- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 10, 2018

A Russian billionaire writes that George Soros, a major financier of liberal causes, is funding Fusion GPS, the firm that orchestrated the Christopher Steele dossier.

If true, it is possible that Fusion GPS’s ongoing anti-Trump investigations have not only been funded by the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton campaign, but also by currency trader Soros. He recently pledged $18 billion to a cast of liberal groups and causes.

The Soros connection was asserted by Oleg Deripaska, a Russian aluminum magnate whose name pops up from time to time in the Trump-Russia collusion investigation.

Fox News acquired secret text messages between Sen. Mark Warner, Virginia Democrat and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence vice chairman, and Washington attorney Adam Waldman. Mr. Waldman represents Mr. Deripaska.

Mr. Warner used Mr. Waldman as a go-between to reach Mr. Steele, a former British spy to whom the committee wants to speak. The back-and-forth from Warner to Waldman to Steele did not appear to be productive.

Mr. Deripaska, in an op-ed in the Daily Caller, does not touch on Steele but on Fusion and Daniel J. Jones, an ex-intelligence staffer for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat.

Mr. Jones now runs his own investigative firm, Penn Quarter Group, and has been in contact with Fusion, which is still trying to bolster the disputed Steele dossier.

Mr. Deripaska discloses that Mr. Waldman testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, and thus Mr. Warner. He said he testified that Mr. Jones told Mr. Waldman that Mr. Soros was funding Fusion.

He writes, “Yet on March 16, 2017, Daniel Jones — himself a team member of Fusion GPS, self-described former FBI agent and, as we now know from the media, an ex-Feinstein staffer — met with my lawyer, Adam Waldman, and described Fusion as a ‘shadow media organization helping the government,’ funded by a ‘group of Silicon Valley billionaires and George Soros.’ My lawyer testified these facts to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Nov. 3.”

Mr. Deripaska’s column contended that Washington’s Russia narrative is all wrong.

A message left with Fusion’s attorney was not immediately returned.

Mr. Jones’ name first surfaced in the dossier affair in a letter from two Republicans, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley of Iowa, and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

They asked Democratic Party leaders for copies of any communications with a list of over one dozen people, including Mr. Jones and Mr. Deripaska.

Mr. Deripaska is one of Russia’s better-known oligarchs with close ties to the Kremlin. He once employed Paul Manafort, a former Trump campaign manager now under indictment on charges of conspiracy and income tax evasion.

• Rowan Scarborough can be reached at rscarborough@washingtontimes.com.

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