Hillary Clinton's campaign, DNC paid for research leading to Trump-Russia dossier

  • The opposition research firm that produced the Trump-Russia dossier was retained in April 2016 by a lawyer representing Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.
  • The revelation came amid a protracted back-and-forth between the firm, Fusion GPS, and the House Intelligence Committee.
  • A person familiar with the matter told the Post that neither the DNC nor the Clinton campaign knew that Fusion had been hired by Elias.

The opposition research firm that produced the Trump-Russia dossier was retained by a lawyer representing Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee, a source familiar with the matter told Business Insider on Tuesday.

"To aid in its representation of the Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, Perkins Coie retained Fusion GPS, entering into an engagement for research services that began in April 2016 and concluded before the election in early November," the person said.

The Washington Post first disclosed Perkins Coie's involvement on Tuesday night.

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Former British spy compiled dossier on Trump-Russia ties
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Former British spy compiled dossier on Trump-Russia ties
A man enters the building housing the offices of Orbis Business Intelligence where former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele works, in central London, Britain January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
A camera man stands outside the building housing the offices of Orbis Business Intelligence where former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele works, in central London, Britain January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
A police car drives past an address which has been linked by local media to former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who has been named as the author of an intelligence dossier on President-elect Donald Trump, in Wokingham, Britain, January 12, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
People stand outside the building housing the offices of Orbis Buiness Intelligence (C) where former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele works, in central London, Britain, January 12, 2016. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 12: Journalists gather outside the headquarters of Orbis Business Intelligence, the company run by former intelligence officer Christopher Steele, on January 12, 2017 in London, England. Mr Steele has been named as the man who compiled the intelligence dossier on US President-elect Donald Trump, alleging that Russian security forces have compromising recordings that could be used to blackmail him. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
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The revelation came amid a protracted back-and-forth between the firm, Fusion GPS, and the House Intelligence Committee, which has sought more information about who financed the dossier alleging ties between President Donald Trump's campaign team and Russia.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday that the Justice Department and FBI should "immediately release who paid for" the dossier.

The Clinton campaign and DNC lawyer, Marc Elias of Perkins Coie, retained Fusion in April 2016 and continued paying for the research through October, according to the Post. Former British spy Christopher Steele began writing the dossier in June 2016 and wrote his last memo in December.

It had been previously reported that Democrats took over funding for the opposition research from anti-Trump Republicans after Trump won the GOP nomination. The identity of the Republican funders is still unknown.

A person familiar with the matter told the Post that neither the DNC nor the Clinton campaign knew that Fusion had been hired by Elias, who the campaign reportedly paid $5.6 million in legal fees from June 2015 to December 2016.

It is unclear how much of that was for the opposition research. A Clinton campaign spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Hillary Clinton campaign contributions by city
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Hillary Clinton campaign contributions by city
Hillary Clinton (Reuters)

15. Denver, Colorado - $2.4M

14. Arlington, Virginia - $2.41M

13. Boston, Massachusetts - $2.72M

11. Bethesda, Maryland - $2.97M

11. Austin, Texas - $2.97M

10. Atlanta, Georgia - $3M

9. Dallas, Texas - $3.08M

8. Houston, Texas - $3.97M

7. Seattle, Washington - $4.36M

6. Brooklyn, New York - $5.36M

5. Chicago, Illinois - $6.4M

4. San Francisco, California - $9.96M

3. Los Angeles, California - $10.2M

2. Washington, D.C. - $14.3M

1. New York, New York - $30.8M

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Lawyers for Fusion argued in a late-night court filing that a subpoena from the House Intelligence Committee seeking all of the firm's bank records over more than two years is "overbroad" and would "irreparably damage" Fusion's business.

Fusion's lawyers argued that "compliance with the subpoena poses an existential threat to plaintiff's business" because it "will result in the disclosure of several thousand financial transactions and the revelation of Plaintiff's relationship with approximately 25 clients and approximately 30 contractors."

The court filing argued for a temporary restraining order and came several weeks after the House Intelligence Committee, chaired by Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, subpoenaed TD Bank for Fusion's records in an effort to determine who paid for the dossier.

Nunes stepped aside from the committee's Russia probe in April following his decision to brief Trump and the press on classified intelligence without telling his fellow committee members. He quickly began conducting his own investigation into "unmaskings" by the Obama administration and the credibility of the dossier.

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