Okay—so we all know the Trump dossier was compiled by former MI6 operative the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded Christopher Steele. The lawyer for both entities, Marc Elias of Perkins Coie, hired the research firms Fusion GPS in April of 2016. GPS then retained Steele who used sources from within the Kremlin to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. Millions of dollars were sent to Perkins Coie. Opposition research is not illegal of course, but you cannot hire a law firm who then hires other folks to do this research without detailing the expenditures for these actors in Federal Election Commission reports. That’s the complaint that was lobbed against the Clinton camp by the Campaign Legal Center last week. Thus far, what we know is that the money the Clinton campaign gave Perkin Coie was listed as “legal services.” It looks like it went a bit beyond that. Jonathan Turley, a constitutional scholar and professor at the George Washington University School of Law, said there is a possibility that some in the Clinton camp could be facing criminal charges. That’s what he told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum last Thursday (via RCP) [emphasis mine]:
JONATHAN TURLEY: As you know, I've been very skeptical about the past Russian collusion claims as being a criminal matter, even though I supported the appointment of the special counsel after Comey was fired I've been cautioning and many others have that it really isn't a crime to collude. In the same, it wouldn't be a crime on the Trump side to receive information on the other side from a foreign national.
The allegations against the Clintons could potentially be criminal. It doesn't mean that they are criminal. The $500,000 given to Bill Clinton might have been innocent. The timing might just have been horrible. But that would be a cognizable crime if a linkage was found.
In the same way, the allegation over the dossier does involve a potential violation of federal law. The Federal Election Commission Act requires campaigns to state a purpose for any money spent over about $200, to sort of have an item description for each of those amounts. There isn't an item description for this law firm for the amount of money that is being alleged to have been given to this research firm.
Concerning the $500,000 check Bill received, that has to do with the sale of Uranium One. Fox News Greg Jarrett mentioned how this transaction raised its ugly head again, along with adding to Turley’s point about campaign funds being used for opposition research [emphasis mine]:
It is against the law for the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to funnel millions of dollars to a British spy and to Russian sources in order to obtain the infamous and discredited Trump “dossier.” The Federal Election Campaign Act (52 USC 30101) prohibits foreign nationals and governments from giving or receiving money in U.S. campaigns. It also prohibits the filing of false or misleading campaign reports to hide the true purpose of the money (52 USC 30121).This is what Clinton and the DNC appear to have done.
Most often the penalty for violating this law is a fine, but in egregious cases, like this one, criminal prosecutions have been sought and convictions obtained. In this sense, it could be said that Hillary Clinton is the one who was conspiring with the Russians by breaking campaign finance laws with impunity.
But that’s not all. Damning new evidence appears to show that Clinton used her office as Secretary of State to confer benefits to Russia in exchange for millions of dollars in donations to her foundation and cash to her husband. Secret recordings, intercepted emails, financial records, and eyewitness accounts allegedly show that Russian nuclear officials enriched the Clintons at the very time Hillary presided over a governing body which unanimously approved the sale of one-fifth of America’s uranium supply to Russia.
Yet, Hillary shall not despair. She might have company in Barack Obama, whose campaign arm—Organizing for Action—also started paying Fusion GPS around the time the Hillary campaign and the Democrats decided to hire Fusion GPS who then retained an ex-British spy to compile that unverified dossier.