So now the American public knows what was circulating in Washington media and political circles for months.
Unsubstantiated details in a top-secret intelligence report about Donald Trump’s links to Russia were compiled by a former British spy named Christopher Steele, who got a contract to do opposition research on Trump seven months ago.
Steele initially was hired by FusionGPS, a Washington-based political research firm, to investigate Trump on behalf of unidentified Republicans who wanted to stop Trump's bid for the GOP nomination.
Here is an account of the way it all played out, from The New York Times.
Steele now has gone into hiding, “in fear of his life,” BBC News reports.