We now know that …
- Mark Elias (counsel to both the Clinton campaign and to the DNC and a partner at Perkins Coie law firm) hired Fusion GPS to do opposition research on Donald Trump;
- Fusion GPS was paid 50/50 by the campaign and the DNC for this service; and
- Fusion GPS produced the so-called Trump-Russia (aka, Steele) dossier that was used by corrupt anti-Trumpers at the DOJ and FBI to try to sabotage Trump’s campaign and then, after he won, to try to take down his presidency.
All along, we’ve been told that a retired British spy, Christopher Steele, compiled the dossier from sources he had in Russia.
We now know that is not true. We also know that the sources cited, though real Russians, were just put in the dossier to lend legitimacy to the contents. They say they had nothing to do with any of it.
So who did write the dossier? And where did the information come from?
According to an article by Lee Smith that was published in Tablet on December 20, 2017, the true authors were Mary Jacoby and Glenn Simpson.
Simpson is the founder of Fusion GPS. Mary is his wife. Both are reporters who have often shared bylines at The Wall Street Journal.
In a Facebook post from June 24, 2017, Jacoby “claimed that her husband deserves the lion’s share of credit for Russiagate.”
“It’s come to my attention that some people still don’t realize what Glenn’s role was in exposing Putin’s control of Donald Trump. Let’s be clear. Glenn conducted the investigation. Glenn hired Chris Steele. Chris Steele worked for Glenn.”
Lee traces the actual contents of the dossier not to some investigation allegedly conducted by Glenn, but rather to “a series of stories that Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and his wife Mary Jacoby co-wrote for The Wall Street Journal well before Fusion GPS existed.” The similarities are unmistakable.
Lee also points out that it is likely Chris Steele was hired by Fusion simply to add a cachet of authenticity to the work of fiction that Simpson and Jacoby were cobbling together. Steele had a good relationship with the FBI and was once head of the Russia desk for MI6. But he hadn’t lived or worked in Russia in nearly 25 years and had been outed as a British spy in 1999, so he was in no position to make discreet inquiries about Trump’s Russian activities.
Another person Fusion GPS hired to work on the Trump-Russia dossier was Nellie Ohr. Her bio adds a similar touch of fake authenticity to the project. She speaks Russian and has published in academic journals. Plus, she had a convenient inside track to the DOJ via her husband. However, she was neither a spy nor a journalist and she hadn’t lived in Russia for decades, so her usefulness as an actual source of Russian intel was nil.
Clearly, Fusion GPS had little or nothing of substance to offer their clients – the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee – either on Russia in general or on Trump’s dealings with/in Russia in particular.
However, they were being paid to dig up dirt on The Donald and their clients were not at all picky about the authenticity of their product. So they just made it all up.
And they didn’t even have the integrity to invent original material. They just recycled stuff they had written a decade earlier, changing the names around and slapping Christopher Steele’s name on the by-line.
According to a Reuters report from November, 2017, Fusion GPS was paid $1.02 million for the dossier, of which Christopher Steele received $168,000.