The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler was put on the spot Tuesday when House Republican Byron Donalds asked him an unexpected question: Did he facilitate payment for British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s now-discredited anti-Trump dossier?
Gensler, who was CFO of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, shook his head before answering, “It was not something I was aware of.”
The exchange was a throwback to Gensler’s role in Clinton’s campaign and the money that went toward the dossier, which was packed with salacious allegations tying former President Donald Trump to Russia. Both parties were fined by the Federal Election Commission for not properly disclosing the roughly $1 million that made its way to Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that hired Steele, from the Perkins Coie law firm.
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In 2017, John Podesta, the Clinton campaign’s chairman, mentioned Gensler as being the person who “established the financial controls” and he stressed that “Gary” was “at the top,” handling payments to Perkins Coie.
Now, Devin Nunes, the former Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and current head of Trump's media company, is calling out Gensler and the SEC for a lengthy review of a planned merger between the Trump Media & Technology Group, which runs the social media platform called Truth Social, and Digital World Acquisition Corp.
Trump Media’s general counsel has even requested that Congress investigate the SEC for an “unprecedented attempt to kill the deal without any finding of wrongdoing.”
Donalds, who recently endorsed Trump for his 2024 White House campaign, asked Gensler to answer the question under oath. Gensler’s response, however, was not what Donalds was hoping for.
The SEC and Gensler have now come under scrutiny for their role in the dossier and the Trump Media & Technology Group merger. With more questions and suspicions swirling, it remains to be seen how exactly the SEC and Gensler will respond to the mounting pressure.