There have been so many desperate attempts to discredit and attack Donald Trump both before and after the election that it’s sometimes hard to keep track of them all.

One of the most shocking of those character hit pieces was a so-called dossier on Trump that was was compiled when he was still a candidate. The 35-page document contained alleged “dirt” on the man who would become president, including supposed ties to Russia and defamatory details of Trump’s personal life — in a clear attempt to make it seem that Trump is either beholden to or vulnerable to blackmail from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

That dossier was passed off as completely true by the president’s opponents, but there’s one major red flag: Not a single bit of it has been proven to be accurate, and there are strong indications that it was completely fabricated as a smear tactic.

Now, two of the co-founders of the research firm that produced the infamous dossier are refusing to answer questions in front of the House Intelligence Committee.

On Wednesday, Peter Fritsch and Thomas Catan of Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm, pleaded “the Fifth” to literally every question that was asked by the committee.

Pleading the Fifth Amendment means that a witness refuses to answer an inquiry in order to avoid self-incrimination. It is a long-established legal protection that does not immediately suggest guilt, but in this case, it certainly raises many hard questions about the dossier and the firm behind it.

“The House panel earlier this month subpoenaed Fritsch, Catan and their fellow partner, Glenn Simpson, to discuss their involvement in the dossier, which was compiled last year by former British spy Christopher Steele,” explained The Daily Caller. “Fusion was working for an ally of Hillary Clinton’s last June when the firm hired Steele to investigate Donald Trump’s personal and business activities in Russia,” continued the news magazine.

Normally, an unconfirmed dossier compiled from a single source wouldn’t hold much weight. In this case, however, the Obama-holdover FBI apparently decided to use the un-sourced document to investigate Trump’s alleged and unproven ties to Russia.

After the Fusion GPS founders refused to answer questions in front of the House committee, Trump himself blasted the firm on Twitter.

“Workers of firm involved with the discredited and Fake Dossier take the 5th. Who paid for it, Russia, the FBI or the Dems (or all)?” demanded the president.

It looks increasingly likely that Democrats were so eager to derail the Trump candidacy that they would fabricate anything in an attempt at sabotage. At the same time, the media was so blatantly anti-Trump that some elements of it — like BuzzFeed — would have published anything, even if it was made up out of thin air.

The American people deserve the truth, and anybody who knowingly spread false and slanderous claims needs to be held accountable.

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What do you think of these executives pleading the Fifth?