We Are Finally Uncovering the Center of the Scandal of the Steele Dossier

Commentary “Those who lack delicacy hold us in their power.” I have always liked that mot from the English essayist William Hazlitt. I’d wager Hillary Clinton and her minions, very much including the discredited spook Christopher Steele, like it too. For how long did “the Steele dossier,” that rancid pile of anti-Trump lies, rumors, fantasies, and fabrications monopolize the public’s attention? Remember, it took more than a year before we learned that the dossier was not a dossier, i.e., a collection of basically verified information about a subject, but merely opposition “research,” i.e., completely unsubstantiated stories, covertly paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign. Thousands of news stories were published about the Steele Dossier. Journalists picked over its every allegation, pretending to weigh each charge and track down every outlandish story. The entire apparat of the FBI, aided by our so-called “intelligence” agencies wheeled into action. Poor, doddering Robert Mueller, who claimed at a Congressional hearing not to be familiar with “Fusion GPS,” the group that siphoned money from the Clinton campaign, via the Perkins Coie law firm, to Steele, was the titular head of an investigation that lasted for well nigh two years. Mueller’s extended inquiry, which came up with no evidence of collusion between Donald Trump and the Russians, cost the American taxpayers some 40 million dollars. It also destroyed the lives and careers of several Trump allies. But speaking of lacking delicacy, just a few weeks ago Christopher Steele sat for a highly touted interview on Hulu with the Clinton apparatchik George Stephanopoulos. That embarrassing performance was billed in advance as finally, at last, vindicating the dossier. It did nothing of the kind. Had Steele, had Stephanopoulos, had Hulu had any delicacy, they would not have engaged in that farce. But they lacked delicacy, and so television audiences were treated to another overproduced sack of lies and misrepresentations. Now the painstaking John Durham, of whose investigation into corruption surround the Russia Collusion investigation I had despaired, has begun to deliver the goods. In September, in a 27-page document, Durham indicted Michael Sussmann, a Clinton confident and lawyer for Perkins Coie, for lying to the FBI. At the time, people commented on the length and detail of the indictment, speculating that it was merely “the tip of the iceberg” in Durham’s investigation. Durham’s indictment of Igor Danchenko, the Russian who provided Steele with most of the dirt he complied in his dossier, marks a whole new chapter in the Trump-Russia phantasmagoria. Like many journalists, I have written scores of articles on the long-running anti-Trump entertainment. Several times, I compared it to an onion, since no sooner had we peeled back one layer to expose new actors than another layer would be peeled back to expose yet newer characters hitherto unknown to the public. Remember when we first learned about the FBI love birds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page? Remember when Joseph Mifsud’s name first surfaced? Or Stefan Halper’s? For a nano-second, George Papadopoulos, a minor Trump campaign aide, was held up as the fons et origo of the Trump-Russia narrative. The New York Times told us so. But perhaps now, at last, we are getting to the real center of the onion that is the Steele Dossier, which in turn was the primary motor of the whole Trump-Russia investigation. The chief thing to appreciate, as Kimberly Strassel noted in a superb summary, is that the Steele Dossier really should be called “the Clinton Dossier.” Steele got his information from Danchenko. But, as Strassel notes, “the bigger story of the indictment is Democrats’ central role in every aspect of the dossier and the FBI investigation.” Danchenko fed various lies, rumors, and fabrications to Steele. But he in turn got most of those premasticated fabrications from Charles Dolan another Clinton apparatchik, who is identified as “PR Executive-1” in Durham’s indictment. The indictment alleges that in August 2016, Danchenko asked Dolan for any “thought, rumor, allegation” about the resignation of Paul Manafort, Trump former campaign manager, because he, Danchenko, was working on a “project against Trump.” This is where it gets interesting, or at least surreal. Danchenko was not a high-level Kremlin operative as Steele said his sources were. He was an anti-Trump employee of the Brookings Institution in Washington. As for Dolan, he just made stuff up. He said in an email he had a drink with a “GOP friend of mine who knows some of the players” who provided some of the information he supplied. As Strassel points out, bits from the email “appear nearly verbatim in the Steele dossier, though they are (hilariously) sourced to a ‘close associate of TRUMP.’ ” Not only that: “the indictment says the Dolan later told the FBI he had fabricated meeting a GOP friend and had simply passed on in

We Are Finally Uncovering the Center of the Scandal of the Steele Dossier

Commentary

“Those who lack delicacy hold us in their power.”

I have always liked that mot from the English essayist William Hazlitt.

I’d wager Hillary Clinton and her minions, very much including the discredited spook Christopher Steele, like it too.

For how long did “the Steele dossier,” that rancid pile of anti-Trump lies, rumors, fantasies, and fabrications monopolize the public’s attention?

Remember, it took more than a year before we learned that the dossier was not a dossier, i.e., a collection of basically verified information about a subject, but merely opposition “research,” i.e., completely unsubstantiated stories, covertly paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Thousands of news stories were published about the Steele Dossier. Journalists picked over its every allegation, pretending to weigh each charge and track down every outlandish story.

The entire apparat of the FBI, aided by our so-called “intelligence” agencies wheeled into action.

Poor, doddering Robert Mueller, who claimed at a Congressional hearing not to be familiar with “Fusion GPS,” the group that siphoned money from the Clinton campaign, via the Perkins Coie law firm, to Steele, was the titular head of an investigation that lasted for well nigh two years.

Mueller’s extended inquiry, which came up with no evidence of collusion between Donald Trump and the Russians, cost the American taxpayers some 40 million dollars.

It also destroyed the lives and careers of several Trump allies.

But speaking of lacking delicacy, just a few weeks ago Christopher Steele sat for a highly touted interview on Hulu with the Clinton apparatchik George Stephanopoulos.

That embarrassing performance was billed in advance as finally, at last, vindicating the dossier.

It did nothing of the kind.

Had Steele, had Stephanopoulos, had Hulu had any delicacy, they would not have engaged in that farce.

But they lacked delicacy, and so television audiences were treated to another overproduced sack of lies and misrepresentations.

Now the painstaking John Durham, of whose investigation into corruption surround the Russia Collusion investigation I had despaired, has begun to deliver the goods.

In September, in a 27-page document, Durham indicted Michael Sussmann, a Clinton confident and lawyer for Perkins Coie, for lying to the FBI.

At the time, people commented on the length and detail of the indictment, speculating that it was merely “the tip of the iceberg” in Durham’s investigation.

Durham’s indictment of Igor Danchenko, the Russian who provided Steele with most of the dirt he complied in his dossier, marks a whole new chapter in the Trump-Russia phantasmagoria.

Like many journalists, I have written scores of articles on the long-running anti-Trump entertainment.

Several times, I compared it to an onion, since no sooner had we peeled back one layer to expose new actors than another layer would be peeled back to expose yet newer characters hitherto unknown to the public.

Remember when we first learned about the FBI love birds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page? Remember when Joseph Mifsud’s name first surfaced? Or Stefan Halper’s?

For a nano-second, George Papadopoulos, a minor Trump campaign aide, was held up as the fons et origo of the Trump-Russia narrative. The New York Times told us so.

But perhaps now, at last, we are getting to the real center of the onion that is the Steele Dossier, which in turn was the primary motor of the whole Trump-Russia investigation.

The chief thing to appreciate, as Kimberly Strassel noted in a superb summary, is that the Steele Dossier really should be called “the Clinton Dossier.”

Steele got his information from Danchenko. But, as Strassel notes, “the bigger story of the indictment is Democrats’ central role in every aspect of the dossier and the FBI investigation.”

Danchenko fed various lies, rumors, and fabrications to Steele.

But he in turn got most of those premasticated fabrications from Charles Dolan another Clinton apparatchik, who is identified as “PR Executive-1” in Durham’s indictment.

The indictment alleges that in August 2016, Danchenko asked Dolan for any “thought, rumor, allegation” about the resignation of Paul Manafort, Trump former campaign manager, because he, Danchenko, was working on a “project against Trump.”

This is where it gets interesting, or at least surreal.

Danchenko was not a high-level Kremlin operative as Steele said his sources were. He was an anti-Trump employee of the Brookings Institution in Washington.

As for Dolan, he just made stuff up. He said in an email he had a drink with a “GOP friend of mine who knows some of the players” who provided some of the information he supplied.

As Strassel points out, bits from the email “appear nearly verbatim in the Steele dossier, though they are (hilariously) sourced to a ‘close associate of TRUMP.’ ”

Not only that: “the indictment says the Dolan later told the FBI he had fabricated meeting a GOP friend and had simply passed on info he had read in the press.”

Strassel is right: “The Clinton dossier should go down as one of the biggest scandals in U.S. political history. Not just for the breadth of the con, but for the time it has taken to expose it.”

One of the biggest.” Right alongside of the Clinton dossier is the Jan. 6 insurrection hoax.

That too is plenty big and will be plenty hard to expose.

In the fulness of time, however, I suspect that future historians will conclude that, in essence, the Jan. 6 episode is not entirely separable from the Russia Collusion hoax.

They were cut from the same cloth, involve many of the same players, and their enemy is not just Donald Trump but the populist spirit that brought him to power and, for one brief moment, seemed to be making America great again.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


Roger Kimball

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Roger Kimball is the editor and publisher of The New Criterion and publisher of Encounter Books. His most recent book is “Who Rules? Sovereignty, Nationalism, and the Fate of Freedom in the 21st Century.”