A nonprofit group partially funded by billionaire activist George Soros paid firms tied to Fusion GPS and dossier author Christopher Steele more than $3.8 million in 2017 to provide research and analysis to “government entities,” according to IRS filings.
The payments made by The Democracy Integrity Project are more than three times what the DNC and the Clinton campaign paid Fusion GPS and Steele during the 2016 presidential campaign to investigate Donald Trump’s possible ties to Russia.
Perkins Coie, the law firm that represented the DNC and Clinton campaign, paid $1 million to Fusion GPS in 2016 to investigate Trump. Fusion GPS in turn paid Steele, a former MI6 officer, nearly $170,000 for a project that resulted in the infamous Steele dossier.
Steele’s report, which alleged a “well-coordinated conspiracy” between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, has come under intense scrutiny in the wake of the special counsel’s findings in the 22-month Russia probe. Secret Empires: How th... Best Price: $9.41 Buy New $14.90 (as of 10:05 EST - Details)
Daniel J. Jones, a former staffer to California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein, founded TDIP on Jan. 31, 2017, seemingly to resume Democrats’ investigation of Trump’s possible links to Russia.
Jones operated what he called a “shadow media organization helping the government” to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election. He also told the FBI in March 2017 that he received funding from a group of between seven and 10 wealthy donors and that he planned to provide information to federal investigators, the press and lawmakers.
TDIP’s tax filing confirms some aspects of what has been reported about the group.
The group planned to work with a “network of experienced organizations and individuals” to gather information on foreign actors’ efforts to interfere in democratic elections around the world,” according to TDIP’s 2017 form 990, which is listed in a database maintained by ProPublica,
TDIP also says it provides “original, credible, and fact-based information” to a variety of organizations, including “government entities.”
The 990 form lists five separate independent contractors, including four that provided “research consulting,” and one law firm, Zuckerman Spaeder.
The group paid $3.3 million to Bean LLC., the holding company that controls Fusion GPS. Another $250,000 was paid to Walsingham Partners Ltd., a London-based firm owned by Steele and his partner, Christopher Burrows.
TDIP paid another London-based intelligence firm called Istok Associates Ltd. nearly $150,000, also for “research consulting.” The company has released investigative reports looking into whether Russia helped fund the Brexit campaign.
Nearly $130,000 was paid to Edward Austin Ltd., a London-based intelligence consultancy operated by Edward Baumgartner, a Fusion GPS contractor. Another $148,000 was paid to the law firm Zuckerman Spaeder, which has represented Fusion GPS in a variety of dossier-related legal matters.