The Washington firm that commissioned the dubious intelligence dossier on President Donald Trump during the campaign is trying to delay the congressional probe about its alleged links to the Democratic Party.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has even threatened to subpoena the firm, Fusion GPS, after it declined to answer queries and furnish the panel with records identifying who financed the error-ridden dossier. The dossier was circulated during the election and has triggered in some ways the alleged Russian election interference controversy.
There is serious concern that the firm is hiding something. Fusion GPS describes itself as a “research and strategic intelligence firm” founded by “three former Wall Street Journal investigative reporters.” Congressional sources claim otherwise, saying Fusion GPS is actually an opposition-research group serving the Democrats. They also say that the firm’s founders are more political activists than journalists, and have a pro-Hillary, anti-Trump agenda.
A congressional source said: “These weren’t mercenaries or hired guns. These guys had a vested personal and ideological interest in smearing Trump and boosting Hillary’s chances of winning the White House.”
Fusion GPS has always been on the payroll of a still unidentified Democratic ally of Clinton. It hired a retired British spy Christopher Steele to dig dirt on Trump but who came out with an outrageous dossier that was error-ridden. In 2012, Democrats also hired Fusion GPS to find dirt as well on GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. In 2015, Planned Parenthood, a close ally of Democrats, also hired Fusion GPS to probe pro-life activists protesting the abortion group. More aggravating for the firm are the federal records that show a key co-founder and partner in the firm was a Hillary Clinton donor and supporter of her presidential campaign.
According to Federal Election Commission data, Fusion GPS co-founder and partner Peter R. Fritsch contributed at least $1,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund and the Hillary for America campaign.
Various sources say Fusion GPS had its own interest, over and beyond those of its clients, in smearing the reputation of Trump and spreading negative gossip about him. Fritsch married into a family with Mexican business interests. His wife, Beatriz Garcia, in fact, worked in the past as an executive at Grupo Dina, a manufacturer of trucks and buses in Mexico City that benefits from NAFTA, which Trump has been vocal in opposing. Other partners have also links to Mexico and Clinton.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is strongly interested in finding out whether the FBI has wrongly and unjustly relied on the anti-Trump dossier and its author Steele to aid its espionage probe into the Trump campaign and its alleged ties to Russia, given the already established fact that the so-called dossier is full of errors and outrageous lies. Senate investigators are demanding to see records of communications between Fusion GPS and the FBI and the Department of Justice under former Attorney General Loretta Lynch for this purpose.