Primary source for ‘Dossier’ recruited his drinking buddies

by WorldTribune Staff, July 26, 2020

The alcohol-fueled criminal past of the primary “subsource” of the bogus anti-Trump “dossier” was ignored by the FBI in its vetting of him, newly declassified documents show.

The fictional content of the ‘dossier’ made for compelling content in the corporate media that enhanced and promoted it constantly although the source warned the FBI in 2017 that it wasn’t worth “a grain of salt.”

Igor “Iggy” Danchenko. / Twitter

Some of the information the source gave dossier author Christopher Steele came from drinking buddies he had recruited, the documents released by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham show.

Igor “Iggy” Danchenko, a Russian national, “was hired by Steele in 2016 to deploy a network of sources to dig up dirt on Trump and Russia for the Hillary Clinton campaign,” Paul Sperry noted in a July 24 RealClearInvestigations report.

“It does not appear the FBI asked Danchenko about his criminal past or state of sobriety when agents interviewed him in January 2017 in a failed attempt to verify the accuracy of the dossier, which the bureau did only after agents used it to obtain a warrant to surveil Trump campaign adviser Carter Page,” Sperry noted.

According to a newly declassified FBI summary of the 2017 Danchenko meeting, agents learned that key allegations in the Steele dossier “were largely inspired by gossip and bar talk among Danchenko and his drinking buddies, most of whom were childhood friends from Russia,” Sperry noted.

In a followup interview in 2017, Danchenko told the FBI his sources’ information was not worth “a grain of salt.”

Still, the FBI continued to rely on the dossier as a key piece of evidence in obtaining wiretaps to spy on Page.

Graham, South Carolina Republican, said: “The document reveals that the primary ‘source’ of Steele’s election reporting was not some well-connected current or former Russian official, but a non-Russian based contract employee of Christopher Steele’s firm. Moreover, it demonstrates that the information that Steele’s primary source provided him was second and third-hand information and rumor at best.”

The FBI told wiretap judges that the primary sub-source was based in Russia. Graham said he was not.

The FBI memo is heavily redacted and blacks out the name of Steele’s Primary Subsource. But public records and congressional sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Sperry the identity of the source was Danchenko.

“In the memo, the FBI notes that Danchenko said that he and one of his dossier sources ‘drink heavily together.’ But there is no apparent indication the FBI followed up by asking Danchenko if he had an alcohol problem, which would cast further doubt on his reliability as a source for one of the most important and sensitive investigations in FBI history,” Sperry noted.

Washington Times reporter Rowan Scarborough noted: “The striking theme in the FBI interview notes is that Danchenko relied on a group of like-minded friends, some drinking buddies, for stunning allegations against Trump and his associates — all of which eventually proved untrue. There are no first-hand Russian sources.”

Among the claims: Trump funded Russian hacking, his lawyer secretly visited Prague to meet with Vladimir Putin operatives, and there was a well-developed conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

Danchenko had been convicted and jailed years earlier on multiple public drunkenness and disorderly conduct charges in the Washington area and ordered to undergo substance-abuse and mental-health counseling, according to criminal records cited by Sperry.

Danchenko worked for the Brookings Institution — the preeminent Democratic think tank in Washington — “where he struck up a friendship with Fiona Hill, the White House adviser who testified against Trump during last year’s impeachment hearings. Danchenko has described Hill as a mentor, while Hill has sung his praises as a ‘creative’ researcher,” Sperry noted.

“Hill is also close to his boss Steele, who she’d known since 2006. She met with the former British intelligence officer during the 2016 campaign and later received a raw, unpublished copy of the now-debunked dossier.”

Danchenko was also on the payroll of Steele’s Orbis Business Intelligence in London.

The dossier “supplied the foundation for allegations against Page and other Trump associations,” Scarborough noted. “And it fed the mainstream news media and Democrats a basket full of Trump allegations to repeat until government reports ultimately disproved Danchenko’s and Steele’s work.”

The New York Times, Scarborough noted, “a prime peddler of a Trump-Russia election conspiracy narrative that was ultimately debunked, turned the new Danchenko revelation into an anti-White House story.”

The Times’ headline: “The F.B.I Pledged to Keep a Source Anonymous. Trump Allies Aided His Unmasking.”

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