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Crime in Progress

Inside the Steele Dossier and the Fusion GPS Investigation of Donald Trump

By Glenn Simpson, Peter Fritsch
16-minute read
Audio available
Crime in Progress: Inside the Steele Dossier and the Fusion GPS Investigation of Donald Trump by Glenn Simpson, Peter Fritsch

Crime in Progress (2019) is the thrilling inside story of the intelligence agency that first started investigating the links between Donald Trump and Russia. Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch of Fusion GPS relate how they commissioned the infamous Steele Dossier, which alleged that the Russians had leverage over Trump, and the astonishing series of events to which this led.

  • Fans of American politics
  • Readers who enjoy a political thriller
  • Anyone who’s been glued to the news for the past several years

Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch are founders of the private investigative firm Fusion GPS. Previously, both worked for the Wall Street Journal. As a reporter, Simpson specialized in topics including campaign finance, money laundering, and fraud. Fritsch was a reporter and bureau chief who worked for the Journal in many countries around the world before becoming its national security editor.

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Crime in Progress

Inside the Steele Dossier and the Fusion GPS Investigation of Donald Trump

By Glenn Simpson, Peter Fritsch
  • Read in 16 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 10 key ideas
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Crime in Progress: Inside the Steele Dossier and the Fusion GPS Investigation of Donald Trump by Glenn Simpson, Peter Fritsch
Synopsis

Crime in Progress (2019) is the thrilling inside story of the intelligence agency that first started investigating the links between Donald Trump and Russia. Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch of Fusion GPS relate how they commissioned the infamous Steele Dossier, which alleged that the Russians had leverage over Trump, and the astonishing series of events to which this led.

Key idea 1 of 10

One of today’s biggest political stories began life as a small-scale opposition research report.

Collecting information on political opponents is a standard part of contemporary politics. As election season approaches, it’s normal for private intelligence firms to be hired to conduct opposition research – investigating the backgrounds of political candidates to try and unearth damaging material from their pasts.

But it’s hardly common for an “oppo research” report to snowball into multiple governmental investigations. And it’s less common still for those investigations to be focused on a sitting president and his possible ties to a potentially hostile foreign power.

Yet that was the consequence when the small intelligence firm Fusion GPS decided to investigate Donald Trump and his curious relationship with Russia.

Fusion GPS was founded by Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, two former investigative journalists who met while working at the Wall Street Journal. At Fusion, they put their analytical skills to use in unearthing and interpreting complex, publicly available documents – like financial records and court filings – for a range of private clients.

Generally, Fusion didn’t work with politicians, but rather clients like lawyers or hedge fund managers. In fact, before 2015, they had only ever worked on one political campaign. That was in 2012, when they investigated the murky financial background of Mitt Romney – the Republican candidate for president at the time.

In 2015, Fusion viewed Donald Trump as a similar prospect to Romney: someone with plenty of questionable business dealings that they would be well placed to shed light on. So they sought a client to pay for an investigation into Trump, and they found one in the conservative publication the Washington Free Beacon. It was run by the billionaire Paul Singer – a Republican opposed to Trump. Fusion was given a broad brief, but the aim was simple: to find information that would hinder Trump’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

Then, they got to work.

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