Slate reporter sent draft article to Fusion GPS about possible Trump link to Russian bank: Indictment
Journalist Franklin Foer appeared to admit Friday that he was the reporter mentioned in a federal grand jury indictment that sent 2,500 words of his story to Fusion GPS the day before it was published.
The research firm hired by Hillary Clinton’s campaign to investigate then-candidate Donald Trump wrote to her that it was “time to hurry” on the left-wing Slate newspaper story linking the Trump Organization and a Russian bank days before the 2016 election, according to Democratic lawyer Michael Sussmann’s indictment.
Sussmann is accused of lying to the FBI by the John Durham investigation investigating the origins of the Russia investigation. The indictment accused Sussmann of hiding the fact that he worked for the Clinton campaign while pushing for an investigation into the alleged links between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank.
Foer was pressured by Fusion GPS, dubbed the “US Investigative Firm,” to “hurry” to tell his story about the possible backchannel between Trump and the bank, according to the indictment, referring to him as “ Reporter-2 ”.
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The email from the investigative firm employee said it was ‘time to hurry,’ suggesting that Reporter-2 should hurry to publish an article regarding the Russian bank 1’s allegations. In response, Reporter -2 E-mailed the employee of the investigation firm a draft article regarding the Allegations of Bank-1, along with the cover message: “Here are the first 2,500 words” “, states the act of ‘charge.
The indictment goes on to note that Reporter-2 published an article regarding the allegations “on or about the next day, October 31, 2016”.
On October 31, 2016, Slate published an article written by Foer titled “Was a Trump Server Communicating With Russia?” The Clinton campaign caused a stir that day, with political adviser Jake Sullivan – now President Biden’s national security adviser – calling the “secret hotline” perhaps “a key to unraveling the mystery of Trump’s ties to the United States. Russia ”.
Foer even suggested it was time for an “October surprise” in a tweet with a link to the story, suggesting it could be a game-changer. However, Trump continued to be elected president, and Clinton would rant against reopening the investigation by then FBI Director James Comey. her mail server prevented his victory.
Foer acknowledged that there were “limits” to the story in a follow-up article in The Atlantic two years later and expressed hope that Robert Mueller’s investigation would resolve the issues. The Department of Justice inspector general said the FBI investigated and found no computer link between Alfa Bank and Trump Organization, the Daily Caller reported last year.
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Foer appeared to admit he is “Reporter-2” in a statement to Erik Wemple of the Washington Post.
“That appears to be true. ‘Reporter-2’ here is Franklin Foer, who wrote the Slate article on Alfa Bank-Trump Org. And the intelligence company, as you note, is Fusion GPS. J ‘ve asked Foer about it and he assumes it is him, “Wemple tweeted with a statement provided by Foer.
“If memory serves, this was a technical article. I sent a long section, which focused on the IT community and their work, to someone I thought was knowledgeable to see if I had the good idea. Unfortunately they weren’t of much help, “Foer told Wemple.
Slate did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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It can be inferred that the “US investigative firm” in the indictment was Fusion GPS, due to an earlier statement in the indictment that Clinton campaign attorney general Marc Elias, “selected a particular investigation firm (the“ American investigation firm ”). to gather information on Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.
It was first reported in 2017 that Elias tapped Fusion GPS on behalf of the Clinton campaign to investigate Trump, ultimately leading to the infamous Christopher Steele case that would form part of the basis for the sprawling investigation into the Russia.
“Throughout the presidential campaign, the US investigative firm worked with Law Firm-1, members of the media and others to collect and disseminate alleged evidence of Trump’s ties to Russia,” the indictment.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Barry Meier condemned the then anonymous journalist’s action on social media.
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“When journalists allow private operators like Fusion GPS to set the rules of engagement, bad things can happen. And that, if true, is really bad,” Meier said. tweeted.
In his follow-up to The Atlantic in 2018, Foer said he decided to publish the story because he feared he would feel bad if Trump won the election.
“Before posting the server story, I asked myself a fairly trivial question: How would I sleep next week if Donald Trump was elected president, knowing that I was sitting on potentially important information? was elected president, and I always slept badly, “he wrote.
Michael Lee of Fox News contributed to this report.