The latest nail in the coffin of Hillary Clinton’s Trump-Russia collusion fable of 2016 comes from a now unsealed motion filed by Special Counsel John Durham’s team. It shows Igor Danchenko – the primary source of the material that went into the so-called Steele Dossier – was in fact put on the FBI payroll in 2017, despite the bureau’s awareness that the Russian was an unreliable source with possible ties to Russia’s intelligence services.
Durham’s investigation of how and why the FBI took seriously one of the biggest political hoaxes in American history – the discredited conspiracy theory that Russia worked with former President Donald Trump to steal the 2016 election – is continuing, though all but completely ignored by the left-wing establishment media in the US. Despite the lack of any serious legal consequences for the many characters involved in weaving that web of lies, salacious claims, barroom gossip, and uncorroborated media reports, the investigation has shed a lot of light on just how shady the whole enterprise was.
Journalists, FBI agents, Clinton’s aides, a tech CEO, Robert Mueller, and a motley assortment of foreign players all tried in vain to establish proof of links between Trump and the Russians. Yet, since those hysteria-filled days, John Durham has managed to uncover a few threads linking Russians to some of the very people who created the collusion hoax and made it the most prominent political story of the first two years of Trump’s presidential term. That’s irony.
“In March 2017,” Durham’s motion says, “the FBI signed [Danchenko] up as a paid confidential human source of the FBI. The FBI terminated its source relationship with the defendant in October 2020. As alleged in further detail below, the defendant lied to FBI agents during several of these interviews.”
The Steele Dossier and the Real Russian Collusion
Even before Danchenko was recruited as a human intelligence source, the FBI had terminated its relationship with former British MI6 agent Christopher Steele, who himself used the Russian as a main source of information for the collection of dubious allegations pertaining to Trump that became known as the Steele Dossier. But the FBI had long been concerned that Danchenko had ties to Russian intelligence agencies, as Durham also noted:
“As has been publicly reported, [Danchenko] was the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation from 2009 to 2011. In late 2008, while the defendant was employed by a prominent think tank in Washington, D.C., the defendant engaged two fellow employees about whether one of the employees might be willing or able in the future to provide classified information in exchange for money.”
Durham has submitted multiple additional examples of Danchenko misleading FBI investigators regarding information on Trump that he supposedly received from his own sources – some of whom have since denied providing Danchenko with that information.
If Durham’s findings are accurate, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign was using opposition research provided mostly by a Russian national with possible connections to the Russian government. One must assume that Donald Trump’s 2016 opponent neither knew nor cared about the true origins of the Steele Dossier – but it’s still a sort of unplanned collusion between Clinton and the Russians, designed to influence that year’s presidential election. There’s that irony, again. As for why the FBI would use Danchenko, of all people, as a HUMINT (human intelligence) source, that is something Durham has yet to uncover – or perhaps he has already solved that mystery, but the American public has not yet been apprised.