The Democrats' collusion with Russia in the 2016 campaign

Kimberley Strassel:
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What if, all this time, Washington and the media have had the Russia collusion story backward? What if it wasn’t the Trump campaign playing footsie with the Vladimir Putin regime, but Democrats? The more we learn about Fusion, the more this seems a possibility.

We know Fusion is a for-hire political outfit, paid to dig up dirt on targets. This column first outed Fusion in 2012, detailing its efforts to tar a Mitt Romney donor. At the time Fusion insisted that the donor was “a legitimate subject of public records research.”

Mr. Grassley’s call for testimony has uncovered more such stories. Thor Halvorssen, a prominent human-rights activist, has submitted sworn testimony outlining a Fusion attempt to undercut his investigation of Venezuelan corruption. Mr. Halvorssen claims Fusion “devised smear campaigns, prepared dossiers containing false information,” and “carefully placed slanderous news items” to malign him and his activity.

William Browder, a banker who has worked to expose Mr. Putin’s crimes, testified to the Grassley committee on Thursday that he was the target of a similar campaign, saying that Fusion “spread false information” about him and his efforts. Fusion has admitted it was hired by a law firm representing a Russian company called Prevezon.
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Here’s a thought: What if it was the Democratic National Committee or Hillary Clinton’s campaign? What if that money flowed from a political entity on the left, to a private law firm, to Fusion, to a British spook, and then to Russian sources? Moreover, what if those Kremlin-tied sources already knew about this dirt-digging, tipped off by Mr. Akhmetshin? What if they specifically made up claims to dupe Mr. Steele, to trick him into writing this dossier?

Fusion GPS, in an email, said that it “did not spread false information about William Browder.” The firm said it is cooperating with Congress and that “the president and his allies are desperately trying to smear Fusion GPS because it investigated Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.”

If the Russian intention was to sow chaos in the American political system, few things could have been more effective than that dossier, which ramped up an FBI investigation and sparked congressional probes and a special counsel, deeply wounding the president. This is all to Mr. Putin’s benefit, and the question is whether Russia engineered it.
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The Russian collusion case against the Trump campaign is unraveling.  I first sensed it when Donald Trump, Jr. released his emails that lead to his meeting with the Russian lawyer who is tied to Fusion. I also sensed at that time that the Russian game was much broader than attacking Hillary Clinton.

They were trying to disrupt both sides and the Democrats have been complicit in pushing an agenda that meets the Russian goals of raising questions about the election and making it harder for the winner of the election to govern.

Congress or the special counsel should find out who was paying Fusion for its dirty work.

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