Federal Election Commission fines Hillary campaign, DNC for Russiagate hoax

Six years later, the federal government is finally making the Hillary Clinton campaign pay for the Russiagate hoax.

The Federal Election Commission fined Clinton and the Democratic National Committee for violating rules on describing their expenditures in pursuing the opposition research document that would eventually become known as the Steele dossier, the Washington Examiner reported Wednesday.

That document, originally published in January of 2017 by BuzzFeed News, claimed there was evidence of collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia. The allegations all remain uncorroborated.

The fines were levied because the treasurers of both the DNC and Clinton campaign paid $1,024,407.97 to law firm Perkins Coie for the opposition research document, claiming all of it was for legal services.

“Instead, the DNC’s $849,407.97 and the Clinton campaign’s $175,000 covered Fusion GPS’s opposition research on the dossier, a basis for the so-called ‘Russia hoax’ that dogged Trump’s first term,” the Examiner reported.

In a Tuesday memo to the Coolidge Reagan Foundation — which filed a complaint about campaign spending on the hoax dossier three years ago — the FEC said the DNC and Clinton campaign both maintained they didn’t violate the rules because it was actually law firm Perkins Coie who engaged opposition research group Fusion GPS to assemble the dossier.

However, in the memo, the FEC said they found “probable cause” to believe both violated the government’s strict rules on classifying campaign spending.

“Solely for the purpose of settling this matter expeditiously and to avoid further legal costs, Respondent[s] does not concede, but will not further contest the commission’s finding of probable cause to” proceed with the investigation, the FEC said in the memo.

In an agreement reached in February, the treasurer for the Clinton campaign was fined $8,000 and the treasurer of the DNC $105,000. The memo will officially be made public next month.

The Examiner noted that “Clinton has in the past defended her campaign’s spending for the information and the work of her campaign lawyer, Marc Elias, with Fusion GPS, which compiled the dossier and hired former British spy Christopher Steele to dig further on Trump.”

However, the FBI has publicly stated it was a fraud.

“This may well be the first time that Hillary Clinton — one of the most evidently corrupt politicians in American history — has actually been held legally accountable, and I’m proud to have forced the FEC to do their job for once,” Dan Backer, who filed the complaint on behalf of the conservative group, told the Examiner.

“The Coolidge Reagan Foundation proved that with pluck and grit, Americans who stand with integrity can stand up to the Clinton machine and other corrupt political elites.”

He also held out hope Hillary might finally face some legal comeuppance.

“Hillary Clinton and her cronies willfully engaged in the greatest political fraud in history — destroying our nation’s faith in the electoral process, and it’s high time they were held accountable. I hope this is only the beginning,” Backer said.