“Newly filed court documents confirm that Fusion GPS, the company mostly responsible for the controversial “Trump dossier” on presidential candidate Donald Trump, made payments to three journalists between June 2016 until February 2017.
The revelation could be a breakthrough for House Republicans, who are exploring whether Fusion GPS used the dossier, which was later criticized for having inaccurate information on Trump, to feed anti-Trump stories to the press during and after the presidential campaign. The three journalists who were paid by Fusion GPS are known to have reported on “Russia issues relevant to [the committee’s] investigation,” the House Intelligence Committee said in a court filing.
But the recipients’ names, the amounts, and purposes of those payments were either redacted from the documents that Fusion GPS filed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia or were not disclosed.”
(…) “Fusion GPS didn’t deny that some payments went to reporters, but argues that these payments were made to help the company with research.
“Fusion GPS is a research firm set up by former investigative journalists,” Fusion GPS’s lawyer, Josh Levy, said in a statement to the Washington Examiner. “As such, it sometimes works with contractors that have specialized skills seeking public information. Contractors are not permitted to publish any articles based on that work, and Fusion GPS does not pay journalists to write stories.”
(…) “But House Republicans still have their doubts. One of the documents filed by lawyers for the House Intelligence Committee said each of the three reporters who received payments had written about the Russia probe, which could indicate that reporters were using Fusion GPS’s work to write their stories.
“Additionally, the Committee seeks transactions related to three individual journalists, [names redacted], each of whom have reported on and/or been quoted in articles regarding topics related to the Committee’s investigation, some of which were published as recently as October 2017,” the committee wrote.
Additionally, a filing by lawyers for the House Intelligence Committee asserts that Fusion GPS “brokered meetings for dossier author Christopher Steele with at least five major media outlets in September 2016, including Yahoo news.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 11/21/2017) (Nunes Document, 10/20/2017)