The co-founders of Fusion GPS, the company behind the controversial Russia dossier, are pushing back against the notion that there was a partisan basis for the work, or that the dossier was the impetus for the Russia probe.
Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times that, among other things, Christopher Steele, the ex-British intelligence agent who put together the dossier, had no idea that the Clinton campaign was the funding behind the research.
“We don’t believe the Steele dossier was the trigger for the F.B.I.’s investigation into Russian meddling,” they wrote.
“As we told the Senate Judiciary Committee in August, our sources said the dossier was taken so seriously because it corroborated reports the bureau had received from other sources, including one inside the Trump camp.”
In other words, the dossier just added weight to some of the information that had already been on the FBI’s radar.
Simpson and Fritsch also noted that the Republican lawmakers are making so much noise about the dossier and the Clinton campaign funding of it, because they’d rather everybody talk about that, instead. The real work of determining the extent of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election, and if the Trump campaign was somehow complicit may prove politically inconvenient.
That is the mantra of the party-before-country partisans: The dossier contains information that is unverified; The dossier is the reason for the Russia probe, therefore, the entire investigation is a sham.
За Ваше здоровье!
Recent reports are that the impetus for the investigation came after a drunken George Papadopoulos boasted to an Australian diplomat about Russians shopping dirt on Clinton as oppo-research. When the WikiLeaks drop of DNC emails happened several months later, Australian officials contacted U.S. officials and informed them of the word they’d received previously about the Russians, prompting the U.S. to launch their investigation.
Across the board, the U.S. intelligence community agrees that Russia hacked the DNC emails, in an attempt to influence the election.
Since that time, multiple reports have come out about Russian bot farms flooding social media with various pro-Trump, anti-Clinton ads.
These same bot farms also created divisive Facebook pages and Twitter profiles, designed to exacerbate tensions among Americans, sometimes using racist or otherwise inflammatory rhetoric.
With that in mind, if you’re still pretending Russia are just scapegoats, you’re doing patriotism wrong.