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Former Donald Trump on Wednesday accused his 2016 opponent of trying to ‘illegally destroy’ his campaign after it emerged that regulators had fined Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee of failing to properly disclose spending on the controversial Steele dossier.
Trump used the findings to repeat his attacks on a slew of enemies that he listed in a lawsuit last week.
Payments by the Clinton campaign and the D.N.C. to a law firm, he said, were ‘a guise to hire numerous companies, all of whom are now named defendants in my lawsuit, to try and take down and illegally destroy your favorite president, me,’ he said in an emailed statement
‘This was done to create, as I have stated many times, and is now confirmed, a hoax funded by the DNC and the Clinton Campaign.
‘This corruption is only beginning to be revealed, is un-American, and must never be allowed to happen again. Where do I go to get my reputation back?’
Details of the F.E.C. fines emerged on Wednesday, allowing Trump to return to one of his favorite topics: The way he was accused of links to Russia in the 2016, and the start of what he describes as a ‘witch hunt.’
A letter sent to a conservative group that requested an inquiry, and were first published by the Washington Examiner, showed that the D.N.C. was fined $105,000 and the Clinton campaign was fined $8,000.
It was written by a former British spy Christopher Steele.
Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee were fined for election finance violations over the Steele dossier that alleged Trump collusion with Russia
Former British spy Christopher Steele was hired by Fusion GPS to use his foreign expertise in investigating the Trump campaign’s links to Russia
Donald Trump and his supporters have pored over the money trail that led to Steele and his dossier, alleging a dirty tricks campaign and attempt to smear the then Republican candidate
Its contents included claims that the Trump’s campaign had numerous contacts with Russian officials, as more salacious tales about the property mogul cavorting with prostitutes in Moscow.
However, key elements were quickly discredited and no one was ever formally charged with colluding with the Kremlin.
Trump supporters quickly cried foul and have pored over the money trail behind the dossier amid allegations that it was all part of a smear campaign.
In all, some $1 million was paid by the Clinton campaign and the D.N.C. to a law firm, Perkins Coie, which in turn used Fusion GPS for opposition research on Trump. It hired Steele to use his expertise to investigate the Republican candidate’s links to Russia.
In its letter, the F.E.C. said the D.N.C. and Hillary for America had violated campaign finance provisions.
It said the two parties had effectively misreported the money that funded the dossier, by labeling ‘legal services’ and ‘legal and compliance consulting rather than opposition research.
The Clinton campaign and the D.N.C. did not concede any violation, the letter said, but agreed not to contest the decision and accepted the fines.
The F.E.C. also said it had dismissed a string of other allegations – filed by the Coolidge Reagan Foundation in 2018 – that the D.N.C., the Clinton campaign, Steele and Fusion GPS violated other rules.
The D.N.C. said in a statement through a spokesperson that the issue had been resolved.
‘We settled aging and silly complaints from the 2016 election about “purpose descriptions” in our FEC report,’ it said.
The case, filed on Thursday, offers a who’s who of grievances dating back to the 2016 election
Details emerged after Trump himself went to court in an effort to punish Clinton and a hit list of his favorite targets, including the architects of the Steele dossier, alleging that they tried to rig the 2016 U.S. presidential election by tying his campaign to Russia.
Among the names are Steele, James Comey, the then director of the FBI who investigated possible connections, and the Democratic National Committee.
‘In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton and her cohorts orchestrated an unthinkable plot – one that shocks the conscience and is an affront to this nation’s democracy,’ reads the complaint.
‘Acting in concert, the defendants maliciously conspired to weave a false narrative that their Republican opponent, Donald J. Trump, was colluding with a hostile foreign sovereignty.
‘The actions taken in furtherance of their scheme – falsifying evidence, deceiving law enforcement, and exploiting access to highly-sensitive data sources – are so outrageous, subversive and incendiary that even the events of Watergate pale in comparison.’
Trump, who beat Democratic nominee Clinton in the 2016 election, alleges racketeering, the theft of trade secrets, and ‘conspiracy to commit injurious falsehood,’ among other crimes.