Congressman wants to know if Fusion paid reporters to spread Russian collusion story

Washington Times:
The role of reporters is taking on added importance in federal court battles over the infamous Russia dossier that leveled unverified charges of collusion against the Donald Trump campaign.

In U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Fusion GPS, the dossier’s financier via the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign money, is fighting a House committee chairman’s bid to find out if the opposition research firm paid journalists.

In U.S. District Court in Florida, a self-described dossier victim wants a judge to order the news website BuzzFeed, which published the dossier in full, to disclose who gave it to them.

The cases underscore how a Moscow-sourced memorandum created as opposition research against Donald Trump in the presidential campaign last year often dictates the debate about politics and reporters’ rights in Washington.

But the dispute heightened again Friday as Fusion renewed its request for a judge to block the subpoena because Mr. Nunes wants more information. The widened net includes the names of journalists and law firms that Fusion might have paid.

On the demand for information on any payments to journalists, Fusion cited First Amendment protection and confidentiality. It did not deny it had paid journalists.

“And they are not pertinent, as they are not related to Russia or Donald Trump,” Fusion argues. “In attempting to justify the overbroad subpoena earlier, Intervenor could have, but of course did not, argue the relevance to its inquiry of any such payments.”
While it may be possible that reporters were paid to talk about the dossier, I suspect that most of them were so eager to do anything they could to hurt President Trump that the would do it for free or even pay for the information themselves.

That being said, I still do not see any good reason to block the subpoena.  There are other people who claim to be victims of the dossier and they also have a right to find out who was behind its distribution and any funds that might have changed hands in the process.

Sen. Lindsay Graham is also calling for a special counsel to investigate the Democrats and their ties to Fusion GPS as well as the Uranium One deal.


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