Democrats Under Fire For Financing Anti-Trump Research

Hillary Clinton’s associates and Democratic National Committee operatives need to answer more questions about their funding of opposition research on Donald Trump during last year’s presidential campaign, according to a Republican lawmaker.

CBS News reported that Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is calling on the officials to return to Capitol Hill to provide additional testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee. The panel is trying to get more details about Democrats’ payments to Fusion GPS to uncover damaging information concerning Trump. Some of the research ended up in a dossier that former British spy Christopher Steele compiled. The document allegedly sheds light on the Trump campaign’s links to Russia, as well as scandalous details regarding the businessman’s association with prostitutes when he visited Moscow before becoming president.

The Democrats “absolutely need to be recalled” before the committee, Collins declared Sunday on “Face the Nation” on CBS. She explained: “It’s difficult to imagine that a campaign chairman, that the head of the DNC, would not know of an expenditure of this magnitude and significance. Perhaps there’s something more going on here, but certainly it’s worth additional questioning of those witnesses.”

The senator was responding to a story in The Washington Post which revealed that the Clinton campaign and the DNC gave money to Fusion GPS from April 2016 until shortly before the election. An unidentified anti-Trump Republican reportedly funded the research during the GOP primaries, but cut off the payments when the real-estate mogul secured the nomination. Lawmakers want to find out how much money each side provided to the company.

The Post learned from campaign-finance records that between June 2015 and December 2016, the Clinton campaign paid $5.6 million in legal fees to Perkins Cole. The law firm’s Marc E. Elias, who also represented the DNC, negotiated the contract with Fusion GPS.

Collins said the issue is part of the Intelligence Committee’s investigation of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. “We are having a very interesting hearing this week looking at the Russians’ use of social media to influence the elections and sow the seeds of dissension in our country,” she noted. While the panel has not yet found “definitive evidence of collusion,” there is “lots of evidence that the Russians were very active in trying to influence the election,” according to the senator.

Collins insisted she is committed to cooperating with the controversial commander-in-chief. “Donald Trump is our president,” she proclaimed. “My approach is to work with my fellow Republicans, with Democrats, with House members, and also with this administration. That’s the only way that we’re going to get things done in this Congress. It’s the only way that we can assure the American people that they can have some trust in government and that we’re working to better their lives.”

Collins pointed out that she is frequently at odds with Trump and congressional Republican leaders. The moderate lawmaker voted against legislation to replace Obamacare and dislikes the GOP’s tax-cut proposals. “I have not hesitated to disagree with the president, so I’m going to continue to do that,” she said. “I’ll work with the president and support his policies when I think he’s right, but I will not hesitate to oppose him when I think that he is misguided.”

Source: CBS News
Photo: YouTube, CBS News Screenshot

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