“The bottom line is everything that was in that dossier, all the accusations… It was stuff they were feeding into the press. The press was writing about it. They were promoting it out, and they were all in on it.” ~ Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA)
As Democrats in the House of Representatives loudly announce their intent to launch a wide-ranging probe into President Donald Trump for allegations he was involved in obstruction of justice, corruption, and abuse of power, Republican House members — armed with better information and arguably more proof of wrongdoing — are quietly completing their investigation into the Steele dossier.
Both Rep. Devin Nunes and Rep. Jim Jordan were on separate Sunday shows — Maria Bartiromo’s and Chuck Todd’s, respectively — and both were adamant that the investigation into the Clinton/DNC-funded dossier was far from over.
Nunes, in a moment many Republicans have waited patiently for, finally discussed the “chain of custody” of the dossier; which is to say, how it made its way through the State Department, the FBI, and the DOJ. And, perhaps most importantly, how and when it was leaked to the press.
“Cohen was great for Republicans, he was great for Donald Trump because we now know that the dossier was total bunk, there was no truth to it, and we know that because of the Cohen has testified now publicly that he wasn’t in Prague, and there was no truth to anything in the dossier,” Nunes told Bartiromo. “No collusion, no conspiracy, no obstruction. These are all issues that were essentially made –for your viewers, I think people forget, this was the DNC working with the Clinton campaign that produced this dirt and fed it into the FBI to start this investigation in the first place. It was totally debunked this week, and it will be debunked again next week.”
Nunes also discussed a list of 32 names that Republicans on the committee have requested the Democratic majority call to testify, including Clinton ally Sidney Blumenthal, Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, and Clinton 2016 campaign manager Robby Mook.
“This [dossier] was dirt that [Blumenthal] was feeding through friends and acquaintances that got into the State Department. The dossier came from different angles from all over the place into the FBI and DOJ.”
“Why would people in the Clinton campaign be tweeting out messages about [President] Trump’s involvement with Russia? It’s because they had the dossier,” Nunes said. “They were promoting this message, this dirt, out there in 2016, and we need to ask these Clinton campaign people where they got it from. Did they get it from Glenn Simpson and Fusion GPS, the dossier they were paying for, or did they get it from some Russian friends.”
Nunes goes on from there to tell Bartiromo that these uninterviewed players may, in fact, have been the ones colluding with Russians if the information they were receiving was from Russian individuals.
“These Clinton people could be the ones that were in bed with the Russians, for all we know. Or it could be total nonsense,” Nunes said.
Which makes it all the more awkwardly painful to watch Chuck Todd on Meet The Press continue to protect Hillary Clinton by bringing up the “Republican donor who began the whole thing.”
Todd mentioned the donor after Jordan reminded him of the players involved in the crafting of the dossier:
“Never forget what happened there,” Jordan added. “The Clinton campaign paid the law firm Perkins-Coie, who hired Fusion GPS, who hired a foreigner. And what did that foreigner do? He talked to a couple of Russians… to put this dossier together that our FBI used to get the warrant to spy on the Trump campaign.”
Todd, in a moment of transparent partisanship, briefly mentioned that mysterious donor — The Washington Free Beacon and their prime donor Paul Singer — who originally hired Fusion GPS to produce opposition research on several Republican candidates.
Fusion then took that research and expanded it into the Steele dossier once they were hired and paid by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. The Free Beacon stopped their research in May 2016. Hillary hired Fusion the month before, in April. Todd is saying that because Fusion used the research paid for by Singer, the Republicans somehow hold some responsibility for what the dossier ultimately became — a salacious, unverified mess that was leaked to the press and used to obtain illegal FISA warrants.
It’s a pitiful, 11th-hour, last-gasp of blame shifting. And it doesn’t sound like it’s going to work.
If we thought we were done with talk of collusion at the conclusion of the Mueller report, get ready for another go round. Only this time it could finally be Hillary and company who are investigated.