Washington Free Beacon Confesses to Sponsoring Research Into Trump, Which Led to Dossier

The Washington Free Beacon has confessed to being the initial funder with Fusion GPS for research into President Donald Trump, which was then picked up by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

In the ongoing saga of the no-evidence investigation into collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, it has now been learned that the Washington Free Beacon has admitted that it was an initial funder of research into Donald Trump.

The Washington Examiner reports:

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Lawyers for the conservative publication Washington Free Beacon informed the House Intelligence Committee Friday that the organization was the original funder for the anti-Trump opposition research project with Fusion GPS.

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The Free Beacon funded the project from the fall of 2015 through the spring of 2016, whereupon it withdrew funding and the project was picked up by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Editor in Chief Matthew Continetti and Chairman Michael Goldfarb responded in a short response on Friday.

Since its launch in February of 2012, the Washington Free Beacon has retained third party firms to conduct research on many individuals and institutions of interest to us and our readers.

In that capacity, during the 2016 election cycle we retained Fusion GPS to provide research on multiple candidates in the Republican presidential primary, just as we retained other firms to assist in our research into Hillary Clinton.

All of the work that Fusion GPS provided to the Free Beacon was based on public sources, and none of the work product that the Free Beacon received appears in the Steele dossier.

The Free Beacon had no knowledge of or connection to the Steele dossier, did not pay for the dossier, and never had contact with, knowledge of, or provided payment for any work performed by Christopher Steele.

Nor did we have any knowledge of the relationship between Fusion GPS and the Democratic National Committee, Perkins Coie, and the Clinton campaign.

Representatives of the Free Beacon approached the House Intelligence Committee today and offered to answer what questions we can in their ongoing probe of Fusion GPS and the Steele dossier.

But to be clear: We stand by our reporting, and we do not apologize for our methods.

We consider it our duty to report verifiable information, not falsehoods or slander, and we believe that commitment has been well demonstrated by the quality of the journalism that we produce.

The First Amendment guarantees our right to engage in news-gathering as we see fit, and we intend to continue doing just that as we have since the day we launched this project.

Unlike the DNC, the Free Beacon was simply doing their homework as journalists, not as political hacks.  That is light years away from how Democrats used the infamous dossier and other non-substantiated claimed against President trump.  Once WFB knew the truth, they abandoned the funding.

One thing we do know is that the Free Beacon is funded in large part by Paul Singer, who openly supported constitutionally ineligible Marco Rubio (R-FL) for president in 2016.

According to the Examiner:

The Free Beacon was founded in 2012. Its founders included Michael Goldfarb, who has moved back and forth between conservative journalism, politics, and activism. The Free Beacon was originally part of a 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization called the Center for American Freedom, but in 2014 became a for-profit organization. It has never revealed its ownership.

Conservative billionaire Paul Singer, a major funder of the Free Beacon, strongly opposed Trump at the time of the opposition research project.

The Center for American Freedom’s original board of directors included William Kristol, the former editor of the Weekly Standard, a sister publication of the Washington Examiner and where both Goldfarb and Free Beacon editor Matthew Continetti worked. Kristol is one of the nation’s most prominent “Never Trump” activists and during the Republican primary campaign worked to recruit a candidate to challenge Trump for the GOP nomination.

Commentator J. E. Dyer correctly points out, “However it all shakes out, this appears to answer one outstanding question. The anti-Trump conservative reportedly behind the original opposition research — before the Steele contract was made in 2016; before the dossier was even started — could by process of deduction have been Paul Singer. The agent was the Washington Free Beacon, which was seeking, as a matter of standard journalistic practice, to know everything it could about the candidates it was covering.’

Personally, I’m thankful for a lot of reporting by the Free Beacon.  Just because someone invests money to investigate a person seeking the vote of the people and the Oval Office does not mean they are engaging in nefarious activities.  In a lot of cases, it simply means they were covering all their bases.

Still, Fusion GPS did attempt to hide its bank records in the Trump dossier probe while Hillary Clinton and the DNC sought to hide their funding of the Trump dossier from the FEC.

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