The primary source behind Steele’s unverified dossier has finally been revealed.
Steele’s Source Revealed
42-year-old Igor Danchenko was revealed to have been the primary source for Christopher Steele’s unverified dossier. One of his lawyers told the New York Times that the former Brookings Institution senior research analyst was not a “Russian-based” source, as the FBI had labeled him before.
Danchenko turns out to have been the main information provider to Steele for his dossier, which was used by the FBI to wiretap Carter Page – former Trump campaign adviser, in what began the investigation into Russian collusion with the Trump campaign in 2016.
Danchenko’s name was released after Attorney General William Barr directed the FBI to declassify the report about its 2017 interview with the man, with the report going to Sen. Lindsey Graham’s hands, as his Judiciary Committee is investigating the origins of the Russia probe. Graham said that the interview only serves to further undercut the credibility of Steele’s dossier.
However, neither the senator nor the Attorney General released Danchenko’s name as it was redacted in the documents – the former analyst’s identity was discovered by an online blog post titled “I Found the Primary Subsource,” with a later article by news organization RT also outing the name.
Danchenko was born in Ukraine and earned degrees at the University of Louisville and Georgetown University, with his specialty being research on Russia and Eurasia, as well as analysis and consulting work. Danchenko obtained Putin’s dissertation in 2010 and alleged that the Russian President had engaged in plagiarism.
The FBI’s last two renewal applications to the FISA court for a warrant against Page claimed that the source of Steele’s dossier was “truthful and cooperative,” as well as “Russian-based.” Graham’s Judiciary Committee, on the other hand, concluded that the primary source of Steele’s report wasn’t well-connected, nor a current or former Russian official, but rather a non-Russian-based contract employee of Steele’s firm.
The committee added that the information provided to Steele was “second and third-hand information and rumors at best.”