Federal officials this Thursday arrested a Russian analyst, Igor Danchenko, who gave the now discredited Steele dossier against President Trump.
According to The NY Times, Danchenko was “the top researcher” of the dossier, which gathered unfounded rumors about Trump in a push to show he was “conspiring with and compromised by Russian intelligence officials” to help defeat Hillary Clinton. The document was then taken and used by the FBI to illegally spy against the Trump campaign back in 2016.
“Most of the important claims inside the dossier — written by Mr. Danchenko’s employer, Christopher Steele, a former British intel. agent — were unproven, and some were refuted. F.B.I. agents interviewed Danchenko back in 2017 when they were working to confirm the claims in the dossier. […]”
“A 2019 investigation by the Justice Dept. inspector general criticized the F.B.I. for continuing to mention material inside the dossier after the FBI interviewed Mr. Danchenko without informing judges that some of what he said had put doubt on the dossier.”
“The inspector general report also stated that a decade before, when Mr. Danchenko was with the Brookings Institution, a top Washington think-tank, he was the subject of a counterintelligence review into whether he could be a Russian agent.”
“During an interview with The NY Times in 2020, Mr. Danchenko defended his work, stating he had been asked to gather “raw intelligence” and was simply giving it on to Mr. Steele. Mr. Danchenko — who became known as a Russia analyst by revealing indications that a dissertation of Vladimir Putin had plagiarized material.”
“I have never been a Russian agent,” Mr. Danchenko said. “It is ridiculous to say this. This is slander.”
Mr. Steele’s work was part of opposition research that Dems were indirectly supporting by the time of the 2016 general election. Steele’s business intel. firm was a subcontractor to yet another research firm, Fusion GPS, which in turn was hired by the Perkins Coie law firm, which was working with the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Mr. Danchenko said he didn’t know who Steele’s client was during this time and considered himself a nonpartisan researcher and analyst.
Former A.G. Bill Barr tapped U.S. Attorney John Durham back in May 2019 to examine the source of the Russia investigation. Danchenko’s arrest was a part of the Durham probe.
Author: Scott Dowdy