When Fusion GPS speaks, newsrooms, Democrats, and prosecutors listen.
What is known about the Fusion GPS role in stoking and implementing an attempted takedown of candidate and ultimately president Trump is one of the greatest political scandals in memory. But it’s a story that only partially has been told.
We now know that Russian-Collusion-mania had as its source-fuel Fusion GPS opposition research funded by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. The culmination of that effort was the so-called Steele dossier, which was used to obtain FISA court warrants to surveil Carter Page, and by extension, likely other members of the Trump campaign and transition team both in real time and historically.
What is less known, but almost certain, is how Fusion GPS pushed Russia conspiracy stories through its close relationship with reporters, and likely continues to do so. Fusion GPS not only was tight with reporters, it was tight with DOJ officials involved in pushing the Russia conspiracy narrative.
Manipulating the political process and media on Russia was Act I, playing out in the Mueller investigation.
Act II, as I’ve previously written, is the SDNY investigation of Michael Cohen on a referral from Mueller. That Act II, even more so than Act I, is a more direct attack on Trump’s business dealings and history than Mueller could justify keeping under his jurisdiction.
That Act II starring Michael Cohen is an attack on Trump is suggested by none other than the co-founders of Fusion GPS, Peter Fritsch and Glenn R. Simpson, in an Op-Ed in the house organ of the Resistance, the NY Times, The Business Deals That Could Imperil Trump
Put aside Russian collusion for a moment. Press pause on possible presidential obstruction of justice. Forget Stormy Daniels. The most significant recent development involving the president may be that the special counsel, Robert Mueller, has subpoenaed Trump Organization business records as part of his inquiry into Russian interference in the presidential election.
Those documents — and records recently seized by the F.B.I. from the president’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen — might answer a question raised by the president’s critics: Have certain real estate investors used Trump-branded properties to launder the proceeds of criminal activity around the world?
Right up front they posit an ulterior motive for the prosecution, and a willingness to circulate rumors of criminality much like they circulated rumors of Russian collusion.
They continue to put forth their suspicions, while admitting they have no hard evidence (emphasis added):
We pored over Donald Trump’s business records for well over a year, at least those records you can get without a badge or a subpoena. We also hired a former British intelligence official, Christopher Steele, to look into Mr. Trump’s possible ties to Russia. In that 2015-2016 investigation, sponsored first by a Republican client and then by Democrats, we found strong indications that companies affiliated with Mr. Trump, then a presidential candidate, might have been entangled in foreign corruption.
A string of bankruptcies in the 1990s and 2000s may have left Mr. Trump’s companies largely unable to tap traditional sources of financing. That could have forced him to look elsewhere for financing and partners at a time when money was pouring out of the former Soviet Union.
Indeed, from New York to Florida, Panama to Azerbaijan, we found that Trump projects have relied heavily on foreign cash — including from wealthy individuals from Russia and elsewhere with questionable, and even criminal, backgrounds. We saw money traveling through offshore shell companies, entities often used to obscure ownership. Many news organizations have since dug deeply into the Trump Organization’s projects and come away with similar findings.
This reporting has not uncovered conclusive evidence that the Trump Organization or its principals knowingly abetted criminal activity. And it’s not reasonable to expect the company to keep track of every condo buyer in a Trump-branded building. But Mr. Trump’s company routinely teamed up with individuals whose backgrounds should have raised red flags.
There you have it. The media narrative for the coming year is set.
Russian collusion as a political strategy is failing, so now it’s Trump Organization money laundering and fraternizing with criminal elements. Proof to follow, maybe.
You should listen to what Peter Fritsch and Glenn R. Simpson are saying. They have signaled the future of media coverage, Democratic attacks, and prosecutorial focus.
Like E.F. Hutton in its classic commercials, when Fusion GPS speaks, newsrooms, Democrats, and prosecutors listen.
[Featured Image: EF Hutton Restaurant Commercial]DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.