Wednesday's HOT MIC
At Senate Judiciary Committee hearings this week, witnesses are testifying that Fusion GPS, the organization behind the infamous "dodgy dossier," is "a highly paid smear-for-hire operation in violation of international laws."
In a must-read at The Federalist today, Mollie Hemingway details how the shady firm shilled for corrupt Russian and Venezuelan officials while hiding its foreign work from federal authorities.
Many in the media have focused on whether Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort would testify publicly at the hearing. Less well covered has been anything to do with Fusion GPS, the “commercial research and strategic intelligence firm” behind the discredited “Russian dossier” that made outrageous and salacious allegations against President Donald Trump. The title of the hearing gives a clue that this lack of media interest in Fusion GPS is misguided: “Oversight of the Foreign Agents Registration Act and Attempts to Influence U.S. Elections.”
Thor Halvorssen, the head of Human Rights Foundation, did not testify before the Judiciary Committee Wednesday, but he submitted statements for the record in regards to his experience with Fusion GPS. Halvorssen alleges in his testimony that Fusion GPS suppressed news stories about its corrupt client's activities by operating "a smear campaign" against journalists who threatened to expose it.
A key quote:
“Corrupt government officials in dictatorships would be powerless if they didn’t have cronies in the business world, and these cronies, in turn, would be useless allies without enablers like Fusion GPS, who are eager to whitewash and profit from their crimes,” Halvorssen said. “Fusion GPS isn’t an ‘opposition research’ or a crisis communications company. Fusion GPS is a group of highly paid smear experts who function as an accessory to the crimes committed by Derwick Associates.”
Democrats on the committee used "a parliamentary maneuver" to block testimony from Bill Browder, a key witness against Fusion GPS. He is expected to testify now on Thursday.
Here is the testimony Dems don't want you to see: