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A Slate writer submitted a draft of a 2016 article on Donald Trump and Russia to members of Fusion GPS, the research firm hired by Hillary Clinton’s campaign to investigate her Republican rival, asking them for edits, according to a publicly filed exhibit in the US case against Democratic attorney Michael Sussmann.
Franklin Foer sent the story, tagged “Manchuriancandidate.foer” in an attachment, to Fusion’s Peter Fritsch and Jake Berkowitz, according to one of the emails that was inadvertently filed publicly by Special Counsel John Durham. as an attachment to a petition this week. The exhibit containing some of Fusion GPS’s emails to reporters was not redacted for some time before being sealed again on Tuesday, according to the Washington Examiner.
According to a June 28, 2016 email, Foer wrote, “I have submitted a draft of the article – here is a copy. Not everything is edited, so forgive all the crudeness. I have no idea from what my editor will say. But can you guys scan it for omissions and errors? And of course, keep it to yourself. (Also promise me you won’t use it as a prod for the competition, whoever they are now.) Thanks for all your help.”
Shortly after, Fritsch replied, “Your editor should say that’s great… Jake and I will take a closer look and make some suggestions.”
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It’s unclear which story Foer submitted, although the next one posted on Slate after he sent the message was a July 4, 2016 article titled “Putin’s Puppet,” with the subtitle “If the Russian President Could Devise a candidate to undermine American interests – and advance his own – he would look a lot like Donald Trump. A separate article by Foer published on July 27 was titled “Donald Trump Is Not a Manchurian Candidate,” claiming that Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin were using each other.
The law firm Perkins Coie hired Fusion GPS on behalf of Clinton attorney Marc Elias. This ultimately led to the commissioning of the infamous Christopher Steele dossier containing salacious and unsubstantiated accusations of collusion between Trump and Russia. Sussman was charged last year by Durham for allegedly hiding his Clinton campaign affiliation from the FBI while pushing for an investigation into Trump’s Russian ties.
The Durham investigation found that the sources and funders of Steele’s case were partisan Democrats and members of the Democratic-backed Fusion GPS urging journalists to publish the collusion rumors. A separate indictment last year by Durham of Steele sub-source Igor Danchenko, a Russian analyst at the Brookings Institution, for allegedly lying to the FBI revealed that one of his sources of information on Trump and the Russia was longtime Democratic spin-doctor Charles Dolan.
Foer did not respond to a request for comment, nor did Julia Turner, who was then editor of Slate before later joining the Los Angeles Times.
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“What I want to say very clearly is that basic journalistic best practice and the principle of not sharing draft stories with the people and institutions we cover is a standard we adhere to,” Door —Slate’s word, Katie Rayford, who was not with the outlet. in 2016, told Fox News Digital.
Foer faced bipartisan criticism from journalists after the email was revealed, with Noah Shachtman and Mollie Hemingway, editors of Rolling Stone and The Federalist respectively, offering their opinions on Twitter.
“It’s… not at all how it’s supposed to work, especially on sensitive stories. Just plain wrong,” Shachtman wrote.
“Serious, serious journalist no-no,” Hemingway tweeted. “But for a propagandist participating in a hoax, probably standard operating procedure. And that’s not the only time he’s been caught doing it with Fusion over a Russian collusion hoax story.”
Hemingway seemed to be referring to when Foer, a former editor of The New Republic, sent Fusion part of a separate story before it was published in 2016.
Last year, he admitted to the Washington Post that he was the anonymous reporter, in a federal grand jury indictment against Sussmann, who submitted part of an article to Fusion GPS the day before it was published on October 31, 2016. The article has been published. a week before the election, about unproven allegations that a Kremlin-linked bank was in covert communication with a Trump Organization server, titled “Was a Trump Server Communicating with Russia?”
The June 2016 email, highlighted in Techno Fog’s The Reactionary Substack, is part of a legal filing Monday by Durham, which investigated the roots of the sprawling Russia investigation. Responding to Hillary’s efforts for America [HFA] and Fusion GPS to withhold certain communications on the basis of solicitor-client privilege, he argued that Fusion GPS’s blatant sharing of raw and unsubstantiated material with media reporters belied Elias’s suggestion that Fusion GPS acted as confidential legal counsel. . Durham cited having “hundreds” of emails between Fusion GPS and reporters to prove his point.
“…these parties advance a very novel and seemingly broad theory of solicitor-client privilege, namely that GPS Fusion’s political opposition research – which has sparked a major [sic] the leaking of unverified derogatory information to the media, government and the public – was, in effect, confidential expert work intended to support legal advice regarding libel and libel,” the filing states.
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“In the first instance, if Fusion GPS’s work product was, in fact, intended primarily to support ‘legal advice’ on how to avoid liability for “defamation, libel, and similar laws”, one would expect contemporaneous emails and documents to indicate that Fusion GPS and/or its customers exercised a certain degree of caution and care before publishing unverified or potentially inflammatory information,” he continued. investigation requires permission and/or advice from HFA or its attorney. before share such derogatory materials with the media or otherwise place them in the public domain. »
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The Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign agreed last month to pay Federal Election Commission fines for complaints that they violated federal law by incorrectly describing spending at Perkins Coie. As part of the settlements, the DNC agreed to pay a civil penalty of $105,000 and the Clinton campaign agreed to pay $8,000.
Fox News’ Brian Flood and Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.