Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm that specializes in smearing for hire has an unholy relationship with the Democratic Party. That is the firm that hired Christopher Steele to compile a dossier—essentially a hit piece on candidate Donald Trump.
As you may know, Fusion GPS at first refused to honor subpoenas from a congressional committee. Then, when their people were compelled to show up, they took the Fifth on every question. That means at least THEY think they did something criminal.
An opposition research firm is hired by candidates to dig up dirt on their opponents. This was a particularly nasty one, even in that context. They didn’t just dig up dirt: they made up some pretty raw stuff on whistleblowers and people like Thor Halvorssen, who heads Human Rights.
According to the Tablet:
“At the same time as Fusion GPS was being paid directly by Russian clients in Washington, it was also being paid by a Venezuelan company called Derwick Associates that reportedly skimmed billions of dollars from rigged contracts with Hugo Chavez’s regime—and which did large amounts of business with Russian state companies like Gazprom and Gazprombank that are sanctioned by Washington for issues related to Russia’s involvement in Ukraine.”
There’s more, quoted from Thor Halvorssen:
“’In 2012 I began researching a Venezuelan corruption scandal that also involved U.S. banks, companies, and even U.S. courts,’ the Venezuelan-born Halvorssen writes in his testimony. ‘This story should have received extensive exposure on the front pages of America’s national newspapers. Fusion GPS, however, was hired to spike these stories. Even though it was clearly acting as a public relations counsel on behalf of a foreign principal, Fusion GPS never registered under FARA and was abe to engage in nefarious activities without public scrutiny.’
“As Halvorssen writes in his testimony….
“’They placed false accusations that I was a heroin addict, a pedophile, and guilty of embezzlement,’ Halvorssen said.
- You can read about it, and view screenshots of social media posts allegedly placed by GPS to smear “Venezuelan investigative reporter Alek Boyd, who has compiled a dossier of his own about the firm’s activities in his native country.” With my limited Spanish, I can see one of them calls him a sociopath and narcotics trafficker.
It’s almost funny that Fusion GPS claims they have First Amendment rights as journalists, even though a couple of its partners once worked for the WSJ.
Although this kind of activity doesn’t seem to be criminal IMO, I wonder how the FBI could have used the Trump dossier to get a FISA warrant to wiretap Americans, as is now suspected. THAT may be criminal. I also wonder precisely who within the FBI did this, if it turns out to be true.
The Daily Caller quotes former US attorney Joseph diGenova:
“The possibility the Obama administration might use the unproven allegations before a FISA court ‘constitutes a crime of unbelievable dimensions,’ he said, adding: ‘It requires the empanelment of a federal grand jury.’”
There is also an allegation that the FBI actually PAID Christopher Steele for creating the dossier. So if true, we’d have the FBI paying someone to create a document to deceive a FISA judge into giving them a warrant “to spy on Donald Trump campaign aides and later his transition team.”
This is beyond Watergate, if it happened. Now: The FBI should be ordered to produce all necessary documents to Congress. Rod Rosenstein is the FBI director’s direct superior. If he won’t do it, AG Sessions needs to step in.
It’s no wonder Fusion GPS is trying to conceal who paid it to do the job.