The dossier contains lurid and hard-to-prove allegations. The FBI has found no evidence, for example, supporting the dossier’s its claim that an attorney for Mr. Trump went to the Czech Republic to meet Kremlin officials, U.S. officials said. The attorney has also denied the claim.
The author of the report had a good reputation in the intelligence world and was stationed in Russia for years, said John Sipher, who retired in 2014 after 28 years in the CIA’s clandestine service, where he specialized in Russia and counterintelligence. Mr. Sipher is now director of client services at CrossLead Inc., a Washington-based technology company set up by retired U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal.Private-intelligence firms like Orbis have a growing presence. Major corporations use them to conduct due diligence on potential business partners in risky areas, but quality control can be loose when it comes to high-level political intrigue, executives of private intelligence companies say.
‘If the head of the CIA were to declare he got information of this quality, you wouldn’t believe it.’—Andrew Wordsworth, co-founder of London-based investigations firm RaedasWhen government intelligence agencies produce clandestine political reports, they often include thick sections about sources, possible motivations behind their information and the methods used to approach them. Such background helps decision makers determine how reliable the information is.
Andrew Wordsworth, co-founder of London-based investigations firm Raedas, who often works on Russian issues, said the memos in the Trump dossier were “not convincing at all.”“It’s just way too good,” he said. “If the head of the CIA were to declare he got information of this quality, you wouldn’t believe it.”