Grassley Probes Opposition Research Firm Behind Unsubstantiated Trump Dossier

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is requesting information from the political opposition research firm Fusion GPS on the history of the controversial and unsubstantiated dossier compiled for its clients against then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.  The firm was reportedly paid by backers of Trump’s Republican and Democrat opponents during the campaign, and contracted with former British spy Christopher Steele to create it. 

The dossier was the product of blatant political and financial motives, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has stated that “the [intelligence community] has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable, and we did not rely upon it in any way for our conclusions.” Yet, Fusion GPS and Steele reportedly shared the dossier with the FBI, which then offered to pay Steele to continue his political opposition research on Trump. Grassley has already written to the FBI seeking details about its reported arrangement with Steele, and to determine the extent to which the FBI has relied on the olitical dossier in its investigation.

In a letter to the GPS, Grassley is seeking details on the history of arrangements that funded the opposition research behind the dossier, including the FBI’s involvement.

“When political opposition research becomes the basis for law enforcement or intelligence efforts, it raises substantial questions about the independence of law enforcement and intelligence from politics,” Grassley said in the letter.

Grassley is calling on Fusion GPS to provide details on the history of the dossier, including the clients who sought the research and the terms of their engagement.  He also wants to know when Steele was hired to work on the project, how the FBI came to be involved and whether Fusion GPS was aware of any arrangements by the FBI to pay Steele.  He is further seeking documents related to the dossier’s history and arrangements between Fusion GPS and its clients.

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