Democrats agree to pay $113,000 for campaign expenses
Commission documents say Perkins Coie — where then-partner Marc Elias represented the Clinton campaign — paid Fusion GPS just over $1 million in 2016, and the law firm was in turn paid $175,000 by the campaign and about $850,000 by the party over six weeks in July and August 2016. Campaign Expenses Disclosure Reports described most of those payments to Perkins Coie as having been for “legal services” and “legal and compliance advice”.
The Washington Examiner reported earlier on the commission’s letter to Mr Backer.
The Steele Dossier was a set of reports written by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent whose research firm was a subcontractor that Fusion GPS hired to investigate Mr. Trump’s alleged ties to Russia. The reports cite unnamed sources who claimed there was a “well-developed coordination conspiracy” between the Trump campaign and Russia and that Russia had a blackmail tape of Mr. Trump with prostitutes.
In addition to giving his reports to Perkins Coie, Mr. Steele shared some of them with the FBI and reporters. The FBI – which had opened its investigation into Russia’s election interference operation and its ties to the Trump campaign on other grounds – used part of the dossier in wiretap requests from an associate of Trump. BuzzFeed published the dossier in January 2017, heightening suspicions about Mr. Trump and Russia.
It became clear that the case’s supply was thin. No corroborating evidence has emerged in the years since to back up many of his claims, such as the alleged sex tape, and investigators have determined that a key allegation – that a lawyer for Mr Trump, Michael D Cohen, had met with Russian officials in Prague during the campaign – was wrong.
The main source of information in the case was Igor Danchenko, a researcher hired by Mr. Steele to solicit information about Mr. Trump and Russia from people he knew, including in Europe and Russia.
Mr. Danchenko told the FBI in 2017 that he believed the contents of the dossier were more conclusive than warranted. He described the blackmail tape story as speculation which he could not confirm; a key source called him without identifying himself, he said, adding that he guessed the identity of the source.
Last year, the Trump-era special counsel investigating the Russia probe, John H. Durham, indicted Mr. Danchenko for lying to the FBI about some of his sources.