Thursday’s New York Times has a report on how the highly suspicious dossier alleging that Donald Trump was compromised by Russian intelligence agents came into existence. Among the other interesting revelations was that the dubious opposition research report was put together by the research firm Fusion GPS:
The story began in September 2015, when a wealthy Republican donor who strongly opposed Mr. Trump put up the money to hire a Washington research firm run by former journalists, Fusion GPS, to compile a dossier about the real estate magnate’s past scandals and weaknesses, according to a person familiar with the effort. The person described the opposition research work on condition of anonymity, citing the volatile nature of the story and the likelihood of future legal disputes. The identity of the donor is unclear.
What’s interesting about this revelation is that Fusion GPS has an institutional reputation for doing shoddy and underhanded political work, and nearly all of it has been at the behest of Democrats looking to attack Republicans. In 2012, Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly Strassel did some blockbuster reporting on Fusion GPS’s alarming efforts to dig up dirt on donors to Mitt Romney and socially conservative causes:
As Ms. Strassel has reported in recent columns, Idaho businessman Frank VanderSloot has become the target of a smear campaign since it was disclosed earlier this year that he had donated $1 million to a super PAC supporting Mr. Romney. President Obama’s campaign website teed him up in April as one of eight “less than reputable” Romney donors and a “bitter foe of the gay rights movement.” One sin: His wife donated to an anti-gay-marriage campaign, of the kind that have passed in 30 or so states.
Now we learn that little more than a week after that Presidential posting, a former Democratic Senate staffer called the courthouse in Mr. VanderSloot’s home town of Idaho Falls seeking his divorce records. Ms. Strassel traced the operative, Michael Wolf, to a Washington, D.C. outfit called Fusion GPS that says it is “a commercial research firm.”
Fusion GPS is run by a former Wall Street Journal reporter, Glenn Simpson, who wouldn’t say who is paying him for this high-minded slumming but said in an email that Mr. VanderSloot was a “legitimate” target because of “his record on gay issues.”
If Mr. Simpson and Democrats really favor disclosure, then surely Mr. Simpson should disclose who is paying him to rummage through the personal lives of opposition donors. Someone should also ask the White House, the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee if Mr. Simpson’s chop shop is on their payroll and if they approve of such tactics.
That’s not all Fusion GPS has been up to in recent years. In 2015, Planned Parenthood was stung by a video expose that detailed its involvement in human organ trafficking—organs harvested from the bodies obtained after abortions. Those behind the expose, David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress, knew they would be severely scrutinized so they released dozens of hours of raw footage that their documentary evidence was culled from to show that their reports had not been selectively edited. Nor were they misrepresenting the shocking statements of Planned Parenthood officials.
Nonetheless, Planned Parenthood produced a “forensic report” concluding that the videos had in fact been manipulated. The author of that report was none other than Fusion GPS. If you bothered to read the details of Fusion GPS’s report it made some damning concessions, even admitting there was no “widespread evidence of substantive video manipulation.” But overall, the report was calculated to be misleading and was nothing but an underhanded PR stunt for Planned Parenthood. Naturally, Fusion GPS’s report was uncritically covered by a credulous media. Politico’s headline was “Report for Planned Parenthood finds sting videos manipulated.” The New York Times went with “Planned Parenthood Videos Were Altered, Analysis Finds.” Neither report mentioned the controversy about Fusion GPS’s attacks on GOP donors or otherwise suggested the firm had partisan motivations.
While we remember that it was the National Enquirer that broke the factual story of John Edwards cheating on his dying wife, every report needs to be taken seriously yet viewed with skepticism until it is verified.
It wasn’t “put together by Fusion GPS.”
It was produced by Orbis Business Intelligence, an entirely credible intelligence collection and analysis company that provides professional services to a variety of private sector corporate clients.
Fusion GPS hired Orbis to conduct a background investigation and provide a report of their findings. The competence and integrity Fusion GPS—or any lack thereof—doesn’t alter the quality of the product that Orbis produced.
Trump apologists are furiously working every frickin’ angle in an effort to discredit the idea that there’s need to check to see if the man is a ticking time bomb. We need to check. We should have checked long before now. It’s almost like the cover up began before Trump was even nominated.
Clinton, on the other hand, was investigated, re-investigated, and re-reinvestigated continuously for over four straight years. You investigated the same issues repeatedly until you finally got to the point where you wouldn’t even put a summary of your investigative findings into print, ending with something along the lines of “read our 500+ new pages of drivel and draw your own conclusions.”
It is fake news, it never happened. But if the cucumber inserted in your HOO HOO makes you feel better thinking so, continue the charade…. The laugh is at your expense….
@Greg: You will pull the fingernails out of your fingers clinging to SOMETHING that is going to stick to Trump. He follows perhaps the most scandal and corruption-riddled administration and it will take some doing to surpass THAT disaster in failure
@Bill… Deplorable Me:
Scandals? What scandals?(jim Mora)
valerie jarrett(iranian born), said not even two weeks ago, there were no scandals in the obama administration….