Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta met with the founder of the opposition research firm behind the Trump dossier just after the dirty document was published earlier this year, according to a new report in The New York Times.
The revelation is significant because Podesta, a longtime Democratic operative, recently told the Senate Intelligence Committee that he did not know who paid the research firm, Fusion GPS, to produce the dossier, which BuzzFeed published on Jan. 10.
An associate of Podesta’s told The Times that he met with Glenn Simpson, the founding partner of Fusion GPS, to compare notes about Russia’s meddling in the election.
Podesta’s associate told The Times that Simpson was considering whether his firm should continue its investigation of Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.
The Times report does not say whether Podesta and Simpson discussed the Clinton campaign’s involvement in the dossier project.
It was reported last month that Perkins Coie, the law firm that represented the Clinton campaign and DNC, hired Fusion GPS in April 2016 to investigate Trump. Fusion hired former British spy Christopher Steele that June to investigate Trump’s activities in Russia.
Perkins Coie paid Fusion GPS just over $1 million for its work on the project. Fusion paid Steele $168,000.
Nobody on the Clinton campaign has come forward to acknowledge that they knew about the dossier project prior to the salacious report being published. Hillary Clinton herself has said she did not know of Fusion’s involvement until it was reported this January. Campaign manager Robby Mook hinted in a recent interview that he was vaguely aware of an opposition research project and received briefings on some information about Trump. But he said that he did not know of Fusion’s and Steele’s involvement. (RELATED: Robby Mook Opens Up About The Trump Dossier)
Podesta testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee before it was publicly revealed that the Clinton campaign and DNC had hired Fusion GPS. In that interview, Podesta denied knowing anything about who paid for the investigation.
Podesta was joined in the interview by Marc Elias, his attorney and the general counsel for the Clinton campaign and DNC.
Elias, a partner at Perkins Coie, was directly involved in hiring Fusion GPS. But according to CNN, he did not acknowledge in the Senate interview that he was involved in paying Fusion.