This week Donald Trump, his remaining Republican allies in Congress, and his sycophants in the media have all insisted that the Trump Russia dossier is illegitimate because it was funded by allies of Hillary Clinton. Now the truth has come out: the dossier was in fact originally funded by a conservative news site during the Republican primary race, with the intention of costing Trump the Republican Party nomination.
The conservative Washington Free Beacon admitted to Congress today that it originally hired Fusion GPS during the primary to do opposition research on Donald Trump and some other unnamed Republican presidential candidates (link). It appears the Free Beacon was trying to harm Trump and other GOP candidates it didn’t favor, presumably in order to help its preferred GOP candidate, though that candidate is not named. In turn, Fusion GPS hired former MI6 agent Christopher Steele to conduct the field research, and he amassed the dossier as a summary of what he uncovered.
The Free Beacon ceased funding the Trump-Russia dossier in the spring of 2016, right around the time it was becoming clear that Donald Trump was in fact going to be the Republican nominee. At a later date, allies of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee did provide funding so that the research could continue. But this sequence of events serves to underline that opposition research, if it’s independently verified as being true, is legitimate no matter who originally paid for the research to be conducted.
In any case, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is not relying on the Trump-Russia dossier as the basis for his investigation. Instead he’s independently tracking down some of the real world sources that the dossier relied on, and he’s working to independently verify those claims. Trump’s attempt at pinning the dossier on Hillary has not only failed, it’s unwittingly brought about confirmation of the conservative site that funded the dossier to begin with.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report