The Wacky, Absurd and False “Sources” of the Steele Dossier

We have known for some time, through the efforts of Special Counsel John Durham, that the Steele dossier was a Clinton camp invention.

We now know why the claims it contained were so sinister, clumsy, and (for anyone with an iota of common sense) blatantly false.

A Wall Street Journal In-Depth Analysis reveals that Steele’s central accusations were based on pointless gossip. No intel community insiders with extensive source networks. No: from a trio of mundane hacks without any insight into secret affairs, the only one of which real connections were at Clinton World.

What an embarrassment to the countless journalists and television personalities who have spoken of such sordid nonsense from outsiders as a life-saving scoop for democracy. And for the FBI, who took Steele so seriously.

The non-entities were: Faithful Dem and PR man Charles Dolan Jr.; Olga Galkina, paid flack of a Russian tech entrepreneur; and the lead “researcher” on the case, Igor Danchenko.

Dolan – the apparent source of, among other fantasies, the story of Trump cavorting with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel – was shocked that some of his chatter was published and reported as fact. “I hope this will be revealed as fake news,” he reportedly wrote simply. hours after the file has emerged

Galkina, a school friend of Danchenko, came up with the totally false stories about Carter’s front page, then Michael Cohen serving as Donald Trump’s Kremlin cutouts — and helped drag his employer, Aleksey Gubarev, through the mud by alleging without any real evidence that he and his company aided internet attacks on Hillary Clinton.

Igor Danchenko passed false information on Donald Trump to ex-spy Steele.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Danchenko, now charged with lying to the FBI, orally conveyed these “findings” to ex-British James Bond spy Christopher Steele (who had forbidden him to write any notes). Steele then ran with it all, like him (or the Fusion GPS sleaze dealers who hired him, after Clinton attorney Marc Elias hired their) claimed that it all came from his supposed Russian sources or, alternatively, sources close to Trump. (Steele doesn’t speak Russian, by the way.)

Top FBI officials used it as a base to spy on the Trump campaign; the big guys in the intelligence community at least pretended to take him seriously. This, when Director of National Intelligence John Brennan briefed President Barack Obama in July 2016 of the Clinton campaign’s intention to fake a Trump-Russia scandal. Did they ever notify the FBI?

Yet breathless scribes from The New York Times, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed, New York magazine, and elsewhere have been promoting this nonsense for months, all taken (most, willingly) by the equivalent of campaigns high school whispers. Some still can’t let go.

Russiagate, in short, has been the scandal of a generation — media and government.