A declassified congressional report confirms prior reporting by The Federalist that Daniel Jones, a former staffer for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), hired Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele after the 2016 election to push the anti-Trump Russian collusion narrative.
According to the report, Jones, who runs an investigative outfit called the Penn Quarter Group (PQG), told the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in March of 2017 that he had retained the services of Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele to “continue exposing Russian interference” in the 2016 election. Steele is the former British spy who authored the infamous unverified dossier of allegations against President Donald Trump.
Although Jones’ name is redacted in the report, the biographical details plus previous reporting on the matter make clear that he is the individual referenced. The report also revealed that Jones told federal investigators that he had raised $50 million from “7 to 10 wealthy donors located primarily in New York and California.”
As The Federalist first reported in February, Jones previously worked as a senior intelligence staffer for Feinstein, who currently serves as the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is currently investigating Fusion GPS. In that capacity, she violated committee precedent by unilaterally releasing a transcript of the testimony of Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson without disclosing that a top former staffer of hers was directing the firm’s efforts during the Judiciary committee’s investigation.
The congressional report stated that Jones “planned to share the information he obtained with policymakers on Capitol Hill and with the press, and also offered to provide PQG’s entire holdings to the FBI.” That information was gleaned from an FBI interview document called an FD-302, which was prepared on March 28, 2017. Feinstein’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment about her interactions with Jones during the course of her committee’s investigation of Fusion GPS prior to the publication of this article.
The former Feinstein staffer’s involvement with Fusion GPS’s and Steele’s post-election dossier efforts was first publicly hinted at in January in several inquiry letters from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to various Democratic party leaders who were likely responsible for funding Fusion GPS’s 2016 dossier work. That letter named Jones in a lengthy footnote listing a host of characters involved with the dossier and its financing, creation, and dissemination.
His name also came up in leaked texts between Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Adam Waldman, a registered foreign agent for Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska:
“Chris Steele asked me to call you,” Waldman wrote to Warner on March 16, 2017. That text touched off a back-and-forth conversation about how Warner could get access to Steele, a key witness in an ongoing congressional investigation. According to Waldman, Steele demanded a bipartisan letter from Warner and Burr requesting that he present himself for questioning.
“I spoke w Steele,” Waldman wrote on April 25, 2017. “He repeated the same position which is that he wants to be helpful but is fearful of the triumvirate of cost, time suck and reputation.”
“He asked me what your concern was about a letter first and I explained it but he would still like as a first protective step from you and [Sen. Richard] Burr asking him and his partner to assist w the investigation by answering questions,” Waldman added. “He said he will also speak w Dan Jones whom he says is talking to you.”
“I pointed out there is no privilege in that discussion although Dan [Jones] is a good guy and very trustworthy guy. I encouraged him again to engage with you for the sake of the truth and of vindication of the dossier,” he wrote.
It is not known how many members of Congress Jones worked with during the course of multiple congressional investigations into Fusion GPS’s involvement in the 2016 election and its simultaneous work on behalf of a Kremlin-linked company previously charged by U.S. authorities for money laundering and evading U.S. sanctions against Russia.
Jones did not respond to a request for comment on the nature of his work with Fusion GPS and Christopher prior to publication of this article.