Daniel Jones, head author of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s interrogation program, founded the Democracy Integrity Project in January 2017. Tax records show he funded Steele, Fusion, and others involved with Russia-related inquiries, keeping a web of groups working and donor money flowing to the tune of millions. The new filings conclude that “the purpose of the Democracy Integrity Project is to promote democracy in the United States and around the world.”
Tax records from the Democracy Integrity Project filed in November 2020 and made public in April show the Jones organization provided $1,222,714 in 2019 for “research consulting” to Bean LLC, the parent company for Fusion GPS, co-founded by former Wall Street Journal reporters Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, and $700,000 for “research consulting” in 2019 to Walsingham Partners, which, as per business records, is co-owned by Steele and his business partner, Christopher Burrows.
The newly unveiled IRS 990 form for 2019, the most recent year available, joins records from 2018 and 2017, showing Jones sent $959,613 to Fusion GPS in 2018 and $3,323,924 in 2017 for a total of $5,506,251, along with sending Steele’s company $197,608 in 2018 and $251,689 in 2017 for a total of $1,149,297.
Steele conducted his research at the behest of Fusion GPS, funded by Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee through the Perkins Coie law firm. According to Simpson, Fusion was paid $50,000 per month from Perkins, and Marc Elias, head of the Perkins political law group and Clinton’s campaign counsel, hired Fusion, which paid Steele $168,000.
Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a report in 2019 concluding Steele's dossier played a "central and essential" role in the FBI's effort to wiretap Carter Page, a 2016 Trump campaign adviser who was never charged with a crime. The DOJ watchdog criticized the bureau for 17 “significant errors and omissions." Declassified footnotes from Horowitz’s report indicate the bureau became aware that Steele’s dossier may have been compromised by Russian disinformation.
The New York Times revealed in December 2018 that “as Russia’s online election machinations came to light last year, a group of Democratic tech experts decided to try out similarly deceptive tactics in the fiercely contested Alabama Senate race” between Roy Moore and Doug Jones. The outlet said an internal New Knowledge report said that “we orchestrated an elaborate ‘false flag’ operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet.”