A Hillary Clinton-backed firm that allegedly commissioned the unverified intelligence dossier with allegations about President Donald Trump has tried to stall congressional investigators who are probing its connections to the Democratic Party, according to New York Post.
The Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS, which, congressional sources say, is an opposition-research group for Democrats though it claims to be a "research and strategic intelligence firm," refused to answer questions by the Senate Judiciary Committee or provide records about the financing of the dossier, the Post reports.
The panel has, for that reason, earlier considered subpoenaing the firm.
The dossier, written by former British MI6 intelligence officer Christopher Steele, made allegations of misconduct and collusion between Trump and his campaign and the Russian government during and before the U.S. presidential election.
"These weren't mercenaries or hired guns," a congressional source was quoted as saying. "These guys had a vested personal and ideological interest in smearing Trump and boosting Hillary's chances of winning the White House."
The 35-page dossier claims that Russia has some damaging information about Trump which could be used for purposes of blackmail to get the U.S. President to cooperate with the Russian government.
Fusion GPS says it "provides premium research, strategic intelligence, and due diligence services to corporations, law firms, and investors worldwide," and adds, "We offer a cross-disciplinary approach with expertise in media, politics, regulation, national security, and global markets."
It claims it was founded by "three former Wall Street Journal investigative reporters."
The Post says Fusion GPS was on the payroll of an unidentified Democratic ally of Clinton when it hired Steele for the dossier.
Daily Mail says it has found that the firm had done work to advance President Barack Obama's presidential campaign in 2012, "by digging up dirt on a principle donor who was assisting the Democrat's rival, Mitt Romney."
The Post adds that "Democrat ally Planned Parenthood retained Fusion GPS to investigate pro-life activists protesting the abortion group" in 2015.
Fusion GPS co-founder and partner Peter R. Fritsch contributed at least $1,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund and the Hillary For America campaign, Federal Election Commission data show.