Matt Bush, FISM News
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) fined both the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign for improperly describing expenditures to a law firm that were used to fund a smear campaign against political rival Donald Trump leading up to the 2016 election.
The campaign listed payments to Perkins Coie as being for legal expenses, but the money was instead used to help create the infamous and now discredited Trump-Russia dossier, better known as the Steele dossier. The Washington Examiner states that the amount paid to the law firm by the Clinton campaign was $175,000 while the DNC paid an additional $849,407.97 for a total of over $1 million which covered opposition research done by Perkins Coie’s contractor Fusion GPS.
The Coolidge Reagan Foundation filed a complaint to the FEC regarding the payments over three years ago. On Tuesday the organization received a reply stating that “the Commission found probable cause” that both the DNC and Hillary Clinton violated multiple voting laws. In response, the DNC was fined $105,000 while the Clinton campaign was fined an additional $8,000 for their roles in the controversy.
The dossier was leaked in January 2017 just days before Trump took office, attempting to show that Trump had conspired with the Kremlin to win the 2016 election and that Russia in turn had compromising information about him that would affect his ability to lead the nation. After five years, though, the dossier has been proven false, with even liberal outlets confirming the illegitimacy of its claims.
A CNN article written in November says, “A series of investigations and lawsuits have discredited many of [the dossier’s] central allegations and exposed the unreliability of Steele’s sources. They also raise serious questions about the political underpinnings of some key explosive claims about Trump by shedding new light on the involvement of some well-connected Democrats in the dossier, and separate efforts to prod the FBI to investigate ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia.”
The FEC fine is the latest evidence that the Steele dossier was a planned campaign, paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign, with the intention to hurt the reputation and political career of Donald Trump.
After the FEC ruling, Backer, who initiated the complaint, said, “This may well be the first time that Hillary Clinton—evidently one of the most corrupt politicians in American history—has actually been held legally accountable, and I’m proud to see the FEC do its job for once.”
For their part, neither the DNC nor the Clinton Campaign have admitted wrongdoing in the case. In fact, DNC spokesman Dan Wessel said in a statement, “We settled aging and silly complaints from the 2016 election about ‘purpose descriptions’ in our F.E.C. report.”
The FEC confirmed that both Clinton and the DNC “does not concede [to wrongdoing], but will not further contest the commission’s finding of probable cause to proceed.”
This is not the only legal issue that Clinton and her allies are facing over their involvement in the Steele dossier. Donald Trump also recently brought a lawsuit against the former presidential candidate and 47 other entities. His lawsuit states that, “Acting in concert, the Defendants maliciously conspired to weave a false narrative that their Republican opponent, Donald J. Trump, was colluding with a hostile foreign sovereignty.”