The political research firm behind an infamous dossier on then-candidate Donald Trump defends its work in a New York Times op-ed and accuses the president and his allies of trying to downplay explosive allegations about Russian collusion. Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, founders of Fusion GPS, lay out how they enlisted former British spy Christopher Steele to look into Trump's Russian contacts after being separately hired by the conservative paper the Washington Free Beacon and the Clinton campaign. "What came back shocked us," they write. "Mr. Steele's sources in Russia (who were not paid) reported on an extensive—and now confirmed—effort by the Kremlin to help elect Mr. Trump president. Mr. Steele saw this as a crime in progress and decided he needed to report it to the FBI."
The pair write that they helped Steele get the report to the FBI via Sen. John McCain. They have provided 21 hours of testimony to congressional committees and called for their testimony to be made public because they say it debunks conspiracy theories on the far right. "We don't believe the Steele dossier was the trigger for the FBI's investigation into Russian meddling," they write, naming one of those theories. "As we told the Senate Judiciary Committee in August, our sources said the dossier was taken so seriously because it corroborated reports the bureau had received from other sources, including one inside the Trump camp." They accuse Republicans of "chasing rabbits" by going after them instead of looking more seriously into the allegations against the president. Click for the full op-ed. (Read more President Trump stories.)