Igor Danchenko -- indicted by Durham in November 2021
Danchenko was charged with making a false statement and is accused of lying to the FBI about the source of information he provided to Christopher Steele for the anti-Trump dossier.
The mysterious “Primary Subsource” that Christopher Steele has long hidden behind to defend his discredited Trump-Russia dossier is a former Brookings Institution research analyst -- Igor “Iggy” Danchenko, a Russian national whose past includes criminal convictions and other personal baggage ignored by the FBI in vetting him and the information he fed to Steele.
The 42-year-old Danchenko, who 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.
Charles Dolan, a Hillary Clinton friend and supporter, was feeding false information to Igor.
Danchenko first ran into trouble with the law as he began working for Brookings -- 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. His "trouble" was drugs and alcohol.
A newly declassified FBI summary of the FBI-Danchenko meeting reveals agents learned that key allegations in the dossier, which claimed Trump engaged in a “well-developed conspiracy of cooperation” with the Kremlin against Clinton, were largely inspired by gossip and bar talk among Danchenko and his drinking buddies, most of whom were childhood friends from Russia.
Danchenko confessed he had no inside line to the Kremlin and was “clueless” when Steele hired him in March 2016 to investigate ties between Russia and Trump and his campaign manager.
Desperate for leads, he turned to a ragtag group of Russian and American journalists, drinking buddies, and even an old girlfriend to scare up information for his London paymaster. Like him, his friends made a living hustling gossip for cash, and they fed him a tissue of false “rumor and speculation” -- which Steele, in turn, further embellished with spy-crafty details and sold to Fusion GPS as “intelligence.”
Danchenko, in turn, made use of the services of somebody referred to as “PR Executive-1,” who has been identified by the press as one Chuck Dolan. And it’s here that things begin to get truly interesting.
Public relations executive Charles “Chuck” Dolan Jr., a longtime Bill and Hillary Clinton supporter, provided him with information that he passed along to former British spy Christopher Steele for opposition research against Trump.
The material allegedly included elements of the salacious allegation that Russian intelligence had a recording of prostitutes urinating on a bed in the presidential suite of Moscow’s Ritz-Carlton hotel at Trump’s direction because former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama had previously slept in it.
As the charge sheet states, during his career, Dolan has served as “chairman of a national Democratic political organization,” “state chairman of President Clinton’s 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns,” and “an adviser to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.”
And so it turns out that the allegations that Trump was a Russian agent hinged on a report commissioned by the Democratic Party, which relied heavily on information provided by somebody who was once an official in that party. The corrupt circularity of it is quite extraordinary.
Danchenko is also alleged to have concealed that one of his sources for the information he provided to Steele was a longtime Democratic Party operative who was close to the Clintons — having worked on both of Bill Clinton’s successful presidential campaigns and Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign. This source was revealed on Thursday to be Chuck Dolan, a public relations executive who had Russian contacts, and referred to as “PR Executive-1” in the indictment.
|Fusion GPS||Principal source for dossier misinformation||More|
|Federal Bureau of Investigation||FBI offered informant, Igor, $1 million to corroberate dossier||More|
|Charles Dolan||Hillary pal fed Igor false information about Trump||More|
|Christopher Steele||Steele hired Igor to feed him Russian kompromat||More|
|The Steele Dossier Hoax||Russian analyst who was prime contributor to dossier||More|
Update: In January 2017, Igor Danchenko, a primary source for the Steele dossier, told FBI officials in a debriefing that one of his sources for derogatory information about Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia was merely an anonymous voice on the other end of a phone call that lasted 10-15 minutes.
The voice, Danchenko claimed, was someone he assumed to be Sergei Millian, an immigrant from Belarus, president and founder of an organization called the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce. As thin as that sourcing sounds, the truth appears to be worse. According to a new criminal indictment, Danchenko lied to FBI agents: There was no voice and there was no phone call. The Russian national made it all up.
Still, the FBI continued to use Danchenko’s supposed source’s claims of a “well-developed conspiracy of cooperation” between Russia and Trump to convince a secret federal court to allow investigators to electronically monitor at least one Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page, whom the FBI accused of masterminding the conspiracy based on Danchenko's dubious claims. Agents swore in court documents reviewed by RealClearInvestigations that Danchenko was “truthful and cooperative,” even after discovering he misled them regarding his allegedly well-placed source.
The combination of Danchenko reporting a “conspiracy” and the FBI vouching for his credibility persuaded the powerful Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to authorize wiretapping Page as a suspected Russian agent for almost a year. Page was never charged and is now suing the FBI and Justice Department for $75 million.