Journalist Franklin Foer appeared to admit Friday he was the journalist talked about in a federal grand jury indictment who sent 2,500 phrases of his story to Fusion GPS the day prior to it was printed. 

The analysis firm employed by the Hillary Clinton promoting advertising and marketing marketing campaign to have a look at then-candidate Donald Trump wrote him it was “time to hurry” on the story for left-wing outlet Slate linking the Trump Organization and a Russian financial institution days prior to the 2016 election, in accordance to the indictment of Democratic lawyer Michael Sussmann.

Sussmann is accused of mendacity to the FBI by the John Durham probe investigating the origins of the Russia investigation. The indictment accused Sussmann of hiding the truth that he was working for the Clinton promoting advertising and marketing marketing campaign whereas pushing for an investigation into supposed ties between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank. 

Foer was pressured by Fusion GPS, referred to as “U.S. Investigative Firm,” to “hurry” on his story about the possible backchannel between Trump and the financial institution, in accordance to the indictment, referring to him as “Reporter-2.”


The Atlantic staff writer Franklin Foer appears to be "Reporter-2." (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

The Atlantic employees author Franklin Foer seems to be “Reporter-2.” (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

“The Investigative Firm Employee’s email stated, ‘time to hurry’ suggesting that Reporter-2 should hurry to publish an article regarding the Russian Bank-1 allegations. In response, Reporter-2 emailed to the Investigative Firm Employee a draft article regarding the Russian Bank-1 allegations, along with the cover message: ‘Here’s the first 2500 words,’” the indictment talked about. 

The indictment then notes Reporter-2 published an article relating to the allegations “on or about the following day, October, 31, 2016.” 


On Oct. 31, 2016, Slate published a piece written by Foer headlined, “Was a Trump Server Communicating With Russia?” The Clinton promoting advertising and marketing marketing campaign hyped the story that day, with safety adviser Jake Sullivan – now President Biden’s nationwide safety adviser – calling the “secret hotline” maybe “the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump’s ties to Russia.”

Foer even actually helpful there was time for an “October surprise” in a tweet with a link to the story, suggesting it would very correctly be a game-changer. However, Trump went on to be elected president, and Clinton would fume that then-FBI Director James Comey’s re-opening of the investigation into her e-mail server prevented her victory.

Foer acknowledged there have been “limitations” to the story in a follow-up piece in The Atlantic two years later and expressed hope that the Robert Mueller investigation would tie up any free ends. The Justice Department’s Inspector General acknowledged the FBI had investigated and positioned no cyber hyperlinks between Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization, the Daily Caller reported final yr.


Foer appeared to admit he’s “Reporter-2” in an announcement to the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple.

“It appears to be true. ‘Reporter-2’ here, is Franklin Foer, who wrote the Slate piece on Alfa Bank-Trump Org. And the intel firm, as you note, is Fusion GPS. I asked Foer about it and he assumes it is he,” Wemple tweeted together with an announcement Foer offered. 

“If memory serves, it was a technical piece. I sent one long section, that was about the community of computer scientists and their work, to someone who I thought was knowledgeable to see if I had the thrust right. Unfortunately, they weren’t of much help,” Foer advised Wemple. 

Slate didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. 


It may be deduced that the “U.S. Investigative Firm” contained in the indictment was Fusion GPS, due to an earlier assertion contained in the indictment that the Clinton promoting advertising and marketing marketing campaign’s major counsel, Marc Elias, “retained a particular investigative Firm (the ‘U.S. Investigative Firm’) to gather information regarding Trump’s purported ties to Russia.” 

It was first reported in 2017 that Elias tapped Fusion GPS on behalf of the Clinton promoting advertising and marketing marketing campaign to have a look at Trump, lastly predominant to the notorious Christopher Steele file that will selection half of the idea for the sprawling Russia investigation. 

“Throughout the Presidential campaign, the U.S. Investigative Firm worked with Law Firm-1, members of the media, and others to gather and disseminate purported evidence of Trump’s ties to Russia,” the indictment states.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Barry Meier condemned the then-unnamed journalist’s motion on social media. 

“When journalists allow private operatives like Fusion GPS to set the rules of engagement, bad things can happen. And this, if true, is really bad,” Meier tweeted

In his follow-up for The Atlantic in 2018, Foer acknowledged he determined to publish the story as a result of of this of he apprehensive he would truly actually really feel dangerous if Trump wound up worthwhile the election.

“Before I published the server story, I asked myself a fairly corny question: How would I sleep the next week if Donald Trump were elected president, knowing that I had sat on a potentially important piece of information? In the end, Trump was elected president, and I still slept badly,” he wrote.

Fox News’ Michael Lee contributed to this report.