Democrats have gone silent on the Trump dossier in recent weeks, as Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have begun to find out more information about it.
FBI and Justice Department officials recently told House Intelligence Committee investigators that they could not verify any of the document’s assertions about collusion, according to a report, and not one Democrat has made a peep in response — in stark contrast with the past.
Breitbart News reached out to the offices of every Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee last Wednesday asking for a response and did not receive a single reply.
The dossier’s credibility was also called into question after the bombshell revelation that the Hillary Clinton campaign funded it, despite earlier denials. The admission came after the committee subpoenaed the bank records of Fusion GPS, the firm that produced the dossier.
Democrats first argued that it was normal opposition research — despite the fact that it was brought to the FBI and potentially used to justify surveillance and an investigation of the Trump campaign. They then argued that conservative media outlet Free Beacon paid for it too, although the outlet had stopped its funding before the dossier research was commissioned. Then they argued that it did not matter who paid for it, but whether the allegations contained in it were true.
The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), in his last interview on the dossier on November 15, argued that “a lot of it has turned out to be true.” However, he pointed only to allegations about Russian involvement and not to any Trump campaign collusion.
“The biggest thing that I think people need to realize about the dossier is that Christopher Steele discovered that the Russians were embarked on a broad effort to help the Trump campaign before our own intelligence agencies came to the same conclusion,” Schiff told the Wall Street Journal in an exclusive interview that appeared aimed at bolstering the dossier’s credibility after the Clinton revelation.
The report did not mention that the Clinton campaign was behind the funding of the dossier, only saying that “Democrats” paid Fusion GPS to conduct research on Trump.
Schiff was one of the House Democrats whose office did not respond to queries about whether the FBI or DOJ could verify any of the claims.
Some claims in the dossier have been debunked, such as the claim that Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen traveled to Prague to meet with Russians. Trump campaign adviser Carter Page also testified under oath this month that the claims about him in the dossier are false. He is also suing Yahoo News for publishing an unverified claim from the dossier.
It has also been revealed that, at the time Fusion GPS was working on the dossier, it was also working on a lobbying campaign for Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya — the same lawyer who requested a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. in June 2016 at Trump Tower. Fox News reported this month that Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson met with her before and after that meeting.
And the House Intelligence Committee plans to find out more about Fusion GPS and the dossier.
The committee has recently requested more financial records from Fusion GPS to find out who else may have funded the dossier and who Fusion GPS may have paid in connection with the dossier. The committee has found out that Fusion GPS paid three journalists who were known to report on relevant Russia-related issues and is requesting more information about those payments, according to recent court documents.
The committee is also waiting for the FBI and DOJ to hand over documents related to the dossier that it subpoenaed in August. Those documents could reveal whether the dossier was used to obtain surveillance warrants on Trump campaign members, was used to launch the FBI investigation on the Trump campaign, and whether the FBI ever paid for it, as some reports allege.
“Somewhere in the FBI is a big file that explains exactly what the FBI was putting forward to the court as justification to go ahead with the tapping of Carter Page or Paul Manafort,” WSJ columnist Kimberley Strassel told Fox News on November 14.
The FBI and DOJ have mostly resisted turning over the documents, only providing a portion after House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) demanded they do so. It is not entirely clear what the hold up is at the FBI and the Justice Department, but Republicans on the Intelligence Committee are looking to shake the rest loose sooner than later.
Strassel, who has reported extensively on the dossier in recent weeks, called it “one of history’s most outrageous political tricks” by the Clinton campaign.
“This is a document based on unnamed, anonymous Russian sources, apparently. They’re never been proven, a lot of them have been disproven,” she said on Fox News.
“We do a disservice when we even refer to it as a ‘Dossier,'” she said. “That gives it too much mystique. This is an oppo research document of lower quality than even oppo research documents.”