A Russia Analyst Living In The US Has Been Identified As Christopher Steele’s Primary Dossier Source


by Chuck Ross, The Daily Caller:

  • The mystery of the primary source for dossier author Christopher Steele has finally been solved. 
  • Igor Danchenko, a Russia analyst living in the U.S., has been identified as Steele’s primary source of information in the dossier. 
  • Danchenko, who previously worked at the Brookings Institution, told the FBI in January 2017 that he was Steele’s source. 
  • He undermined several of Steele’s core allegations regarding Donald Trump and members of his campaign. 

A Russian-born analyst living in the United States has been identified as the primary source for Christopher Steele, the author of a now-debunked dossier regarding Donald Trump and members of his campaign.

Igor Danchenko, 42, was identified as the dossier source through a series of events that began with the July 17 release of an FBI memo of interviews conducted with Steele’s primary source in January 2017.

The FBI redacted all information in the memo that might identify Danchenko and six of his sub-sources, but a Twitter user pieced together clues from the memo — such that Danchenko worked as a “facilitator” and had studied in the United States — to identify him as the likely source. The Twitter sleuth created a blog laying out information about Danchenko.

On Saturday, The New York Times confirmed that Danchenko was the source.

“Mr. Danchenko is a highly respected senior research analyst; he is neither an author nor editor for any of the final reports produced by Orbis,” Danchenko’s lawyer, Mark Schamel, told the Times.

“Mr. Danchenko stands by his data analysis and research and will leave it to others to evaluate and interpret any broader story with regard to Orbis’s final report,” said Schamel, referring to Orbis Business Intelligence, the London-based firm owned by Steele.

Danchenko, a former analyst at the Brookings Institution, a liberal foreign policy think tank, undercut some of the dossier’s most explosive allegations about Trump and members of his campaign. His statements to the FBI also suggested that he has far fewer connections to Kremlin insiders than Steele’s allies and the media have suggested. (RELATED: FBI Memo Raises Doubts About Sources Behind Dossier, Ex-CIA Station Chief Says)

Danchenko told the FBI that he shared “rumor and speculation” with Steele that he received from his sources, but that Steele suggested in the dossier that the information was confirmed.

He said that he heard rumors that Trump had used prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room in 2013 and that the Kremlin had video tape of it. Danchenko said that one of his sources inquired at the hotel about the alleged incident but was unable to confirm that it happened.

The dossier’s other major allegations involve Carter Page and Michael Cohen, the former Trump lawyer.

Steele alleged that Page, a member of the campaign’s national security team, was a central figure in the “well-developed conspiracy of coordination” between the Trump campaign and Kremlin. Steele wrote that it was Page’s idea to use WikiLeaks to release Democrats’ emails during the campaign. He also alleged that Page met secretly with Kremlin insiders in July 2016 to discuss relaxing sanctions against Russia in exchange for election help.

Regarding Cohen, Steele wrote that the former Trump acolyte flew to Prague in August 2016 to meet with Kremlin officials regarding the election.

The special counsel’s report debunked the claim about Cohen, saying that he did not visit Prague. It also said that no Trump associates conspired with Russia or helped release emails through WikiLeaks.

Danchenko relied on at least one source — “Source 3” in the FBI memo — for the information about Cohen as well as some of the information about Page.

A Justice Department inspector general’s report of the FBI’s investigation said that the bureau received evidence on Jan. 12, 2017, two days after BuzzFeed published the dossier, that the Cohen allegation may have been the product of Russian disinformation.

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