Throughout the 2016 presidential election Cody was tasked by the Clinton machine to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. Glenn Simpson stated that "[Christopher Steele] hired people who can travel [to Russia] and talk to people and find out what's going on."
Shearer authored a report and gave it to Sidney Blumenthal, who gave it to State Department official Jonathan Winer, who then gave it to Christopher Steele, who passed it on to the FBI. The document is dated October 19, 2016 and was not included in BuzzFeed's January 10, 2017 release of the Steele dossier. The document is said to contain allegations of Trump's personal sexual and financial affairs.
By early 2017 when the Clinton-Steele dossier was exposed as a fraud and no Russian collusion was found, The Guardian reported that the FBI was examining a "second Steele dossier" - known now as the Shearer dossier. Congressional investigators began looking at how Clinton operatives funneled opposition research to the State Department which made their way into FBI investigative files. At this same time stories about a porn actress who claimed to have had an affair with Trump, was paid off, and like Kathleen Willey, claimed she and her child were threatened by a "mysterious stranger" to keep silent appeared in the mainstream media.
- Russian Active Measures, March 22, 2018, p. 90.