Over the past couple of days, various senior members of Hillary’s team have all come forward to deny any knowledge that her campaign funds were used to pay for the now-infamous “Trump Dossier.” Just yesterday, Clinton’s former spokesman, Brian Fallon, appeared on CNN to imply that Hillary likely had no idea and John Podesta, Hillary’s campaign Chair, apparently testified to congressional Russia investigators, presumably under oath, that he too was not aware of the controversial payments. Per CNN:
“Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta and former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz both privately denied to congressional Russia investigators that they had any knowledge about an arrangement to pay for opposition research on President Donald Trump, three sources familiar with the matter told CNN.
“The interviews happened before this week’s disclosure that the Clinton campaign and DNC paid for the research. Senate investigators may seek to further question the two top Democrats and dig deeper on the origins of the so-called Trump dossier, one of the sources briefed on the matter said.”
Of course, it would seem highly unlikely that literally millions of dollars could be spent by a political campaign on “opposition research” without a single senior representative of said campaign approving such expenditures. Moreover, if that did happen then it raises a whole other set of questions about what financial controls the Hillary campaign had in place, if any, and what else her political donations may have been used to purchase that went completely “unnoticed” by anyone who matters.
Alas, it seems as though at least one person with ties to the Clintons, Obama’s former CIA Director Leon Panetta, is not buying the narrative. In speaking with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Panetta admitted that a Congressional intelligence committee needs to investigate “who knew what when.” Per the Daily Caller:
“Well, it’s obviously something that the intelligence committee is going to have to look at,” Panetta said.
“You know, knowing presidential campaigns, they’re big operations and somehow the left hand may not know what the right hand is doing. And that could be the case here, but I really do think that the committee is going to have to get into this, determine just exactly what happened. Who knew what and when.”
Meanwhile, and to our great shock no less, it was Wolf Blitzer who notes that Marc Elias, the Pekins Coie attorney and Hillary Clinton general counsel who sent the money to Fusion GPS, was sitting right next to John Podesta when he allegedly denied to congressional investigators that the Hillary campaign had any part in funding the dossier…which begs the question of whether Elias had a legal obligation to correct the record in that instance.
Adding further mystery to the “who knew what and when” question was the revelation on Thursday that Podesta testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this month that he was not aware of who paid for the dossier.
But Podesta happened to be sitting next to Marc Elias, the Perkins Coie lawyer who orchestrated the deal to pay opposition research firm Fusion GPS to conduct the investigation that led to the dossier. Elias was general counsel for the Clinton campaign and DNC. He is also Podesta’s attorney.
In his interview with Panetta, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer wondered why Elias did not inform Podesta during the Senate interview that he was involved in the dossier.
“It certainly makes the situation very awkward,” Panetta responded.
“If you’re testifying and saying you have no knowledge and the attorney sitting next to you is one of those that knew what, what was involved here, I think it does raise an issue that the committee is going to have to look at and determine just exactly what knew what,” he added.
So what say you? Will someone from the Hillary team have to answer for this scandal or is it just more “extreme carelessness” that will be promptly dismissed?