It wasn’t a Republican, per se, that funded the original Fusion GPS anti-Trump research project – it was a Conservative publication.
The Washington Free Beacon told the House Intelligence Committee on Friday that it had funded the project from late 2015 thru spring of 2016, after which the Democratic National Committee picked it up.
The Beacon said that it had paid for opposition research on several of the Republican candidates and Hillary Clinton, not just Donald Trump.
“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,” Editor in Chief Mathew Continetti and Chairman Michael Goldfarb posted Friday in a note to readers. “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 Beacon didn’t give a reason for stopping funding for the project in the spring, although it was likely due to Trump having secured the nomination in May. Once the Beacon withdrew, the DNC took it over and that’s when Christopher Steele and the infamous dossier were brought in.
The note to readers contained no apology, either for running opposition research on select Republicans nor failing to reveal that they had started the Fusion GPS project until Congressional subpoenas were sure to bring the fact to light.
“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,” the note reads.
The Free Beacon’s ownership has never been revealed, but it had previously been the non-profit Center for American Freedom whose original board included prominent never-Trumper, William Krystal.