What began as opposition research became a potential national security concern last summer when a counter-intelligence official hired to dig up dirt on President-elect Donald Trump stumbled onto the alarming, but unverified, allegations that Russia has material it can use to blackmail Trump.
The counter-intelligence contractor handed the information over to his former colleagues at the FBI — but the organization reportedly sat on the tip because it was distracted by newly-discovered Hillary Clinton emails, The Guardian reports:
As summer turned to autumn, the investigator was asked for more information by the FBI but heard nothing back about any investigation. The bureau seemed obsessed instead with classified material that flowed through a private email server set up by Clinton's aides. The FBI's director, James Comey, threw the election into a spin 11 days before the vote by announcing his investigators were examining newly discovered material. [The Guardian]
Read more about how the dossier became public, and where the information came from, at The Guardian.