Fusion GPS, House intelligence panel reach agreement on subpoena
Fusion GPS, the research firm behind the dossier containing allegations about President Donald Trump and Russia, its bank and the House intelligence committee have reached an agreement over the panel's subpoena of Fusion's financial records.Posted — Updated
The agreement comes amid revelations that Perkins Coie -- the law firm representing Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee -- and the conservative Washington Free Beacon separately paid the firm to conduct research on Trump.
In a statement Saturday, the House intelligence committee said the agreement "will secure the committee's access to the records necessary for its investigation," while a lawyer for Fusion GPS said "it helped the company honor its legal obligations and protect its First Amendment rights."
Fusion GPS asked the US District Court for the District of Columbia earlier this month to stop its bank from turning over financial records subpoenaed by the House intelligence committee as part of its investigation into Russia's attempts to influence last year's election, including allegations in the dossier of collusion by Trump's presidential campaign.
The firm argued in its court filing that the release of the financial records would reveal the names of its clients and therefore violate its and their First Amendment rights to free speech and free association. It also claimed the subpoena, authorized by intelligence committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a California Republican, was too broad.
The court has deemed the agreement reached by Fusion and the House intelligence committee confidential and sealed.
Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations of collusion with Russia during the campaign.
Perkins Coie acknowledged its hiring of Fusion GPS in April 2016 in a letter earlier this month. The law firm also asked Fusion GPS to release the names of others who funded the research that resulted in the dossier.
But a source familiar with the matter has told CNN that Clinton was unaware of the now-infamous dossier prior to Buzzfeed's publishing of the document earlier this year.
In closed-door meetings with congressional Russia investigators in recent weeks, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz denied knowing who funded Fusion's opposition research, three sources familiar with the matter told CNN this week.
The Washington Post was first to report news of the Clinton campaign and DNC's involvement with the dossier.
The Washington Free Beacon announced late Friday it had earlier hired Fusion GPS to do research on Trump and other Republican candidates during the presidential primaries -- but before the firm hired former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to do research that led to the dossier.
"The Free Beacon had no knowledge of or connection to the Steele dossier, did not pay for the dossier, and never had contact with, knowledge of, or provided payment for any work performed by Christopher Steele," a statement from the publication said.
CNN has previously reported that Fusion's research on Trump was first funded by Republican foes of Trump, and Democrats began paying the research firm later on, after he became the presumptive nominee.
Trump also asked who funded the dossier in a tweet on October 19. "Workers of firm involved with the discredited and Fake Dossier take the 5th. Who paid for it, Russia, the FBI or the Dems (or all)?" the President wrote.
When asked Wednesday if he knew who might have funded the dossier research during the Republican primaries, Trump said, "I have one name in mind" and added, "It will probably be revealed."
Trump also said of the revelations about the funding of the dossier: "I think it's a disgrace. It's just really -- it's a very sad -- it's a very sad commentary on politics in this country."
The dossier helped fuel the congressional and Justice Department investigations into Trump and Russia. CNN reported in February that investigators had been able to corroborate some information in the dossier, although not the most salacious allegations.
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