Who paid for it?During the Republican primaries, a donor opposed to Trump becoming the party’s presidential candidate retained a research firm called Fusion GPS to unearth potentially damaging information about Trump.The donor has never been identified, but several possible suspects have denied responsibility, including officials from the super PACs that supported the rival campaigns of Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida.After Trump secured the nomination, Fusion GPS was hired on behalf of Clinton’s campaign and the DNC by their law firm, Perkins Coie, to compile research about Trump, his businesses and associates — including possible connections with Russia.It was at that point that Fusion GPS hired Steele, who has deep sourcing in Russia, to gather information.Does it matter who paid for it?That depends on your politics.Republicans have criticized the dossier since its existence became publicly known when BuzzFeed published it in January.Trump has blasted it as “fake news” and “phony stuff,” and alleged that it is part of a broader witch hunt intended to cast doubt on his victory. Categories: Editorial, OpinionWASHINGTON — The so-called Steele dossier of research into President Donald Trump’s connections to Russia is back in the news, with the revelation that it was at least partly funded by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee.What is the dossier?It is a 35-page collection of research memos written by Christopher Steele, a respected former British intelligence agent, primarily during the 2016 presidential campaign.The memos allege a multifaceted conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to help Trump defeat Clinton.The memos also detail unsubstantiated accounts of encounters between Trump and Russian prostitutes, and real estate deals that were intended as bribes, among other claims about Trump’s businesses. His allies now contend that the allegations in the dossier are discredited by the fact that it was funded at least partially by the Clinton campaign and the DNC.Trump asserted Wednesday in an interview with Fox Business Network’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight” that the Democrats’ payments for the research were “the real collusion.”Democrats argue that who paid for the research is irrelevant to the veracity of its claims, which they say should be thoroughly investigated.Yet some of the Democrats who funded the dossier have been leery about being associated with it.The lead Perkins Coie lawyer representing both the campaign and the DNC, Marc Elias, pushed back earlier this year when asked whether he possessed the dossier before the election and was involved in efforts to encourage media outlets to write about its contents.On Tuesday, the veteran Democratic consultant Anita Dunn, who is working with Perkins Coie, explained Elias’ earlier response.“Obviously, he was not at liberty to confirm Perkins Coie as the client at that point, and should perhaps have ‘no commented’ more artfully,” Dunn wrote in an email. Where does the dossier fit in with the government’s Russia investigations?James Comey, the former FBI director whose firing by Trump prompted the appointment of a special counsel, Robert Mueller, to oversee the Justice Department’s Russia investigation, received a copy of the memos after Election Day from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. McCain had dispatched David J. Kramer, a former top State Department official, to obtain the dossier directly from Steele.And before Election Day, the FBI reached an agreement to pay Steele to continue his research, though that plan was scrapped after the dossier was published.During the presidential transition, senior U.S. intelligence officials briefed Trump and President Barack Obama on the dossier.Investigators from the House and Senate intelligence committees and Mueller’s team have been exploring claims made in the dossier.Mueller’s team reportedly interviewed Steele over the summer.Kenneth Vogel is a reporter The New York Times Washington bureau.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Even Clinton only found about Steele’s research after BuzzFeed published the dossier, according to two associates who discussed the matter with her.They said that she was disappointed that the research — as well as the fact that the FBI was looking into connections between Trump’s associates and Russia — was not made public before Election Day.But word of the memos and their contents had circulated in Washington political and media circles before the election.In British court filings, Steele’s lawyers said that he and Fusion GPS briefed journalists from a range of media outlets, including The New York Times, on his research starting in September 2016.Yet the research and even the existence of the dossier were not reported by the media, with the exception of Mother Jones magazine, which published a story in the days before the election that described the dossier, its origin and significance, while omitting the salacious claims.How much of the dossier has been substantiated?There has been no public corroboration of the salacious allegations against Trump, nor of the specific claims about coordination between his associates and the Russians.In fact, some of those claims have been challenged with supporting evidence. For instance, Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, produced his passport to rebut the dossier’s claim that he had secret meetings in Prague with a Russian official last year. Is this sort of research common or legal?Campaigns and party committees frequently pay companies to assemble what’s known in politics as opposition research — essentially damaging information about their opponents — and nothing is illegal about the practice.However, Republicans and campaign watchdogs have accused the Clinton campaign and the DNC of violating campaign finance laws by disguising the payments to Fusion GPS on mandatory disclosures to the Federal Election Commission.Their disclosure reports do not list any payments from the Clinton campaign or the DNC to Fusion GPS.They do list a total of $12.4 million in payments to Perkins Coie, but that’s almost entirely for legal consulting, with only one payment — of $66,500 — for “research consulting” from the DNC.In a complaint filed with the FEC on Wednesday, the Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit group that urges stricter enforcement of election laws, alleged that “at least some of those payments were earmarked for Fusion GPS, with the purpose of conducting opposition research on Donald Trump.”The complaint asserts that the failure to list the ultimate purpose of that money “undermined the vital public information role that reporting is intended to serve.”Graham M. Wilson, a partner at Perkins Coie, called the complaint “patently baseless,” in part because, he said, the research was done “to support the provision of legal services, and payments made by vendors to sub-vendors are not required to be disclosed in circumstances like this.”Who else knew about Steele’s research during the campaign?Officials from the Clinton campaign and the DNC have said they were unaware that Perkins Coie facilitated the research on their behalf, even though the law firm was using their money to pay for it.
Tough conditions tested the players in the second day foursomes at the senior men’s English County Championship, where the wind whipped across the links at Goswick Golf Club, Northumberland.Players struggled with their stance on the most exposed tees as the locals explained that the morning’s crosswind was the most testing, offering little relief in the way of downwind shots. What’s more, they predict worse to come tomorrow!But the teams battled through, with Yorkshire and Gloucestershire sharing the honours while Sussex lead Warwickshire 2-1.Gloucestershire’s Bob Broad and Rob Stephens (pictured) snatched a half in the final game for the teams to go in to lunch on level terms. They had trailed Yorkshire’s Johnny Lawrence and Andy Whitworth by two holes with two to play but won 17 and 18 with a birdie and a par.However, Lawrence had the distinction of the playing the most impressive shot of the morning when his second on the par five 11th finished within a foot of the hole. The eagle putt was conceded.Earlier Yorkshire’s Jonathan Plaxton and Ian Clarke had scored a comfortable 5/3 win while Gloucestershire’s Mike Parkin and Hugh Purvis won their game 3/2. Purvis is aged 67, reckons he’s the oldest player in the field and so far has won three points from three games.In the morning’s other match, Martin Galway and Roy Stephenson scored the first point for Sussex, getting ahead early on and staying there. They got to 2up after eight holes and halved the next seven holes before winning the 16th and the match.The other two games were both decided over the last two holes, Sussex gained their second point from Tony Allen and Martin Tell who were never behind in their game, although their opponents got them back to all square with two holes to play. However the Sussex pair finished strongly with a pair of pars to win 2up.The final game went Warwickshire’s way after Rob Soen and Peter Gordon won 17 and 18 to finish 2up. 11 Oct 2017 Tough test for senior teams Tags: County Championships, English, Men, Senior
The hot start by the Nelson Leafs has not gone unnoticed on the Junior B Hockey landscape.The Green and White leave September and begin October near the top of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, and fifth overall in Canadian Junior B rankings.“I would not say I am surprised per say,” said Leaf GM Lance Morey after squad put together a 6-1-2 record and complete the opening month of the season unbeaten in six games.“I knew starting the year we had the talent to be a very good team.”However, Morey isn’t quite ready to book the route for the Championship Parade quite yet.“It is nice to see things falling in place, but it’s a long season and we do play in the toughest division in the league,” explained the Leafs GM.“It will be a battle all year with Beaver Valley, Castlegar and Grand Forks.”Speaking of Beaver Valley.The Nitehawks invade the NDCC Arena to open the two-game home set for the Leafs Friday at 7 p.m.“Friday is a huge game for our team, even this early in the season,” Morey said.“BV has been the class of the KI and our Division for a few years and no one should take them lightly.” Nelson managed to escape with a 1-0 victory over the defending KIJHL champs on opening night thanks to strong netminder by Josh Williams.Not only did Williams register the shutout, but he also made a game-saving save in the final seconds to preserve the victory. “And, of course we have had great goaltending to date,” Morey said. “I don’t see that changing.”Beaver Valley enters the game four points behind the Murdoch Division leading Leafs with a 4-3 record.Success in the Murdoch Division is guaranteed by winning those big divisional games.The Leafs pulled one out of the fire last weekend in Grand Forks, edging the Bruins 3-2 in double overtime.Nelson dominated the game, out shooting the Bruins 55-25.“The win in Grand Forks was huge for us,” Morey explained.“We dominated the game from the opening puck drop. Their goalie was stellar that night and we had to fight for all five periods to come out with the two points.”Saturday, Nelson hosts Spokane Braves.The two games enable Leaf executive to host Parent Weekend by inviting all the parents of the players to visit Nelson to watch their boys in action.“It’s also our Parent Weekend so we want to be sure our kids keep their emotions in check,” he said.“Our coaches have done a good job of the team has no huge highs and lows during the game, and our older players have been great at leading by example.”BLUELINES: After playing five of eight games at home in September, the schedule gets a little tougher for the Leafs with only three games at home in October. Games on the road include stops in Creston, Golden, Invermere, Kimberley, Spokane and Castlegar. . . .Josh Williams continues to be one of the better goalies in the league to start the season. Williams is unbeaten in five games and sits second overall in goalie standings with a 1.37 goals against average.