Sometimes life punches you in the face. Other times it involves Buzzfeed wasting $4.1M chasing a fake dossier claim and it’s just hilarious. Today, we get to partake in the latter so soak it all in.
Over the weekend, I wrote about how a dismissed defamation suit (now waiting on appeal) led to an internal Fusion GPS memo being released. What it showed was that they did everything that could to prove a Russian named Aleksej Gubarev was an FSB agent who hacked the DNC, as described in the Trump dossier. In the end, they got nowhere and actually largely vindicated him. Documents further revealed that super-spy Christopher Steele used random internet posters from a site called iReport as dossier sources.
Little by little, the magnitude of the dumpster fire that is the Trump dossier is being revealed. Despite the judge choosing to dismiss it on 1st amendment grounds, Gubarev’s lawsuit has become a gold mine and there’s a new nugget that’s gloriously come forth via The Daily Caller.
BuzzFeed mounted its own attempt to support the dossier’s allegations about Gubarev. The results were nearly as futile as Fusion’s efforts, but seemingly more expensive.
The website hired Anthony Ferrante, a former FBI agent and consultant with FTI Consulting, to find evidence to support the allegations against Gubarev and his companies. According to a deposition that Ferrante gave in the Gubarev lawsuit, BuzzFeed paid his team $4.1 million for its investigation of Gubarev.
Maybe this is why Buzzfeed had to lay off all those “journalists?” Blowing $4.1M to pay an investigator to fail at proving a conspiracy theory probably isn’t good for the bottom line.
Anthony Ferrante is also a CNN analyst, because of freaking course he is.
lol, of course. The guy BuzzFeed paid $4 million to try to prove part of the dossier is also a CNN contributor. pic.twitter.com/gaM2N49D9u
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) March 15, 2019
Ferrante did his level best to come up with anything he could to support Buzzfeed’s narrative about the dossier but it wasn’t meant to be.
According to Ferrante’s report, Russian hackers might have used XBT and Webzilla’s servers to carry out cyberattacks. Ferrante also alleged Gubarev and his company’s executives did nothing to prevent hackers from using their infrastructure.
Let me translate that for you. He came up with no evidence of anything but to somewhat cover himself (and Buzzfeed) he put in his report that something “might” have happened. Ultimately, he had to admit there was no there, there though.
But ultimately, Ferrante acknowledged there was no evidence backing up the core claim made about Gubarev in the dossier: that he was working with Russians to hack Democrats.
“I have no evidence of them actually sitting behind a keyboard,” Ferrante said in his deposition.
Evan Fray-Witzer, an attorney for Gubarev, blasted BuzzFeed and Fusion GPS for what he says is their failed attempts to prove the dossier.
“Buzzfeed spent $4.1 million on a team of former FBI agents to try to prove that Gubarev and his companies did what was alleged in the Steele Dossier and came up empty-handed,” Fray-Witzer told TheDCNF.
It doesn’t get any clearer than saying “I have no evidence.” Buzzfeed burned through millions of dollars only to end up providing more weight to the idea that the dossier itself is not credible. There’s a German word for that and it’s very entertaining.
Meanwhile, CNN’s Erin Burnett took this latest report and decided it said the opposite of what it said, using it to push the idea that the dossier was still largely verified (Narrator: it’s not).
CNN's "dossier is true" segment went like this:
-Erin Burnett makes false claim about dossier funding
-Pamela Brown interviews CNN contributor who wrote misleading report for BuzzFeed
-At the *very* end of the segment, Brown mentions Cohen's Prague denial https://t.co/LFfKlz77tT
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) March 16, 2019
These people are never going to give up. The narrative is the narrative and that’s that. Facts don’t matter, evidence doesn’t matter. No matter how many claims in the Trump dossier fall apart, they keep clinging to it like it’s the most important story on earth. The more we learn, the more we see that Christopher Steele was not a professional just doing his job. He was a partisan out to put together a bunch of unsubstantiated rumors in order to affect an election and target Donald Trump. Anyone who continues to give the Trump dossier credence is either dishonest or a moron. They can pick.
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