Person

Daniel Jones

Occupation:

Former Intelligence Analyst

President, Penn Quarter Group

Founder, Democracy Integrity Project

Daniel J. Jones is a researcher and former intelligence analyst who heads the advocacy organizations Democracy Integrity Project and Advance Democracy, and works as president of the Penn Quarter Group, an opposition research firm. Prior to taking those positions, he was a staffer for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and the Democratic staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee. [1]

Senate Republicans alleged that his organizations worked with controversial opposition research firm Fusion GPS and former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, the operative who circulated a dossier of unverified allegations against then-candidate Donald Trump to media, politicians, and law enforcement after the 2016 election. [2][3]

As a Senate Intelligence Committee staff member, Jones authored the “Senate Torture Report” that publicized CIA detention and interrogation techniques and has been used in the defense of accused terrorists. [4]

Education and Early Career

Jones is a graduate of Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania and holds master’s degrees in teaching from Johns Hopkins University and public policy from Harvard University. [5] He participated in the Teach for America program before joining the FBI as an international intelligence analyst in 2003. [6]

Senate Intelligence Committee

In 2007, Jones joined the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee staff of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

Jones led the Senate Intelligence Committee staff team behind the creation of the “Senate Torture Report,” which publicized CIA detention and interrogation practices during the War on Terror. [7] Many of the report’s findings were disputed by the CIA and other intelligence agencies, and its release was controversial because of the value the information it contained could potentially provide to terrorist organizations and other enemies of the United States. [8]

The report was published in December 2014 by the Senate’s Democratic leadership as one of their last actions before a Republican majority took control in 2015. In doing so, the Senate rejected a request from Obama administration Secretary of State John Kerry to delay the release out of concerns it would harm diplomatic efforts to build an international coalition against the ISIS Islamist terrorist network. [9]

Alka Pradhan, an attorney defending accused 9/11 terrorist attack planner Ammar al-Baluchi, has said that she will “forever be grateful” to Jones for the information released in the Torture Report. [10] [11] She said the information regarding CIA practices was “gold” for al-Baluchi’s defense. [12]

The government charged Al-Baluchi (born Abd Al Aziz Ali) with allegedly managing the travel plans and finances that delivered at least 13 of the 9/11 hijackers to the U.S., as well as later acting as a courier for Al Qaeda terrorist organization leader Osama bin Laden. [13]

The Report (Film)

The 2019 film The Report tells a fictionalized story of the creation of the torture report and positions Jones, as portrayed by actor Adam Driver, as a hero. [14] The film premiered at what the Hollywood Reporter characterized as a “politics-heavy” 2019 Sundance Film Festival, alongside movies celebrating U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y) and “Dreamer” immigrants. [15]

Penn Quarter Group

After leaving the Senate, Jones spent a year working for the lobbying firm of former Senate Majority Leader (and board chair of the Center for American Progress think tank) Tom Daschle (D-SD) before founding the Penn Quarter Group. [16]

According to a report by House Intelligence Committee Republicans, Jones described Penn Quarter to the FBI in 2017 as “exposing foreign influence in Western elections,” and told FBI agents that it “was being funded by 7 to 10 wealthy donors located primarily in New York and California, who provided approximately $50 million.” [17]

According to Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), Jones told the FBI that Penn Quarter had secured the services of Christopher Steele and controversial opposition research firm Fusion GPS to “continue exposing Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.” Grassley alleged that Jones planned to send information generated by Steele and Fusion GPS to Congress and the media. [18]

In sworn testimony, former Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo would later accuse Penn Quarter of feeding false information to Jones’s former Senate Intelligence Committee colleagues, claiming that the resulting investigations forced Caputo to incur significant legal bills and receive death threats to himself and his family, even though Caputo was never charged with any wrongdoing. [19]

Even after the Mueller Report found no evidence that the Trump campaign engaged in any criminal conspiracy with Russian interests, Jones continued to promote theories regarding the 2016 election to national media based on information allegedly uncovered by his researchers at Penn Quarter. [20][21]

Democracy Integrity Project

For more information, see Democracy Integrity Project (Nonprofit)

In 2017, Jones founded the Democracy Integrity Project as a 501(c)(4) advocacy group. [22] Funded by a range of left-wing donors, including liberal financier George Soros, the organization promotes left-wing narratives around foreign interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and other elections around the world. [23] A spokesperson for Soros confirmed to the Washington Post that the Democracy Integrity Project “used Fusion GPS as a contractor.” [24]

In its 2018 tax filings, the Democracy Integrity Project reported paying more than $3.3 million to Fusion GPS’s parent company Bean LLC and more than $250,000 to a UK-based company at which Christopher Steele is a director for “research consulting.” [25] [26] [27] It also paid almost $150,000 to Istok Associates, a UK-based firm run by Neil Barnett, who claims that Russia interfered with the UK’s Brexit election. [28][29]

Advance Democracy

In January 2018, Jones also launched Advance Democracy, a 501(c)(3) charity. [30] This organization has not yet publicly filed any financial reports, but is also active in alleging continued Russian election interference: The New York Times reported that it had “flagged a number of suspicious websites and social media accounts” to authorities as promoting Russian interference in the 2019 European Parliament elections. [31]

References

  1. Jones, Daniel J. “Profile: Daniel J. Jones.” LinkedIn. Accessed June 10, 2019. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danieljjones/. ^
  2. Grassley, Charles E. “Letter from Sen. Charles Grassley to Sen. Christopher Coons.” United States Senate. May 29, 2018. Accessed May 23, 2019. https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2018-05-29%20CEG%20to%20Coons%20(Trump%20Jr%20Interview).pdf. ^
  3. Polantz, Katelyn. “Steele Says He Used Unverified Information to Support Details about Web Company in Dossier.” CNN. March 16, 2019. Accessed May 23, 2019. https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/16/politics/steele-information-dossier/index.html. ^
  4. “Congressional Record.” Congressional Record S8374-1. December 3, 2015. Accessed May 23, 2019. https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/2015/12/03/senate-section/article/S8374-1. ^
  5. Jones, Daniel J. “Profile: Daniel J. Jones.” LinkedIn. Accessed May 23, 2019. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danieljjones/. ^
  6. Bach, Deborah. “Regular Guy Becomes Most Eligible.” Baltimore Sun. December 09, 2018. Accessed May 23, 2019. https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-2000-07-03-0007030010-story.html. ^
  7. “Daniel J. Jones.” The Carr Center for Human Rights – Harvard Kennedy School. Accessed May 14, 2019. https://carrcenter.hks.harvard.edu/people/daniel-jones. ^
  8. Brennan, John O. “CIA Comments on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report on the Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation Program.” Central Intelligence Agency. July 27, 2013. Accessed May 28, 2019. https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/CIAs_June2013_Response_to_the_SSCI_Study_on_the_Former_Detention_and_Interrogation_Program.pdf. ^
  9. Ackerman, Spencer. “‘A Constitutional Crisis’: The CIA Turns on the Senate.” The Guardian. September 10, 2016. Accessed May 23, 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/10/cia-senate-investigation-constitutional-crisis-daniel-jones. ^
  10. “Alka Pradhan.” Penn Law. Accessed May 14, 2019. https://www.law.upenn.edu/cf/faculty/pradhana/. ^
  11. “Abd Al Aziz Ali – The Guantánamo Docket.” The New York Times. Accessed May 14, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/guantanamo/detainees/10018-abd-al-aziz-ali. ^
  12. Alka Pradhan. “I Will Forever Be Grateful to @DanielJJonesUS and the SSCI Staff; That Chart Is *gold*.” Twitter. March 05, 2019. Accessed May 14, 2019. https://twitter.com/PradhanAlka/status/1102750743864504320. ^
  13. Savage, Charlie. “Judge Bars Statements Made by Guantánamo Detainees During F.B.I. Interrogations.” The New York Times. August 18, 2018. Accessed May 23, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/17/us/politics/guantanamo-detainees-fbi-interrogations.html. ^
  14. “The Report.” Internet Movie Database. January 26, 2019. Accessed May 23, 2019. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8236336/. ^
  15. Siegel, Tatiana. “Sundance Unveils Politics-Heavy Lineup Featuring Ocasio-Cortez Doc, Feinstein Drama.” The Hollywood Reporter. December 12, 2018. Accessed May 23, 2019. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-doc-dianne-feinstein-drama-sundance-2019-lineup-1164468. ^
  16. “People on the Move.” Washington Business Journal. December 16, 2016. Accessed May 29, 2019. https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/potmsearch/detail/submission/5362232/Daniel_Jones. ^
  17. “REPORT OF THE HOUSE PERMANENT SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE ON RUSSIAN ACTIVE MEASURES Together with MINORITY VIEWS.” (p.113) Congress.gov. December 31, 2018. Accessed May 23, 2019. https://www.congress.gov/115/crpt/hrpt1110/CRPT-115hrpt1110.pdf. ^
  18. Grassley, Charles E. “Letter from Sen. Charles Grassley to Sen. Christopher Coons.” United States Senate. May 29, 2018. Accessed May 23, 2019. https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2018-05-29%20CEG%20to%20Coons%20(Trump%20Jr%20Interview).pdf. ^
  19. Acosta, Jim, and Jeremy Herb. “Michael Caputo Slams Senate Intel Panel in Interview.” CNN. May 02, 2018. Accessed May 23, 2019. https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/01/politics/michael-caputo-senate-interview/index.html. ^
  20. Lichtblau, Eric. “Donald Trump’s Alfa Bank Connection Still Raises Questions.” Time. May 21, 2019. Accessed May 23, 2019. http://time.com/5592739/donald-trump-petr-aven-alfa-bank/. ^
  21. Filkins, Dexter. “Was There a Connection Between a Russian Bank and the Trump Campaign?” The New Yorker. April 24, 2019. Accessed May 23, 2019. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/10/15/was-there-a-connection-between-a-russian-bank-and-the-trump-campaign. ^
  22. “DETERMINATION LETTER.” Internal Revenue Service. August 29, 2017. Accessed May 23, 2019. https://apps.irs.gov/pub/epostcard/dl/FinalLetter_81-5223488_THEDEMOCRACYINTEGRITYPROJECT_03172017_01.tif. ^
  23. Solomon, John. “US Embassy Pressed Ukraine to Drop Probe of George Soros Group during 2016 Election.” TheHill. March 26, 2019. Accessed May 23, 2019. https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/435906-us-embassy-pressed-ukraine-to-drop-probe-of-george-soros-group-during-2016. ^
  24. Ignatius, David. “The GOP’s Spin on the Russia Probe Doesn’t Add up.” The Washington Post. September 25, 2018. Accessed May 23, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-gop-spin-on-the-russia-probe-reads-like-a-noir-thriller–but-doesnt-add-up/2018/09/25/1b940c92-c0ca-11e8-be77-516336a26305_story.html?utm_term=.32429e427000. ^
  25. “Democracy Integrity Project, Form 990 – Nonprofit Explorer.” ProPublica. May 09, 2013. Accessed May 28, 2019. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/815223488/201843199349303694/IRS990. ^
  26. “People for WALSINGHAM PARTNERS LIMITED (09558344).” WALSINGHAM PARTNERS LIMITED – Officers (free Information from Companies House). Accessed May 28, 2019. https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/09558344/officers. ^
  27. Gerstein, Josh, and Darren Samuelsohn. “Judge Won’t Dismiss Libel Suit against Fusion GPS over Dossier.” POLITICO. January 17, 2019. Accessed May 28, 2019. https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/17/libel-suit-fusion-gps-dossier-1106984. ^
  28. Barnett, Neil. “Russia’s Brexit Subversion.” The American Interest. November 09, 2017. Accessed May 28, 2019. https://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/11/09/russias-brexit-subversion/. ^
  29. “People for ISTOK ASSOCIATES LIMITED (07194978).” ISTOK ASSOCIATES LIMITED – Officers (free Information from Companies House). Accessed May 28, 2019. https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/07194978/officers. ^
  30. “Advance Democracy, Inc.” Internal Revenue Service. Accessed May 28, 2019. https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/displayAll.do?dispatchMethod=displayAllInfo&Id=10904680&ein=824277642. ^
  31. Apuzzo, Matt, and Adam Satariano. “Russia Is Targeting Europe’s Elections. So Are Far-Right Copycats.” The New York Times. May 12, 2019. Accessed May 23, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/12/world/europe/russian-propaganda-influence-campaign-european-elections-far-right.html. ^
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