Senator Susan Collins, no friend of Donald Trump, has called for Democrats associated with the Clinton campaign to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee to testify about what they know regarding the Trump dossier.
John Podesta, who was Clinton’s campaign chairman, and U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was the head of the Democratic National Committee at the time, as well as Elias “absolutely need to be recalled“ to testify,” Collins said in an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
”It’s difficult to imagine that a campaign chairman, that the head of the DNC would not know of an expenditure of this magnitude and significance,“ Collins said. ”But perhaps there’s something more going on here. But certainly, it’s worth additional questioning of those two witnesses. And the lawyer; absolutely, he more than anyone.”
It has been widely reported that supporters of Republican Jeb Bush, a primary opponent of Trump, initially paid for the firm’s research. Perkins Coie, Elias’ law firm, confirmed on Tuesday that it had hired Fusion GPS in April 2016.
The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative online publication backed by billionaire Republican megadonor Paul Singer, said on Friday it was the original funder of the Fusion GPS project to compile opposition research on multiple Republican presidential candidates, including Trump.
Known as the Steele dossier because it was compiled by former MI6 officer Christopher Steele, the document identified Russian businessmen and others who U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded are Russian intelligence officers or working on behalf of the Russian government.
Representative Trey Gowdy, a Republican who runs the House Oversight Committee, said in an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” that he was more interested in whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Department of Justice used the dossier in conducting their own probes.
”I don’t expect the (Democratic National Committee) to be objective,“ Gowdy said. ”Almost by definition, opposition research is not objective.
The effort to downplay the Clinton-Fusion GPS story is unremarkable except for the rank dishonesty of some media outlets.
This, from Business Insider, is particularly egregious:
It had been previously reported that Democrats took over funding for the opposition research from anti-Trump Republicans after Trump won the GOP nomination. On Friday, lawyers for The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative publication, told the House Intelligence Committee that the outlet originally funded the dossier’s production.
The Washington Free Beacon did not tell the House Intel Committee that they “originally funded the dossier’s production.” In fact, WFB made it absolutely clear that they had nothing to do with the dossier, Michael Steele, or the Russians. The oppo research they contracted for with Fusion was based entirely on “public sources,” not classified intelligence or information from Russian contacts.
But that’s the kind of dishonest reporting that’s been happening since the Clinton-Fusion story broke.
If Podesta and Debbie Wasserman Schultz continue to maintain ignorance of the production of the dossier, they will either be perjuring themselves or proving that they are the most clueless campaign officials in history. No one could mistake the dossier for anything except pure political dynamite. Calling both to testify again will be necessary to expose Democratic collusion with the Russians and put a stopper in Mueller’s witch hunt.