The founders of Fusion GPS acknowledged in a book to be released Nov. 26 that a “handful” of allegations in the infamous Steele dossier “now appear to be doubtful,” according to a review of the book.
Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch are still largely defensive of the dossier, according to The Atlantic, which obtained an advance copy of “Crime In Progress: Inside the Steele Dossier and the Fusion GPS Investigation of Donald Trump.”
“After three years of investigations, a fair assessment of the memos would conclude that many of the allegations in the dossier have been borne out,” they wrote in the book, adding that some of dossier author Christopher Steele’s allegations have “proved remarkably prescient.”
But other details of the dossier “remain stubbornly unconfirmed, while a handful now appear to be doubtful, though not yet disproven,” they wrote.
The admission is significant because Simpson and Fritsch have not previously acknowledged flaws in the dossier, which was written by former British spy Christopher Steele and funded by Democrats.
The special counsel’s report undermined several of the dossier’s bombshell claims about Trump and members of his campaign. Steele said the Trump campaign took part in a “well-developed conspiracy of coordination” with the Kremlin. The special counsel’s report said there was no evidence of a Trump-Russia conspiracy.
Steele also said former Trump attorney Michael Cohen visited Prague in August 2016 to meet with Russians regarding paying off hackers.
Cohen has vehemently denied the allegation, even after he flipped on Trump. The special counsel’s report quoted Cohen’s denial about the Prague visit, suggesting investigators were not disputing his denials.
The dossier’s most salacious allegation also remains unproved. In the first memo from the dossier, dated June 20, 2016, Steele said the Kremlin had blackmail material on Trump in the form of a video tape from 2013 of the real estate mogul in a Moscow hotel room with prostitutes.
The alleged video has been dubbed the “pee tape” or “golden showers tape” because Steele said it showed Trump watching as the prostitutes urinated on each other. Trump has vehemently denied the allegation. Steele himself has reportedly said he was “fifty-fifty” on whether the tape existed.
Simpson and Fritsch also reveal details about their interactions during the 2016 campaign with journalists. According to The Atlantic, they describe their offices in Washington, D.C., as “something of a public reading room” for reporters who investigated the Trump campaign.
Simpson and Fritsch also met with New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet during the Democratic National Convention in July 2016.
Simpson arranged meetings for Steele and reporters from The NYT, The Washington Post, Yahoo! News, The New Yorker, ABC News, and Mother Jones.
Fusion GPS’s work will come under additional scrutiny just weeks after the Simpson/Fritsch book comes out.
Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department inspector general, is set to release a report Dec. 9 on the FBI’s surveillance of Carter Page, a Trump campaign adviser named in the dossier. The FBI relied heavily on Steele’s reporting in applications to spy on Page.
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