- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 24, 2023

With special counsel John Durham’s report, it should be abundantly clear that it was the Clinton team, not the Trump team, who readily colluded with the Kremlin to interfere not just in the 2016 election but in the presidency itself.

Clinton operatives, including Democrats such as Rep. Adam Schiff, knew all the claims of Trump felonies came from the Kremlin. First of all, the sourcing was detailed by British former spy Christopher Steele himself in his dossier financed by the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton‘s campaign. 

Years later, the final Durham report officially shows in detail the flow of bogus information to Mr. Steele from three supporters of Mrs. Clinton — two Russians and a Washington public relations executive — who went in and out of Moscow in 2016. Thus, the fake information was purely of Russian origin. 

In 2017, then-House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes fought Democrats, the media and then-President Donald Trump’s own Justice Department to expose FBI corruption in weaponizing the dossier. Today, he is CEO of Mr. Trump’s social media company, Truth Social.

Mr. Nunes told me, “As has been clear for years, Durham confirmed that the only people who colluded with the Russians in the 2016 race were the Hillary Clinton campaign.”

The vaunted FBI turned out to be Inspector Clouseau. It hunted day and night for evidence of Trump-Russian conspiracies when the people who colluded with Russia were right in front of them: the Clinton crowd.

Clinton loyalists brought the dossier to the FBI Hoover Building’s seventh-floor brain trust. The FBI became a co-conspirator, trafficking the dossier to judges, the Obama White House, and intelligence powers such as the CIA and the media. 

Igor Danchenko

Mr. Steele’s No. 1 source, Russian Igor Danchenko, was investigated by the FBI from 2008 to 2011 as a possible Russian spy. But Mr. Durham said the bureau never investigated whether Mr. Danchenko provided dossier disinformation. 

Not one dossier felony claim was ever confirmed. Mr. Trump did not fund the Russian computer hacking of Democrats. His lawyer Michael Cohen did not go on a secret trip to Prague to meet hoods affiliated with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Paul Manafort and Carter Page were not the hacking liaisons to the Kremlin. Former President Donald Trump did not cavort with prostitutes in the Moscow Ritz-Carlton. 

Mr. Danchenko was a paid informant for Mr. Steele. Mr. Danchenko has lived in the U.S. on a work visa as a Russian analyst. 

When tracked down by the FBI, which knew him from the previous counterintelligence investigation, he questioned the dossier’s accuracy. Yet, agents continued to cite it to judges for more wiretaps while Clinton operatives continued trumpeting the stuff to the news media. 

Instead of shunning Mr. Danchenko, the FBI embraced him as a paid confidential human source. 

Charles Dolan

In 2016, Charles Dolan was a PR executive with strong ties to Mrs. Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. He became pals with Mr. Danchenko as the Russians began collecting anti-Trump information for Mr. Steele. Messrs. Dolan and Danchenko found themselves together in Moscow in June and October 2016 — the dossier’s creative season — working on an American-sponsored business conference.

Over the years, Mr. Dolan, as a Kremlin contractor, cozied up to Mr. Putin’s top aides, including Dmitry Peskov, his right-hand man, who is mentioned 11 times in Mr. Steele’s dossier.

Mr. Durham went to great lengths to show the parallels between Mr. Dolan’s meeting with a Putin associate and that person’s name showing up in the dossier days later. 

For example, the Dolan-organized Moscow conference was attended by Konstantin Kosachev, a senior Duma figure who is close to Mr. Putin. Mr. Dolan sat with Mr. Kosachev.

After the conference, Mr. Danchenko traveled from Moscow to London to meet with Mr. Steele.

Less than two weeks later, a dossier item quoted a “Kremlin insider” as saying that Mr. Kosachev was a key liaison between the Trump campaign and Moscow and that he had facilitated the Prague trip. (There is no evidence to support either claim.)

Mr. Dolan knew Mr. Danchenko worked for Mr. Steele. When the dossier popped in BuzzFeed on Jan. 10, 2017, he called Mr. Danchenko, who professed ignorance. The two never talked again. 

Mr. Dolan stayed at the Moscow Ritz during his June business trip. That month, the much-quoted dossier item — the one then-FBI Director James Comey briefed to then-President-elect Trump, the one about Mr. Trump and prostitutes at the Ritz — appeared in the June 20 dossier edition.

Said the Durham report, “Our investigation … revealed that it was Dolan, not Danchenko, who actually interacted with the hotel staff identified in the Steele Reports, so between the two, Dolan appears the more likely source of the allegations.”

Olga Galkina

Olga Galkina is Russian and a childhood friend of Mr. Danchenko‘s. Ms. Galkina worked for Kremlin-owned state media and became a business associate of Mr. Dolan’s.

She and Mr. Dolan did PR for XBT Holdings, a computer firm in Cyprus, which the Steele dossier wrongly accused of doing the Democratic Party 2016 hacking. The Robert Mueller investigation in 2019 cleared the firm, saying the computer intrusion was done by Russian intelligence. Mr. Mueller found no Trump-Russia collusion.

The Durham report said: “When Galkina was interviewed by the FBI in August 2017, she admitted to providing Dolan with information that would later appear in the Steele Reports.”

The report also said, “Curiously, Steele was in Cyprus at the same time Dolan was meeting with Galkina and others in Cyprus.” 

Mr. Danchenko told the FBI that it was Ms. Galkina who provided the tale of Mr. Cohen secretly traveling to Prague. She has denied this, but the Durham report says, “This is consistent with what Steele informed the FBI during his September 2017 interview.”

To sum up, the dossier was not based on any raw or finished U.S. intelligence. It was 100% Russia through and through. When Clinton operatives repeat Kremlin-sourced dirt to destroy an opponent, they are colluding. 

Republican senators in 2020 forced the declassification of intelligence reports that said the FBI in early 2017 was told the Kremlin had penetrated Mr. Steele’s collecting and planted disinformation. 

• Rowan Scarborough is a columnist with The Washington Times.

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