Gary Gensler, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, faced some strong questioning on Tuesday when appearing before the House Financial Services Committee.
Republican Representative Byron Donalds from Florida had a long line of questioning for Gensler, asking him at one point if he had facilitated a payment for the anti-Trump dossier that was prepared by Christopher Steele, the one-time British spy.
Near the end of the hearing earlier this week, Donalds questioned Gensler about the Steele dossier. At the time that it came out, Gensler was serving as failed 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s chief financial officer for her campaign.
Donalds asked Gensler directly about whether he facilitated a payment for the Steele dossier since he was serving as the Clinton campaign CFO. The two then went back and forth in a little tiff before Gensler finally replied:
“It was not something I was aware of.”
It’s an interesting potential development for Gensler, who is now serving in an official – and very important – role in the Biden administration. It’s been well established already that the Steele dossier was funding, in part, from money from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Both the Clinton campaign and the DNC were fined by the Federal Election Commission since they didn’t disclose properly an approximately $1 million payment that went from the Perkins Coie law firm to Fusion GPS – the research firm that ultimately hired Steele.
The dossier alleged that Donald Trump, who was then a Republican candidate for president, colluded with Russia. The Steele dossier has since been discredited by many federal investigators.
Gensler’s name first came up in regard to the Steele dossier during a hearing held in 2017 by the House Intelligence Committee. At that hearing, John Podesta, who was serving as the chairman of the Clinton campaign, said Gensler was the one who “established the financial controls.” He said multiple times that “Gary [was] at the top” of handling the payments that were made to Perkins Coie.
After this week’s hearing, others commented on the developments. Devin Nunes, who once served as the Republican chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said his panel had “outed” Gensler as the person who “wrote the check to Fusion GPS.” Nunes is no longer in Congress, having left to serve as the head of Trump’s new media company.
During an interview with Just the News this week, Nunes also extended criticism to both the SEC and Gensler for holding up a merger that was planned between Digital World Acquisition Corp. and the Trump Media & Technology Group.
In February, the general counsel for the Trump Media & Technology Group requested that Congress start an investigation on the SEC because of the “endless” review they were going through on the merger. It was described as “an unprecedented attempt to kill the deal without any finding of wrongdoing.”
Earlier in April, Donalds endorsed Trump, making him the third Florida Republican to back the former president’s run for the White House in 2024.