Did Conservative Web Site Forget Its Own Role in Russia Investigation?

If you went to front page of The Washington Free Beacon during today’s hearings in the House of Representatives that featured former Special Counsel Robert Mueller as the star witness, you’d barely know that the story that riveted the the nation’s capital was taking place. Instead, the Beacon ran as its lead story a piece about “pro-Israel” legislation that passed the House.

Perhaps that’s because it was the Beacon that commissioned FusionGPS to conduct the opposition research on then-candidate Donald Trump (as well as other Republicans who ran in the 2016 presidential primary) that ultimately led to the collection of the raw intelligence complied by former MI6 spy Christopher Steele that was later characterized as “the Steele dossier.” After the Beacon abandoned its oppo project, the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee engaged Fusion GPS for research on Trump, which built on the work already done for the Beacon by Fusion GPS, which then brought in Steele to examine Trump’s relationships with Russian oligarchs and others with links to the government of the Russian Federation. As reported in The New Yorker:

But in September or October of 2015—Simpson was vague about the exact date—a client hired Fusion GPS to investigate Donald Trump. (The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative Web site that has received funding from the hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer, has acknowledged hiring Fusion GPS to investigate candidates during the Republican Presidential primaries.) Simpson said the mandate was to carry out an “open-ended” examination of Trump’s business record, including his bankruptcies, and, he added, “it evolved somewhat quickly into issues of his relationship to organized-crime figures.”

Passing as Mueller-hearing analysis at the Beacon is a piece calling Mueller’s testimony “bad news” for Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders—because his lackluster performance looks bad on old people.

From today’s edition of The Washington Free Beacon, in a piece by Andrew Stiles that is labeled as ‘analysis’:

Many pundits are suggesting that Mueller, who will turn 75 in August, appears to be suffering from a lack of physical stamina and intellectual agility due to his advanced age. That’s bad news for 2020 Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden, 76, as well as socialist challenger Bernie Sanders, 77. Failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who has not definitively ruled out another White House run in 2020, is also very old.

The 73-year-old Donald Trump, on the other hand, is described by Stiles as a “man of legendary stamina whose formidable intellect has laid waste to countless inferior opponents in the past,” noting that “Trump has been described as ‘the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.'” 

Of course, that assessment of Trump’s health comes from a letter on the stationery of Trump’s gastroenterologist, who later admitted that Trump dictated the letter himself.
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