Federal Authorities Arrest Primary Steele Dossier Researcher as Part of Durham Investigation
Federal authorities on Thursday arrested Igor Danchenko, a Russian analyst who contributed to the discredited, anti-Trump Steele dossier.
According to The New York Times, Danchenko was “the primary researcher” of the dossier, which compiled unfounded rumors about the 45th president in an effort to show he was “compromised by and conspiring with Russian intelligence officials” to help bring Hillary Clinton down. The document was then used by the FBI to illegally spy on the Trump campaign in 2016.
[M]ost of the important claims in the dossier — which was written by Mr. Danchenko’s employer, Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent — have not been proven, and some have been refuted. F.B.I. agents interviewed Mr. Danchenko in 2017 when they were seeking to run down the claims in the dossier. [...]
A 2019 investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general sharply criticized the F.B.I. for continuing to cite material from the dossier after the bureau interviewed Mr. Danchenko without alerting judges that some of what he said had cast doubt on the contents of the dossier.
The inspector general report also said that a decade earlier, when Mr. Danchenko worked for the Brookings Institution, a prominent Washington think-tank, he had been the subject of a counterintelligence investigation into whether he was a Russian agent.