Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign is going to have to pay the piper for lying about their funding of the Christopher Steele discredited dossier. Clinton and her campaign are not alone, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) will have to pay a fine as well.
The Federal Election Commission has determined that the Clinton campaign and the DNC did not tell the truth about paying for the dossier that attempted to bring down then-candidate Donald Trump, according to the Washington Examiner report.
Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer, wrote the dossier which was given to the FBI and some media outlets just prior to the 2016 presidential election. In the dossier was information that Russia was supposed to have that would be embarrassing for Trump and some of his campaign workers.
According to the FEC, Clinton and the DNC did not follow the rules on how to acknowledge their spending but instead funneled money into opposition research with a company called Fusion GPS.
The Coolidge Reagan Foundation filed a complaint over three years ago and recently the FEC sent them a memo indicating that they have fined Hillary Clinton’s campaign treasurer $8,000 and they have fined the DNC’s treasurer $105,000.
Dan Becker brought the complaint on behalf of the foundation, which focuses on free speech and the First Amendment. He said, “This may well be the first time that Hillary Clinton — one of the most evidently corrupt politicians in American history — has actually been held legally accountable, and I’m proud to have forced the FEC to do their job for once.”
The crux of the issue is that both the DNC and the Clinton campaign said that their money went to legal services instead of opposition research. They sent the money to the Perkins Coie law firm but it ended up going to Fusion GPS for their information and the dossier. The campaign and the DNC paid a total of $1,024,407.97 for these purposes. $849,407.97 came from the DNC and $175,000 from the Clinton campaign. Together, this income became the catalyst for what was called the “Russia hoax.”
The Clinton campaign and the DNC said that they were just paying for “legal advice and services.” They noted that it was Perkins Coie that hired Fusion GPS. But, the FEC declared that the law on this was clear and there was, in fact, a violation.
The memo from the FEC said, “Solely for the purpose of settling this matter expeditiously and to avoid further legal costs, respondent[s] does not concede, but will not further contest the commission’s finding of probable cause to proceed.”
The news of this fine has come just after former President Trump sued Hillary Clinton and some other Democrats saying that they attempted to “rig” the election by falsely tying his campaign to Russia.
A lawyer from Trump’s office told the Examiner, “Hillary Clinton and her cronies willfully engaged in the greatest political fraud in history — destroying our nation’s faith in the electoral process, and it’s high time they were held accountable. I hope this is only the beginning.”
The primary researcher for Steele’s dossier was arrested in November after special counsel John Durham finished his probe. Ingor Danchenko was charged with five counts of making false statements to the FBI. He gave his research to Christopher Steele who compiled the dossier against Trump.
In the investigation performed by John Durham, he looked at the actions of a number of Clinton’s campaign staff. Clinton’s campaign lawyer, Michael Sussmann, shared information that allegedly showed how they used Russian-made phones near the Trump White House in a scheme to further tie Trump to Russian influence.
This ruling from the FEC should have an impact on the lawsuit that Trump is bringing against Clinton, too.