Leon Panetta, a former CIA director under President Obama, said Thursday that congressional committees need to investigate who in the Clinton campaign “knew what and when” about payments for the Trump dossier.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Panetta about Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s and DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s denials about knowing who paid for the dossier. It was reported on Tuesday that the campaign and the DNC paid for the dossier through their law firm, Perkins Coie.
“Well, it’s obviously something that the intelligence committee is going to have to look at,” Panetta said.
“You know, knowing presidential campaigns, they’re big operations and somehow the left hand may not know what the right hand is doing. And that could be the case here, but I really do think that the committee is going to have to get into this, determine just exactly what happened … who knew what and when.”
Earlier this month, Podesta testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee that he was not aware of who paid for the dossier. He happened to be sitting next to Marc Elias, the Perkins Coie lawyer, who orchestrated the deal to pay opposition research firm Fusion GPS to conduct the investigation that led to the dossier. Elias was the general counsel for the Clinton campaign and the DNC. He is also Podesta’s attorney.
In his interview with Panetta, Blitzer wondered why Elias did not inform Podesta during the Senate interview that he was involved with the dossier.
“It certainly makes the situation very awkward,” Panetta responded, adding that the committee apparently has more work ahead in determining the facts.