The Senate intelligence committee expects to receive documents from Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign in the next week, two people familiar with the investigation said.
The documents, requested as part of the committee’s sweeping probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, are expected to provide insight into how Democrats responded to Moscow’s campaign, which included the hack and subsequent release of stolen Democratic National Committee emails.
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The documents could also provide details on any Democratic-funded opposition research effort against then-candidate Donald Trump. Reports surfaced Tuesday that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee last year helped fund research that became a now-famous dossier alleging ties between Trump and the Kremlin.
The Clinton campaign is not a target in the committee’s probe, one of the people familiar with the investigation said. Instead, the Clinton documents could provide a baseline to compare against the “thousands” of Trump-campaign documents the intelligence panel, led by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), has amassed over the last eight months of its inquiry.
The Senate intelligence panel declined to comment on Wednesday.
The funding source for the dossier has long been an object of fascination, particularly among Republicans seeking to discredit its mostly unproven allegations. A still-unknown Republican donor paid for the research at first, before Clinton’s campaign began funding it. The document itself, though, has largely proved to be a dead end for congressional investigators.
Sources close to the investigation have voiced frequent, consistent frustration in recent months over the near impossibility of verifying any of the document’s sensational claims, particularly since neither its author — former MI6 operative Christopher Steele — nor its parent research group — Washington-based research firm Fusion GPS — has agreed to provide investigators with information on the dossier’s sourcing.
Instead, the intelligence panel has, over the last six months, shifted its focus toward the Kremlin’s use of social media in its election operation and potential policy solutions to prevent future disruptions of U.S. elections. But renewed interest and the reported Democratic connection to the document could reignite Republicans’ interest.
It could also threaten to upset a delicate bipartisan balance in the Senate probe. Democrats have shown little appetite for probing their party — which is currently out of power in Washington and which the intelligence community concluded the Kremlin was trying to harm in the 2016 election — or the Clinton campaign.
The intelligence committee privately interviewed on Wednesday Trump’s longtime lawyer and business partner, Michael Cohen. The panel will hold an open hearing next week with social media companies to discuss the Kremlin’s use of the platforms to spread propaganda during the election.