May 22, 2019 – Conservative group files suit to force FEC to rule on whether Clinton campaign, DNC broke law to get dossier
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is facing a lawsuit for its inaction on a complaint filed against Hillary Clinton‘s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
The right-leaning Coolidge Reagan Foundation filed a lawsuit — obtained exclusively by IJR — on Wednesday morning in the hopes of getting a ruling that would force the FEC to address the complaint it filed on August 1, 2018.
Its original complaint with the FEC requested an investigation into Hillary for America — the official name of Clinton’s campaign — and the DNC for their role in obtaining and financing the anti-Donald Trump dossier penned by former British spy Christopher Steele.
By law, if the FEC does not rule on a filed complaint within 120 days, the party that filed the complaint has the authority to sue the commission. Almost 300 days have passed since the Coolidge Reagan Foundation filed that original complaint, and nothing has happened.
The original FEC complaint alleged that Hillary for America and the DNC breached campaign finance law by issuing a false report with the intention of misleading the American people. The complaint notes that campaign expenditure forms show that the DNC and Hillary for America paid their mutual legal advisers at Perkins Coie, LLP for “legal services,” but the law firm turned around and paid Fusion GPS for the Steele dossier.
The Coolidge Reagan Foundation argues that Hillary for America and the DNC used Perkins Coie, LLP as a “strawman” organization to distance themselves from Fusion GPS and Steele and submitted a false FEC complaint in the process:
Steele compiled the dubious and largely unverifiable information he received from foreign sources of questionable credibility into a “dossier” concerning Trump. Steele provided the dossier, through [his employer] Orbis, Fusion GPS, and Perkins Coie, to [Hillary for America] and the DNC.”
December 3, 2018 – Judicial Watch sues for records of FBI meetings with Clinton-DNC law firm, Perkins Coie in 2016
“Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Justice seeking records of all meetings in 2016 between former FBI General Counsel James Baker and the Perkins Coie law firm. The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) reportedly paid Fusion GPS to create the “salacious and unverified” Clinton-DNC anti-Trump dossier.
The lawsuit cites a specific media report that FBI top lawyer Baker met with Perkins Coie lawyers to discuss allegations of collusion between Donald Trump and Russia. The meeting reportedly took place weeks before the 2016 election and before the FBI secured a controversial FISA spy warrant targeting then-candidate Trump’s campaign.
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the DOJ failed to respond to an October 9, 2018, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-02617)) seeking:
All records concerning any and all meetings between former FBI general counsel James Baker and one or more attorneys from Perkins Coie, the Democratic National Committee’s private law firm during 2016.
On October 4, 2018, Fox News reported that Baker told congressional investigators that Perkins Coie lawyer Michael Sussmann “initiated contact with him and provided documents and computer storage devices on Russian hacking.” The contact was made in late 2016 as federal investigators prepared a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
At the time, Perkins Coie had hired opposition research firm Fusion GPS to dig into President Trump’s background. Fusion GPS paid British ex-spy Christopher Steele to compile the anti-Trump dossier, memos from which were shared with the FBI in the summer of 2016.
The DNC and Clinton campaign’s funding of the unverified dossier was revealed in a memo from House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes which was disclosed publicly on February 2, 2018.
According to an October 24, 2017, report, Perkins Coie lawyer Marc E. Elias retained Fusion GPS in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and DNC: “The Clinton campaign and DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion GPS’s research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day.” Fusion GPS gave Steele’s dossier and other research documents to Elias.
“The real collusion scandal is the hand-in-hand effort by the Clinton campaign and the Obama DOJ/FBI to spy upon and destroy Donald J. Trump,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “The FBI, pulled by the troika of Comey/McCabe/Strzok, became an arm of the Clinton campaign. And our new lawsuit aims to get to the bottom of the massive scandal.” (Judicial Watch, 12/03/2018)
- Carter Page
- Christopher Steele
- Clinton campaign
- Clinton/DNC/Steele Dossier
- December 2018
- Department of Justice
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- FOIA lawsuit
- Fusion GPS
- Glenn Simpson
- House Intelligence Committee
- James Baker
- Judicial Watch
- Marc E. Elias
- Michael Sussmann
- Perkins Coie
- Russia collusion
- Russian hackers
October 15, 2018 – Carter Page files a defamation lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee and Perkins Coie, which commissioned the infamous Clinton/DNC/Steele dossier
Onetime Trump campaign aide Carter Page filed a defamation lawsuit Monday against the Democratic National Committee and a law firm that represented them.
The lawsuit, which was filed in a federal Oklahoma court against the DNC, Perkins Coie, and Perkins Coie partners Marc Elias and Michael Sussmann, is about obtaining “justice,” Page said.
“It goes beyond any damages or any financial aspects,” Page told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Monday night. “There have been so many lies as you are alluding to, and you look at the damage it did to our democratic systems and institutions of government back in 2016. I’m just trying to get some justice in terms of getting some disclosure.”
Elias represented Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, and hired Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on Trump. Fusion GPS is the same firm that commissioned former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele who authored the so-called “Trump dossier” that contained scandalous and unverified claims about President Trump’s ties to Russia and was used by the FBI to help obtain the authority to spy on Page.
According to the dossier, Page was the Trump campaign’s intermediary to Russia and proposed disclosing stolen DNC emails via WikiLeaks, among other claims. Page has vehemently denied the allegations about him in the dossier.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 10/15/2018)
October 13, 2018 – Ron Johnson demands records of FBI’s meeting with DNC attorney during campaign
“Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson is calling on FBI Director Christopher Wray to hand over documents related to a former FBI lawyer’s meeting during the 2016 campaign with an attorney that represented the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign.
The meeting was revealed during a congressional deposition that former FBI general counsel James Baker gave on Oct. 3. Baker told lawmakers that in September 2016 he met with Michael Sussmann, a partner at Perkins Coie.
As the lead law firm for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC, Perkins Coie hired opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which in turn hired Christopher Steele, the author of the infamous dossier alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.
Sources familiar with Baker’s testimony say he testified that Sussmann provided him with documents related to Russian hacking of Democrats. He also testified that the meeting was unusual.
Republican lawmakers have questioned why Baker was meeting with a top Democratic lawyer at a crucial point in the campaign. Baker was interviewed as part of an investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Russia probe, as well as the Steele dossier.
Johnson, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Reform Committee, is also asking Wray for FBI notes of interviews, known as 302s, conducted with Bruce Ohr, a Department of Justice official who met numerous times before and after the election with Steele. Ohr’s wife also worked for Fusion GPS while the firm was investigating President Donald Trump.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 10/13/2018)
October 3rd & 18th, 2018 – Transcripts of former top FBI lawyer details a belief Clinton should have been charged for her “alarming, appalling” mishandling of classified info
“[James] Baker served as the FBI’s general counsel when the bureau investigated the Trump campaign and Hillary Clinton’s use of an unauthorized private email server. During two days of testimony on Oct. 3 and Oct. 18, he told lawmakers that he believed even toward the end of the Clinton investigation that she should have been charged over her “alarming, appalling” mishandling of classified information.
He argued with others, including then-FBI Director James Comey, about the issue all the way toward the end of the investigation, but was ultimately persuaded that Clinton should be exonerated.
“My original belief … after having conducted the investigation and towards the end of it, then sitting down and reading a binder of her materials, I thought that it was alarming, appalling, whatever words I said, and argued with others about why they thought she shouldn’t be charged,” Baker told lawmakers.
As of October 2018, nearly two years after the Clinton probe concluded, Baker still believed that the conduct of the former secretary of state and her associates was “appalling” with regard to the handling of classified information.
(…) As general counsel, Baker advised senior FBI leaders on the legal aspects of key investigations and served as the liaison with the Department of Justice (DOJ). In testimony, he detailed a series of unusual steps he took in the Trump-Russia investigation, including serving as the conduit between Perkins Coie—the firm working for the Clinton 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC)—and the FBI.
Baker left his position as general counsel in early January 2018 and then resigned from the FBI in early May 2018.” (Read more: Epoch Times, 1/18/2019)
October 3, 2018: Transcripts reveal James Baker was personally involved in FISA warrant for Carter Page and confirms other irregularities
“A former top FBI lawyer acknowledged he was personally involved in the warrant application to surveil then-Trump campaign aide Carter Page and confirmed other “unusual” steps taken in the FBI’s Russia probe in 2016, during a closed-door congressional interview.
“I was aware of the [Russia] investigation,” James Baker told House investigators in October. Fox News has confirmed details of the transcript which is still under government review before its public release.
Baker said he was briefed on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant “as time went by” and recalled how he got involved early in the process. The warrant relied heavily on the unverified anti-Trump dossier, which was financed by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign via the law firm Perkins Coie.
“I don’t want to see it at the end, like when it is about to go to the director [for] certification, because then it is hard to make changes then,” Baker told House investigators when Republicans controlled the chamber. “So I wanted to see it when it was gelled enough but before it went through the process and before it went to the director. I wanted to see it and I wanted to read it because I knew it was sensitive.”
Fox News confirmed the Baker transcript also includes the following exchange with investigators regarding his involvement in the surveillance application:
Question: “So that is why you took the abnormal or unusual step in this particular situation because it was sensitive?”
Question: “So you actually got involved because you want to make sure that, what?”
August 29, 2018 – The day after Ohr’s testimony, congress seeks to question his wife
“Numerous congressional sources are telling SaraACarter.com that after Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr’s explosive closed-door testimony on Tuesday, lawmakers are gearing up to call his wife, Nellie Ohr, in for questioning regarding her work with the now-embattled research firm, Fusion GPS. Congress is also seeking access to Bruce Ohr’s text messages and emails with top FBI officials.”
(…) “Nellie Ohr, a Russia expert who was hired by Fusion GPS in 2016 to investigate the Trump campaign, received multiple large sum payments from the research firm, according to a U.S. official, with direct knowledge of the payments.
The payments from the DNC and Clinton campaign were made through the law firm Perkins Coie, which represented both clients. The research firm also hired former British spy Christopher Steele, who was friends with the Ohrs and who compiled the now infamous and unverified anti-Trump dossier. Steele was not only paid by Fusion GPS for his work but according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch, he was also being paid by the FBI from Jan. 1. 2016 to Nov. 1, 2016.
The U.S. official did not disclose the amount of money paid to Bruce Ohr’s wife through Simpson’s firm, but said it “was not chump change, that much I can say.” (Read more: Sarah Carter, 8/28/2018)
December 31, 2017 – Clinton’s resistance group, Onward Together, pockets millions from the DCCC
“The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which works to elect Democrats to the House of Representatives, disbursed millions of its funds to Hillary Clinton’s “resistance” group since late December 2017, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
The DCCC made the millions in payments to Onward Together, a nonprofit founded by Clinton following her loss to President Donald Trump, for its email lists. The payments from the DCCC to Onward Together began in December 2017. Since that time, the committee reported 25 transactions to Clinton’s group totaling slightly more than $3 million, the filings show. The most recent payments from the DCCC to the committee were made in February.
In addition to the DCCC, the Democratic National Committee pushed $1.65 million to Clinton’s group throughout 2018. The payments from the DNC, which were marked primarily as list acquisitions with one payment going towards direct mail, stopped in late October of last year.
Clinton launched Onward Together to allow her to be a “part of the resistance” against Trump and Republicans following the 2016 elections. The group was incorporated in April 2017 by Marc Elias, a partner at the Washington, D.C., office of the Perkins Coie law firm, who is involved with a number of Democratic politicians and party efforts. Elias acted as Clinton’s top lawyer during her failed 2016 run and is now aiding Sen. Kamala Harris’s (D., Calif.) presidential campaign.
Onward Together was established to push money to other resistance groups and to assist them with strategic leadership, guidance, and exposure. The group is registered as a 501(c)4 nonprofit, or a “social welfare” organization, and does not disclose its donors.” (Read more: The Washington Free Beacon, 5/22/2019)
November 1, 2017 – Clinton defends campaign funding for Steele dossier
“Hillary Clinton on Wednesday defended her campaign lawyer’s decision to pay for research that showed up in a salacious dossier about Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.
In an interview on “The Daily Show,” Clinton also dismissed any parallels between her campaign’s use of opposition research and Russian election interference that may have benefited Trump.
“I think most serious people understand that,” Clinton said in a clip of an interview with host Trevor Noah that was to air later Wednesday night. “It was research that started (with) a Republican donor during the primary, and when Trump got the nomination for the Republican Party, the people doing it came to my campaign lawyer.”
Clinton defended the approach that her campaign lawyer, Marc Elias, took to the work of Fusion GPS, a research firm that compiled a dossier about Trump before recruiting former British spy Christopher Steele to conduct more research.” (Politico, 11/01/2017)
October 25, 2017 – Editorial: When Scandals Collide
By: Andrew McCarthy
(…) “we have learned finally, courtesy of the Washington Post, that Fusion GPS, the research firm that produced the notorious “Trump Dossier,” was funded by the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Of course, the Clinton campaign and the DNC always want layers of deniability and obfuscation – and let’s note that it has served them well – so they hire lawyers to do the icky stuff rather than doing it directly. Then, when the you-know-what hits the fan, outfits like Fusion GPS try to claim that they can’t share critical information with investigators because of (among other things) attorney-client confidentiality concerns.
Here, the Clinton campaign and the DNC retained the law firm of Perkins Coie; in turn, one of its partners, Marc E. Elias, retained Fusion GPS. We don’t know how much Fusion GPS was paid, but the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid $9.1 million to Perkins Coie during the 2016 campaign (i.e., between mid-2015 and late 2016).
In its capacity as attorney for the DNC, Perkins Coie – through another of its partners, Michael Sussman – is also the law firm that retained CrowdStrike, the cyber security outfit, upon learning in April 2016 that the DNC’s servers had been hacked.
A friend draws my attention to an intriguing coincidence.
Interesting: Despite the patent importance of the physical server system to the FBI and Intelligence-Community investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, the Bureau never examined the DNC servers. Evidently, the DNC declined to cooperate to that degree, and the Obama Justice Department decided not to issue a subpoena to demand that the servers be turned over (just like the Obama Justice Department decided not to issue subpoenas to demand the surrender of critical physical evidence in the Clinton e-mails investigation).
Instead, the conclusion that Russia is responsible for the invasion of the DNC servers rests on the forensic analysis conducted by CrowdStrike. Rather than do its own investigation, the FBI relied on a contractor retained by the DNC’s lawyers.” (Read more: National Review, 10/25/2017)