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Privata utredare, de som förr kallade privatdetektiver, handlar idag ofta om före detta anställda inom olika underättelseorganisationer och deras jobb – gräva fram komprometterande uppgifter om enskilda, politiker, artister och kändisar. Ibland landar uppgifterna i artiklar skrivna av journalister som villigt tar emot information från privata utredningsfirmor.

Barry Meier är journalist på New York Times och han skriver om de som delar information med varandra:

Some journalists are happy to knock on the doors of strangers. I was never one of them, but Christopher Steele, the ex-British spy behind the infamous Trump dossier, left me no choice.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Mr. Steele had been hired by an investigative firm called Fusion GPS to gather dirt about Donald J. Trump and Russia. The firm’s founders, two former Wall Street Journal reporters, made it clear they would not talk to me for a book I was writing about the business of private intelligence. So on an early summer morning in 2019, I arrived at Mr. Steele’s home in Farnham, a picturesque English village.

In photographs, the retired MI6 agent was always dressed impeccably in business suits, his graying hair freshly coifed. When he opened his door, he was wearing plaid boxer shorts and a blue T-shirt and had a serious case of bed head. “I can’t talk today,” he said. “It’s my birthday.”

New York Times