" narrative which suggests, among other things, that various members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russian operatives to obtain damaging information on Hillary Clinton and then used social media to spread that damaging information far and wide, thus causing Hillary's inevitable second failed bid for the White House.

That said, what if it wasn't the Trump administration, but rather the Hillary campaign and Democrats who were guilty of all the "Russian Collusion" crimes they've been screaming about for the better part of year now? 

Of course, we already know that it was Hillary's campaign and the DNC that paid for the Trump dossier (see: Hillary Clinton Lied, Paid For "Trump Dossier").  We also know that most of the sources listed in the dossier were based in Russia and include a "senior Kremlin official" as well as other "close associates of Vladimir Putin." 

Moreover, as CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell noted recently, it's highly likely that some portion of the funds paid to Perkins Coie by the DNC and Hillary campaign made it's way into the pockets of those "senior Kremlin officials" as compensation for their services.

In the dossier, Steele cites numerous anonymous sources, many of which work in the upper echelons of the Russian government.

 

The first two sources cited in the dossier’s first memo, dated June 20, 2016, are “a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure” and “a former top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin.”

 

A third source is referred to as “a senior Russian financial official.” Other sources in the dossier are described as “a senior Kremlin official” and sources close to Igor Sechin, the head of Russian oil giant Rosneft and a close associate of Vladimir Putin’s.

Now, according to a report from The Washington Times, Representative Devin Nunes, a California Republican and chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, seems to have reason to believe that Fusion GPS, and therefore Hillary and the DNC, may have paid journalists to spread the Russian collusion narrative which looks increasingly like nothing more than a cleverly crafted myth.

The role of reporters is taking on added importance in federal court battles over the infamous Russia dossier that leveled unverified charges of collusion against the Donald Trump campaign.

 

In U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Fusion GPS, the dossier’s financier via the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign money, is fighting a House committee chairman’s bid to find out if the opposition research firm paid journalists.

 

Rep. Devin Nunes, California Republican and chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, signed a subpoena to force a bank to turn over Fusion’s financial records. He wants to know who paid for the dossier, which was written in a series of 18 memos by former British spy Christopher Steele. He relied almost exclusively on unidentified Kremlin sources.

 

Fusion went to federal court to block the move, but the law firm Perkins Coie LLP, whose partner Marc E. Elias is the Clinton’s campaign’s general counsel, intervened. It filed a letter acknowledging it had paid Fusion for the dossier on behalf of Democrats. Fusion and Mr. Nunes then worked out an agreement on access to some of the firm’s financial records.

 

But the dispute heightened again Friday as Fusion renewed its request for a judge to block the subpoena because Mr. Nunes wants more information. The widened net includes the names of journalists and law firms that Fusion might have paid.

To our great 'shock', in court arguments Fusion did not deny making payments to journalists but simply cited First Amendment protection and confidentiality.

“It is contrived to substitute for the ridiculous notion that Intervenor [the House committee] can demand documents in an overbroad subpoena from a third party and not explain what it is looking for or why,” said a memorandum filed by Fusion’s law firm, Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, for U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan.

 

“And they are not pertinent, as they are not related to Russia or Donald Trump,” Fusion argues. “In attempting to justify the overbroad subpoena earlier, Intervenor could have, but of course did not, argue the relevance to its inquiry of any such payments.”

 

In the court battle with Mr. Nunes, Fusion has likened itself to a group of journalists with all associated rights. Its founders include former Wall Street Journal reporters Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch.

All of which again raises the very obvious question of why a Special Prosecutor was required to investigate the Trump campaign on nothing more than a series of rumors while no such Special Prosecutor seems to be necessary to investigate the Hillary campaign even after her own general counsel admitted to the same "crimes" of which Trump was accused?