If there’s anything the left has mastered, it’s political sleight of hand.
Two of the co-founders of Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm responsible for the Steele dossier, penned a New York Times op-ed on Tuesday in which they defended their firm’s work–and turned criticism back on Republicans.
“A generation ago, Republicans sought to protect President Richard Nixon by urging the Senate Watergate committee to look at supposed wrongdoing by Democrats in previous elections,” wrote Peter Fritsch and Glenn R. Simpson.
“The committee chairman, Sam Ervin, a Democrat, said that would be ‘as foolish as the man who went bear hunting and stopped to chase rabbits.’
“Today, amid a growing criminal inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, congressional Republicans are again chasing rabbits. We know because we’re their favorite quarry.”
The Fusion GPS partners stood by the dossier’s principle allegation: that Russia blackmailed President Trump into colluding with them to influence the 2016 election.
“We’re extremely proud of our work to highlight Mr. Trump’s Russia ties,” the op-ed read. “To have done so is our right under the First Amendment.”
The Times article is the first time Fusion GPS has publicly commented about the dossier, which was published nearly a year ago by BuzzFeed News after being funded by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign.
FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe has admitted that the dossier, which claims President Trump hired Russian prostitutes to urinate on a bed once used by Barack Obama, is largely unsubstantiated.
This has prompted Republican lawmakers to question to whether the dossier formed the basis of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign.
Simpson and Fritsch echoed a New York Times report that the FBI did not begin its investigation as a result of the dossier, but because of drunken remarks by Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.
“We don’t believe the Steele dossier was the trigger for the F.B.I.’s investigation into Russian meddling,” they wrote.
The authors also claimed the dossier “was taken so seriously because it corroborated reports the bureau had received from other sources, including one inside the Trump camp.”
According to the Fusion GPS founders, dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British spy, did not know he was indirectly working for the Clinton campaign and DNC. Fritsch and Simpson denied telling their clients Steele was simultaneously sharing his alleged findings with the FBI.
“We did not speak to the FBI and haven’t since,” they asserted.
The op-ed authors said they did not mean for the dossier to appear in BuzzFeed, claiming the outlet published the document “to [their] dismay.”
They did not address meetings between Simpson and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr–whose wife worked at Fusion GPS to investigate President Trump. Simpson met with Ohr before and after the election.
Is Fusion GPS trying to pull a fast one on the American people?
Any op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.