Dem group founded to fight 'disinformation' paid nearly $1M to discredited Steele dossier researchers

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A nonprofit heavily backed by liberal donors was set up to combat “disinformation,” but new tax documents reveal the group paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2020 to the researchers who created the discredited Steele dossier.

The Democracy Integrity Project paid $521,000 to Christopher Steele and $405,000 to Fusion GPS last year, according to recently publicized tax forms. 

“[Democracy Integrity Project] seeks to protect the integrity of democratic elections around the world primarily by engaging and managing a network of experienced organizations and individuals who work to uncover details, through research and data analysis, of efforts by foreign actors, including foreign governments, to interfere in democratic elections and to educate the general public about such activities,” the organization states on its 990 tax form.

The tax form goes on to say that the nonprofit “reports original, credible, and fact-based information” and that their mission is to “educate the public on matters such as foreign election interference, global extremism, corruption, and coordinated disinformation.”

Former President Donald Trump speaks at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on July 7, 2021.
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)


The Democracy Integrity Project paid generously for “research consulting” from Walsingham Partners Ltd. and Bean LLC. Steele is the director of Walsingham Partners Ltd, and Bean LLC is a subsidiary fund operated by Fusion GPS. 

The New York Times reported in 2018 that liberal billionaire George Soros gave at least $1 million to the Democracy Integrity Project and that he was considering donating more.

Marc Elias, a lawyer for the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC, hired Fusion GPS to compile the Steele dossier.(David Jolkovski for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Steele worked with Fusion GPS, a research firm hired by Marc Elias, a lawyer for the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC, to compile the Steele dossier, a document that became the subject of an intense media frenzy after it falsely asserted connections between former President Trump and the Russian government. It also claimed that the Kremlin had blackmail material on Trump, including a tape of prostitutes urinating on him in a Moscow hotel.

Special Counsel John Durham indicted Russian national Igor Danchenko, who is believed to be a sub-source of Steele’s used in the dossier, earlier this month. The authenticity of information in the dossier was questioned early on, though the situation quickly spun into a media circus, with multiple mainstream news outlets pushing the disinformation as legitimate. 

Russian analyst Igor Danchenko arrives at the Albert V. Bryan U.S. Courthouse before being arraigned on Nov. 10, 2021 in Alexandria, Virginia. 
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Earlier this month, the Washington Post was forced to quietly edit and add notes to over a dozen articles that inaccurately identified one of the key sources of the dossier, saying that they “could no longer stand by the accuracy” of those elements in their reporting. 

CNN, which repeatedly hyped the Steele dossier, published a piece earlier this month saying “the credibility of the dossier has significantly diminished.”

“A series of investigations and lawsuits have discredited many of its central allegations and exposed the unreliability of Steele’s sources,” CNN reporter Marshall Cohen wrote. “They also raise serious questions about the political underpinnings of some key explosive claims about Trump by shedding new light on the involvement of some well-connected Democrats in the dossier, and separate efforts to prod the FBI to investigate ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia.”

Fox News’ Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.

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