Fusion GPS, the firm behind the Trump dossier, paid three unidentified journalists who reported on Russian collusion issues in the 2016 Presidential Campaign according to newly released court documents to the U.S. Court for the District of Columbia.
It is unknown why the journalists were paid being paid, but according to a Washington Examiner report, Fusion did not deny paying the journalists, but they affirm that the journalists were paid to do research for the company. Fusion states they often contract with journalists that have specialized skills in obtaining public information and journalists are not obligated to publish their findings or write articles for Fusion.
In a court filing, the House Intelligence Committee said the three journalists reported stories on “Russia issues relevant to [the committee’s] investigation.”
Marc Elias, a lawyer for the Hillary Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee, hired Fusion GPS to research the Trump dossier. The dossier, which contained allegations that the “Russian government collected compromising information about Trump and the Kremlin was engaged in an active effort to assist his campaign for president,” was reportedly provided to the FBI. In January 2017, only 10 days before Trump’s inauguration, the media began reporting the allegations in the dossier.
Now, Fusion GPS wants the court to issue a restraining order against the House Intelligence Committee. The committee is seeking documents such as bank records from Fusion which may explain the firm was paying journalists before and after the 2016 Presidential election.
Fusion GPS filed an affidavit earlier in the week and claim the payments to journalists were unrelated to President Trump and Russia. The affidavit states: “[The House Intelligence committee] has also demanded records related to transactions between Fusion GPS and certain journalists – i.e., Request Nos. 66, 68-69, 107-112. Those requested records involve transactions that are not pertinent to work related to Russia or Donald Trump.”
The payments are from a list from Fusion GPS under being scrutinized by the committee. The Washington Examiner reported that the list is heavily redacted.