Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee agreed to pay $113,000 in fines to settle a Federal Election Commission investigation into the funding for the Steele dossier, The New York Times reports.
The settlement came in an FEC investigation into whether the Democrats violated campaign finance disclosure laws when they funded the infamous dossier alleging former President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia by former British spy Christopher Steele.
The Clinton campaign and the DNC hired the law firm Perkins Coie, which then hired the opposition research group Fusion GPS, which commissioned the dossier. But campaign spending disclosures said the money was for legal services, not opposition research.
Dan Backer of the Coolidge Reagan Foundation filed a complaint three years earlier accusing the Clinton campaign and the DNC of illegally hiding the funding for the oppo research effort.
DNC dismisses “silly” complaints:
Daniel Wessel, a spokesman for the DNC, dismissed the complaint.
“We settled aging and silly complaints from the 2016 election about ‘purpose descriptions’ in our F.E.C. report,” he told the Times.
Democrats refuted Backer’s claim that they inaccurately described the purpose of the spending, arguing that the research was related to legal services from the firm, including “in anticipation of litigation.”
Backer said that more should be done to hold the Democrats accountable.
“We’re thrilled to have caused some modicum of accountability against Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee,” he said. “It’s not enough and it should be more.”
Clinton’s campaign agreed to pay $8,000 and the DNC agreed to pay $105,000 to resolve the matter “expeditiously and to avoid further legal costs,” the FEC said in a letter to Backer.
Under the agreement, the Democrats did not concede that the payments violated campaign finance law but said they “will not further contest” the finding.
The FEC has not released its findings in the case but is expected to do so next month.