According to Reuters sources, the same research firm behind the controversial Trump dossier also obtained damaging information on Hillary Clinton, which a Russian lawyer obtained and offered to Donald Trump Jr.
The New York Times tried to establish a connection between the Trumps and the Kremlin during the 2016 presidential election, alleging that a Russian lawyer met with Russian prosecutor general Yuri Y. Chaika months before taking a memo to Trump Tower to show the now-president’s son.
The lawyer, meanwhile, maintains that she wasn’t acting on the Kremlin’s behalf.
The New York Times reports:
Natalia V. Veselnitskaya arrived at a meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016 hoping to interest top Trump campaign officials in the contents of a memo she believed contained information damaging to the Democratic Party and, by extension, Hillary Clinton. The material was the fruit of her research as a private lawyer, she has repeatedly said, and any suggestion that she was acting at the Kremlin’s behest that day is anti-Russia “hysteria.”
Trump Jr. later told Fox New’s Sean Hannity that the meeting with the Russian lawyer was “a nothing” and “a wasted 20 minutes.” He called the memo “puffery.”
It turns out the same people who were responsible for wasting Trump Jr.’s time with puffery were also behind the infamous Trump dossier, which contained unconfirmed allegations against Donald Trump.
Fusion GPS’s business is a bit tough to describe. Most media sources settle with calling it a “research firm.”
The same political research firm that prepared a dossier on Trump campaign ties to Russia had unrelated information on Clinton Foundation donors that a Russian lawyer obtained and offered to President Donald Trump’s eldest son last year, three sources familiar with the matter said […]
The sources told Reuters that the negative information that Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya wanted to give to Republican Trump’s campaign at a June 2016 meeting in New York had been dug up by Fusion GPS in an unrelated investigation.
Trump’s congressional supporters have suggested that because Fusion also conducted research for lawyers representing a Russian firm in the unrelated matter, the dossier was part of a Russian campaign to help Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Trump backers call the 35-page report a “dodgy dossier” financed by Clinton supporters.
Why would Fusion GPS work to attack both candidates in the election?
The “research firm” is just a political smear campaign for hire. Trump Jr.’s assertion that the memo he received was nothing but “puffery” seems fitting considering it came from the same people who gave us the bogus lies of the Trump dossier.
In December, 2014, the sources said, Veselnitskaya, who then was involved in litigation pitting her Russian client against British-American financier William Browder, received a legal research memo reporting that the Ziff Brothers, two New York financiers allied with Browder, had made a large contribution to a Clinton charity.
The memo had been prepared by Fusion, which had been hired to conduct legal research on Browder by Baker and Hostetler law firm. The firm represented Russian businessman Denis Katsyv, who was engaged in disputes with Browder and U.S. prosecutors.
Glenn Simpson, one of Fusion GPS’ founders, met with Veselnitskaya about that litigation before and after her meeting with Trump Jr., Kushner and Manafort, according to a source familiar with the matter.
However, a source familiar with 10 hours of testimony Simpson gave the Senate Judiciary committee in August said he told investigators he did not know of Veselnitskaya’s Trump Tower meeting until reports of it appeared in the media.
The important part here is that Fusion GPS founders, including Glenn Simpson, met with Veselnitskaya both before and after her meeting with Trump Jr., presumably to let them know how the meeting went.