The Christopher Steele dossier, brandished by Democrats to bring down Donald Trump’s candidacy and presidency, is even wackier than we already knew and even more steeped in Clinton world than we suspected.
Last week’s indictment of primary dossier source, Russian-born Igor Danchenko, has put the Democratic Party-financed tale into Stage Four. Only diehard Trump-hating, Prague-loving, Moscow hotel devotees would even dare to mention the dossier again, even as disguised Twitter trolls.
It turns out that Mr. Danchenko was not just repeating Kremlin rumors to Mr. Steele, but he had his own special source, Charles H. Dolan Jr., a public relations executive attached to Bill and Hillary Clinton. Mr. Dolan was a state director for Bill’s two presidential runs, a State Department political appointee, and an adviser to the Hillary campaign in 2016. A bonus: Mr. Dolan did PR for the Kremlin, hobnobbing with Vladimir Putin’s chief spokesman and his ambassador in Washington.
The indictment says Mr. Dolan’s fingerprints are on at least four of the Danchenko/Steel team’s juiciest Trump falsehoods.
This means the dossier was not only distributed to the Washington media and the FBI by Clinton operatives, but some of the flimsy claims allegedly came directly from a Bill/Hillary insider. The Clintons sourced it and then sold it as the work of a premiere British ex-spy, Mr. Steele. At best, he was a pass-through, taking in about $160,000 in Democrat cash.
Online journalist Aaron Mate’ was the first to link Mr. Dolan’s bio to the unnamed “PR Executive-1” within Mr. Danchencko’s indictment. With that, Mr. Dolan’s firm, kglobal, took down his online biography page. Later, his lawyer confirmed he’s the guy to the New York Times.
Mr. Dolan met Mr. Danchenko through the Brookings Institution in 2016. The indictment said Mr. Dolan knew Mr. Danchenko was working on a kill-Trump project, what is now the infamous Steele dossier.
Recall that Mr. Danchenko was interviewed twice by the FBI in 2017. Redacted transcripts forced into the open by Senate Republicans revealed Mr. Danchenko admitted to feeding Mr. Steele a bunch of gossip he picked up in Moscow. Special Counsel John Durham brought an indictment on Thursday accusing Mr. Danchenko of lying five times to FBI agents about how he gathered his gems.
Here are indictment disclosures that show both Mr. Danchenko’s and Mr. Dolan’s alleged deceptions.
Let’s start with the most infamous dossier line: A “well-developed conspiracy of cooperation” between Mr. Trump and the Kremlin. Mr. Danchenko told the FBI the sweeping claim came from Sergei Millian, who operated a Russian-American organization in Florida.
Mr. Danchenko said Mr. Millian fed the dirt during a phone call. The grand jury indictment says the call never took place. The two never met, as Mr. Danchenko asserted.
Then there is the dossier’s most titillating tale: Of Mr. Trump and prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room, the presidential suite no less. Democrats milked that one for years. Still do.
It turns out that the item arrived at Mr. Steele’s London door after the Clinton-connected Mr. Dolan stayed at the very same Moscow hotel, talked to the staff and then met with Mr. Danchenko. Do I dare say “fingerprints?”
And the gossip about why the campaign fired Paul Manafort as campaign manager in August 2016? It came from Mr. Dolan, who gave it to Mr. Danchenko as a Republican-sourced item.
Mr. Dolan admitted to Mr. Durham that he lied. He said he never spoke to any Republicans. He repeated news stories to his now-pal Mr. Danchenko, who quickly repeated them to Mr. Steele. Mr. Steele, after all, was on a tight deadline to type it up for Democratic-hired investigator Fusion GPS so that organization could feed the phony opposition research to D.C reporters.
Mr. Durham’s indictment states, the Steele dossier “mirrored and/or reflected information that [Mr. Dolan] himself also had received through his own interactions with Russian nationals.” It was hearsay at best, coming directly from the Kremlin.
There has never been anything like the Clinton/Steele dossier in the history of modern American politics.
A pack of discredited claims reached the highest levels of power in Washington: the FBI, Congress, the establishment press corps. They wielded the dossier to harass the Trump White House, forcing it to expend hours of decision-making to combat what turned out to be Russian gossip.
In particular, Rep. Adam Schiff, California Democrat and chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, repeatedly cited the dossier and promoted Mr. Steele.
It is too bad Mr. Durham did not tackle the mythical trip to Prague by then-Trump attorney Michael Cohen on a supposed mission to cover up Russian computer hacking. The FBI concluded the journey never happened, but not before Mr. Trump’s Washington enemies got their pound of flesh.
After interviewing Mr. Danchenko, the FBI knew he was regurgitating gossip to Mr. Steele. At about the same time, the CIA told the FBI that fantasies such as the dossier’s Prague trip were deliberate Kremlin disinformation. Yet, the house that J. Edgar Hoover built pressed on.
Compliments of Mr. Durham, we now know the Steele dossier was a Clinton-linked show from its creation in June 2016 to its sourcing to its distribution. Shame on the FBI and mainstream media for buying into this garbage from the get-go. It’s a stain in American history and one of the biggest political scandals to ever rock Washington, DC.
Don’t expect the Washington media to report on it, though. They won their Pulitzers based on Mr. Danchenko and Mr. Dolan’s lies.
• Rowan Scarborough is a columnist for the Washington Times.