The Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF) was able to confirm that Igor Danchenko, the primary source for the Steele dossier, met with a former deputy director of Russia’s energy ministry and a journalist in June 2016 when the document began to be written.
Danchenko’s activities in 2016 have come under intense scrutiny since he was identified as the primary source for the dossier on which the FBI’s investigation into President Donald Trump’s impeachment was based.
The Daily Caller followed up on Danchenko, Sergey Abyshev, who was then a deputy director in the energy ministry; and Ivan Vorontsov, the editor-in-chief of a Russian finance website, and confirmed they provided several facts and context to the origin of the allegations against President Trump.
Vorontsov posted a photo on June 16, 2016, at the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, saying he had met with Danchenko and Abyshev the night before.
Four days later on June 20, Steele was writing the first 17 memos that would later make up his dossier, which he said was based on a primary source working as an independent for his firm, Orbis Business Intelligence. Danchenko was an employee of Orbis at the time.
The date is important because Danchenko told the FBI in January 2017 that Steele had hired him in June 2016 to find dirt on then-candidate Donald Trump. Steele in turn was hired by Fusion GPS, an organization that worked for the Clintons and the Democratic National Convention (DNC), in other words, the opposition to the candidate.
After the Senate Judiciary Committee declassified memos from the Jan. 24 and Jan. 26, 2017, FBI interviews, an anonymous Twitter user identified Danchenko as Steele’s primary source.
The Steele dossier alleged that the Kremlin had a video of Donald Trump with prostitutes and that he was using this to blackmail the U.S. presidential candidate.
It also said that people on presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign had met with Russian agents to hack into the Democratic accounts and influence the outcome of the election.
None of the allegations were proven.
DCNF’s follow-up could not confirm with certainty whether Vorontsov and Abyshev were the sources of these two allegations, but the report presents extensive evidence and data, and given the timing of their meeting in Russia and the time of the writing of the dossier, coupled with evidence presented by a group of Twitter sleuths, Vorontsov fits the description of source No. 2.
DCNF’s follow up reviews Danchenko and Vorontsov’s long relationship that goes as far back as 2014 and as close as November 2019 and he analyzes Danchenko’s personal background.
One revealing fact is that Danchenko is a Russian national residing in the United States, with no close ties to the Kremlin as claimed by the Democrats who led the impeachment trial at the House.
The Ritz Carlton Hotel
The sexual allegation about President Trump at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Moscow was a rumor that Danchenko passed on to Steele and that Steele used as a fact, even though Danchenko himself told the FBI that he could not corroborate the fact after investigating it, nor was any evidence presented by the FBI to corroborate such an unfounded claim.
The hack into the Democrats
The second allegation in the dossier was that then-candidate Trump’s campaign was plotting a massive hack on the Democrats to influence the outcome of the election.
According to the dossier, Carter Page and Michael Cohen, who were working for Donald Trump on his 2016 campaign, met with Russian agents to plan the attack, once in Moscow and again in Prague.
After testimony it was confirmed that Page was never in Moscow and that Cohen did not travel to Prague to meet with the alleged Russian agents either.
The inspector general’s report then indicated to the FBI that this information was planted by the Kremlin itself, which was aware of the campaign to dirty President Trump.
These new revelations continue to add to what some are calling the failed attempt to topple President Trump with the Russia Hoax.
Recently the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), took testimony from the former second-in-command of the Justice Department at the time, Sally Yates, who claimed that for her the investigation of President Trump was justified, even though so far no one has seen a single piece of evidence of President Trump plotting with Russia to win the election.