October 30, 2017

Conservative News Site Hired Fusion GPS

But The Washington Free Beacon’s efforts had nothing to do with the phony Trump/Russia collusion story.

Fusion GPS is a Washington research firm founded and staffed by several ex-Wall Street Journal reporters. So when did the outfit responsible for the phony Trump/Russia collusion dossier paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC get started in the whole enterprise? Well, it turns out that The Washington Free Beacon originally hired the firm to do some research on “multiple candidates in the Republican presidential primary.”

The conservative news site was unapologetic for its methods, writing in a statement, “All of the work that Fusion GPS provided to the Free Beacon was based on public sources, and none of the work product that the Free Beacon received appears in the Steele dossier. The Free Beacon had no knowledge of or connection to the Steele dossier, did not pay for the dossier, and never had contact with, knowledge of, or provided payment for any work performed by Christopher Steele. Nor did we have any knowledge of the relationship between Fusion GPS and the Democratic National Committee, Perkins Coie, and the Clinton campaign.”

The Free Beacon is funded in part by billionaire GOP donor Paul Singer, which is no doubt why it was able to afford such expensive research. It ended the arrangement with Fusion GPS in April 2016, after which Fusion approached Clinton’s campaign and offered to continue its research on Donald Trump. Steele wasn’t hired until months later.

The news is significant in establishing a timeline, especially given the effort by The Washington Post to direct some attention in its Clinton scoop to the mysterious Republican client who originally hired Fusion GPS. But it doesn’t appear that the Free Beacon committed anything other than journalism. Fusion’s research at that time had nothing to do with Russia and the entire collusion narrative was the propaganda product of Team Clinton.

We’ll see if Fusion GPS has anything to add this week in House testimony beyond invoking the Fifth Amendment as its executives did last week.

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