“In recently unsealed testimony to Congress, former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta acknowledged that both he and Hillary Clinton were aware that her campaign had purchase opposition research and was looking for dirt on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 election.
Podesta’s comments are the most direct acknowledgment about what Donald Trump’s opponent knew in real-time about the effort that ultimately became known as the Steele dossier.
In a second appearance before the House Intelligence Committee in December 2017, Podesta testified that Clinton likely didn’t know the names of the firm, Fusion GPS, and former British spy Christopher Steele who had conducted the research. But he said she and he were both cognizant of an opposition research effort to connect Trump to business dealings in Russia.
“I think she was — she knew that we had an — we had an opposition research staff in-house. We, the campaign, directly purchased some opposition research. And she knew I think in general terms that we were trying to figure out, which was not easy, what Mr. Trump’s financial relationships were, what his relationships might be to Russia and other former Soviet Union actors that, you know. But I don’t – I don’t think we – I mean, she wasn’t – you know, if I wasn’t, she certainly wasn’t sort of saying, ‘Who are your vendors?’ ”
(Timeline editor’s note: I am adding more clippings from Podesta’s testimony}: