Primary Steele Dossier Source Was on FBI Payroll

The source was being paid by the FBI as a confidential informant.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Igor Danchenko, the primary source for the Steele Dossier (a report written from June to December 2016 containing debunked allegations of cooperation between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government), was on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s payroll as a confidential informant.
  • This financial relationship came to light under the scrutiny of Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation court filing.
  • Danchenko, a Russian national, was charged in Durham’s probe of the years-long Trump-Russia investigation under accusations that he was lying to the FBI about the content of the dossier.
  • Danchenko allegedly made inaccurate statements relating to United Kingdom-based investigative firms that were supposed to be providing him with information used in the dossier.
  • Durham’s filings indicated that the FBI hired Danchenko as a confidential informant in March 2017 after they interviewed him about his work on the dossier months before.
  • The Russian informant is accused of making false statements about information he gave to the United Kingdom investigation firms in 2017, and those statements were later passed along to the FBI.
  • “This is a bombshell!” President Trump wrote on Truth Social. “The FBI was paying people to steal the 2020 Presidential Election from me. There has never been anything like this in the History of our Country—and then, we are supposed to trust them with documents that they illegally took from my home, Mar-a-Lago? They are not trustworthy.”
ABOUT DANCHENKO:
  • Prior to his financial obligations from the FBI, Danchenko was the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in 2009.
  • The Russian national was an analyst at the Brookings Institute, where one of his co-workers allegedly asked him if he would be willing to sell classified information.
  • The FBI probe into Danchenko was closed in 2011 after Danchenko left the United States, though his contact with law enforcement appears to have continued.
  • It is as yet unclear if Danchenko worked as an informant to provide the lede to the investigation into the Trump campaign.
  • The Russian national is, however, indicated as the responsible party for the information about former President Donald Trump’s alleged interaction with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel.
BACKGROUND:
  • Reports indicate that Durham has asked a judge to admit Igor Danchenko’s “uncharged false statements to the FBI” about Trump at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton as evidence in his case.
  • Durham also asked the court to allow an email to Danchenko’s former employer, Cenk Sidar, dated Feb. 24, 2016, when he “advised Sidar, when necessary, to fabricate sources of information.”
  • Additionally, the special counsel wants the judge to allow information on the “uncharged false statements to the FBI reflecting the fact that [Danchenko] never informed friends, associates, and/or sources” that he worked for Steele.
  • In all, Danchenko was indicted on five counts of making a false statement last year. But according to Durham, Danchenko anonymously sourced completely fabricated claims about Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort to Hillary Clinton ally Chuck Dolan.