the infamous Russian dossier, written by Fusion GPS and paid for by
the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee
(DNC) — and ultimately used to obtain a FISA court warrant to spy on
Trump associate Carter Page — may finally come to light thanks to a
defamation lawsuit filed by a Russian tech executive against Buzzfeed,
who originally published the document.
Court Judge Ursula Ungaro issued a decision Tuesday that said Fusion
GPS “must answer a broad array of questions about the opposition
research firm’s role in creating, investigating and disseminating the
infamous Steele dossier,” according to a report from The
ruled that attorneys for the executive, Aleksej Gubarev, can ask
Fusion GPS representatives in a deposition about the firm’s dossier
clients, its efforts to verify the dossier, its decision to hire
dossier author Christopher Steele and its interactions with
government officials and media outlets, including BuzzFeed.
Fusion GPS, which was
founded by three former Wall Street Journal reporters, has resisted
efforts to provide information about its work on the dossier. The
firm has claimed that revealing details about its dossier work would
violate its confidentiality clauses with its clients as well as its
First Amendment rights to political free speech.
rejected Fusion’s argument by saying its client relationships “are not
protected from disclosure by the First Amendment even though the
opposition research it conducts on behalf of clients may be political
Gubarev is mentioned in the dossier toward the end, with the document
alleging his we company was engaged in the proliferation of malicious
software and viruses intended to hack into the DNC’s network. The
dossier also asserts Gubarev was a Russian agent. He denies both
claims and claims that Buzzfeed negligently failed to investigate the
dossier’s claims before publication.
Evan Fray-Witzer, told The Daily Caller News Foundation that the
ruling was what they had hoped for.
“After a year
of trying everything they could think of to avoid being deposed,
Fusion is finally going to have to sit down and answer our questions,”
editor Ben Smith stands by Buzzfeed’s decision to publish the
uncorroborated document arguing that the public “had a right to know
what information government officials were sharing about Trump,”
writes The Daily Caller.
The trial is
set to begin in November.