Thursday, February 2, 2023

FBI And DOJ Both Promoted the Fake Steele Dossier

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( – The Steele Dossier is the centerpiece of the investigation into Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia ahead of the 2016 presidential election. Recently, authorities arrested Igor Danchenko, the main source of the document. The 43-year-old Danchenko is facing charges of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). But it appears that the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) promoted the information despite his dishonesty. 

Truthful and Cooperative

The efforts are most notable in 2018 in the middle of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Assistant Attorney General John Demers submitted a letter to Judge Rosemary Collyer of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court noting that Danchenko was truthful and cooperative with the FBI. Demers assured the court that Danchenko was a reliable source despite recent discoveries of him lying to the FBI just a year prior. 

Special Counsel John Durham’s Report

Durham has been working hard since former Attorney General William Barr appointed him two and a half years ago, and not for nothing. Durham recently obtained a 39-page indictment of Danchenko alleging the Russian lied to the FBI about Steele’s dossier sources. Notes from an FBI interview with Danchenko in January 2017 indicate that the Russian was unsure of the origins of Steele’s claims, adding that much of what he told Steele was hearsay. Danchenko even admitted that the most extreme allegations were likely added as a joke. 

Errors and Omissions

In 2019 Michael Horowitz, DOJ Inspector General, eroded the claims in the dossier, criticizing the FBI and DOJ for 17 major discrepancies concerning FISA warrants for Carter Page, former foreign policy advisor to Trump, and their reliance on the unverified accusations. Horowitz noted that the FBI’s interviews with Danchenko raised questions of reliability and cast doubt on the Steele Dossier’s most significant claims. Federal documents show that Danchenko was allegedly tied to Russian intelligence and that the FBI investigated him as a potential threat to national security. 

Despite the several blatant discrepancies and false statements, the FBI and DOJ still promoted the Steele Dossier, even with Danchenko as the main source of its information. What was the point other than attempting to paint Trump as a Russia collaborator? Several of the Steele Dossier’s sources have either denied their role as a source, been accused of lying or put distance between themselves and the document. What will Special Counsel Durham’s investigation uncover next? 

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