The rabbit hole just got deeper.
As a reminder, FusionGPS is the company behind the Fake Trump Russia Dossier. The hit piece. And now it looks like they weren’t content just to produce a big pile of lies, they also paid for it’s distribution.
Here are more details, from the Washington Examiner:
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 has asked the court to issue a restraining order against the House committee, which is demanding documents from the company that, among other things, explain the payments it made to reporters. Most of the documents sought are banking records.
One of the documents filed by the company this week was an affidavit from one of Fusion GPS’s co-founders, Peter Fritsch. That affidavit said, in part, “[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 numbered “requests” correspond to a list of payments made by Fusion GPS being examined by the committee, which was also among the documents filed Tuesday, although the list was heavily redacted.
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.”
Levy also dismissed the Republican idea that these payments were somehow aimed at or otherwise used to help get anti-Trump stories written by the press.