DNC and Clinton Campaign Accept Steele Funding Fine | New policies
By JILL COLVIN, Associated Press
Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee agreed to pay $113,000 to settle a Federal Election Commission investigation into whether they violated the Campaign Finances Act by declaring in a manner mistaken the research expenditures that eventually became the infamous Steele dossier.
That’s according to documents sent Tuesday to the Coolidge Reagan Foundation, which filed an administrative lawsuit in 2018 accusing Democrats of misreporting payments made to a law firm during the 2016 campaign to hide the claims. expenses.
The Clinton campaign hired Perkins Coie, who then hired Fusion GPS, a research and intelligence firm, to conduct opposition research into Republican nominee Donald Trump‘s ties to Russia. But on FEC forms, the Clinton campaign categorized spending on legal services.
“By intentionally concealing their payments through Perkins Coie and failing to publicly disclose the true purpose of these payments,” the campaign and the DNC “were able to avoid publicly reporting on their legally required FEC disclosure forms that they were paying Merge GPS to conduct opposition research on Trump in an effort to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election,” the original complaint read.
The Clinton campaign and the DNC had argued that the payments were accurately described, but had agreed, according to the documents, to settle without conceding to avoid further legal costs.
The Clinton campaign agreed to a civil penalty of $8,000 and the DNC to $105,000, according to a pair of settlement agreements attached to the letter sent to the Coolidge Reagan Foundation.
The documents have not yet been made public, and FEC spokeswoman Judith Ingram said the FEC has 30 days after parties are notified of the enforcement matters to release them.
The Steele Dossier was a report compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele and funded by Democrats that included salacious allegations about Trump’s conduct in Russia and allegations about the Trump campaign‘s ties to Russia.
Documents showed the FBI invested significant resources in trying to corroborate the dossier and relied heavily on it to secure surveillance warrants for former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
But the dossier has been widely discredited since its publication, with key aspects of the material exposed as unsubstantiated and unproven rumors. A special counsel investigating the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation has accused one of Steele’s sources of lying to the FBI and accused a cybersecurity attorney who worked for Clinton’s campaign of lying. to the FBI in a 2016 meeting where he raised concerns about the Russia-based Alfa Bank.
Trump, who has spoken out against the dossier for years, released a statement celebrating the deal and once again calling the dossier a “hoax funded by the DNC and the Clinton campaign.”
Graham Wilson, the attorney representing both the campaign and the DNC, and the DNC did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The letter was first reported by the Washington Examiner.
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