Washington D.C. is one of the wealthiest regions in America. It does not produce cars or computers or software. It produces public policy, for a price, on behalf of national and international clients.
The Russia Lie is the story of how federal agencies, pundits, lobbyists, big money donors, and politicians, crossed party lines to defend themselves against an outsider, Donald J. Trump.
The sordid mess is difficult to describe in full detail, partly because in the expensive inquiry that followed, the important details were mostly hidden. Ridiculously, as can only happen in clique like Washington, the investigation merged into the political operation that caused the investigation.
Enough has been ferreted out, though, that a complete picture is finally emerging.
In 2016, a Democratic Party-funded political research firm, Fusion GPS, hired a London-based former British spy by the name of Christopher Steele to investigate Trump’s connections with Russia. Steele produced a dossier that said Trump was working with Russian President Vladimir Putin to undermine candidate Hillary Clinton.
The dossier suggested Putin’s leverage on Trump was Kompromat: Russian intelligence had secretly recorded Trump hiring prostitutes in a Moscow hotel and paying them to pee on a bed in which President Obama had once slept.
This schlock was sold to the FBI which in turn opened an investigation into the Trump campaign and used the dossier to obtain warrants to go through sensitive emails. There were illegal leaks, and a false narrative was injected into the election (and its aftermath) that Trump was a Manchurian candidate.
That really happened.
In late July 2020, a redacted version of the FBI’s 2017 interview with the Steele dossier’s primary sub source (PSS) was released, and it was a game changer. The interviewing agents took pains to prop up the fan-fiction of Russian intrigue even as the PSS was pretty much laughing it off.
Completely missing from the interview, as always with the Russia hoax, was anything from inside the Kremlin.
Official Washington – including top Republicans – has accepted for years that the PSS was connected at the highest levels to Putin. Really, though, he was just an employee of Christopher Steele, spouting the company line.
It has been confirmed that the PSS is Igor Danchenko, a long-ago Russian immigrant who got his masters from the University of Louisville, after which he started doing some translation work for the stuffy, globalist DC-think tank, the Brookings Institution.
In his master’s thesis he thanked Fiona Hill, who later would help him graduate to the position of senior researcher at Brookings, and co-author a paper with her about how Russian ambitions in Europe and Asia are bolstered by its energy exports.
Hill is the British-American academic and self-confessed Russia-hawk who was Adam Schiff’s key impeachment witness against President Trump.
When questioned by the FBI under a grant of immunity, Danchenko claimed that he had no insider knowledge and the dossier was just rumors that he heard third hand from people who couldn’t know. He said that he had no connections to Putin or to Russian intelligence.
A more compromised source could not be imagined. It is as if they were trying to make a flop, but the audience got sucked in, a bumbling bureaucrat version of The Producers.
Some pundits are now buying into the idea that Danchenko is a Russian spy. That’s hard to believe. In his private and academic life, Danchenko has been anti-Putin, going so far as to accuse Russia’s president of plagiarism.
There is an FBI report that has him trying to recruit a researcher associated with the Obama administration to sell intelligence to “some people” for money in 2009.
We know, though, from WikiLeaks, that at the time Danchenko was picking up money on the side, selling insider analysis to the Texas based global intelligence company, Stratfor.
Stratfor is certainly a better explanation for “I know some people who will pay for intelligence” than Putin-did-it.
Let’s assume it’s true, though. Then there is presently a Russian spy in Washington DC under a grant of immunity from the FBI hawking analyst work on Linkedin between shopping trips on the Metro.
If it were not tragic, it would be comical.
Be careful, too, Republicans, because although “the Steele dossier was Russian disinformation” scores immediate political points, it causes its own problems. The dossier was paid for by the DNC, and democrats do not need Putin to lie about Trump. They can do it all by themselves. The dossier is by necessary inference DNC disinformation. Given all that has been learned, Republicans should be careful not to give the plotters a blame-Putin excuse.
Most importantly, the FBI has been in possession of this Russia-hoax-killing interview with Danchenko since February 2017. Yet the Justice Department still used the Steele dossier to get FISA warrants on Carter Page after that and as a predicate to appoint a special counsel to investigate President Trump.
Here’s what the sudden appearance of a Brookings Institution researcher as the primary sub source means, big picture wise.
Back in 2014, before it joined the #Resistance, when the New York Times still did some residual muckracking like a dead frog whose leg twitches, the Gray Lady saw fit to print a story, “Foreign Powers Buy Influence at Think Tanks.” Among other wild things that in the present political climate would be dismissed as Infowars conspiracy theories, the article said:
Joseph Sandler, a lawyer and expert on the statute that governs Americans lobbying for foreign governments, said the arrangements between the countries and think tanks “opened a whole new window into an aspect of the influence-buying in Washington that has not previously been exposed.”
“It is particularly egregious because with a law firm or lobbying firm, you expect them to be an advocate,” Mr. Sandler added. “Think tanks have this patina of academic neutrality and objectivity, and that is being compromised.”
The arrangements involve Washington’s most influential think tanks, including the Brookings Institution, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Atlantic Council. Each is a major recipient of overseas funds, producing policy papers, hosting forums and organizing private briefings for senior United States government officials that typically align with the foreign governments’ agendas.
The Brookings Institution and the Atlantic Council were key to inventing the false Russia hysteria that led to the collusion hoax.
They worked hand-in-hand with foreign governments, foreign operatives, the Obama administration, the CIA, the FBI, the DNC and the Clinton Campaign to fabricate a massive political dirty trick against Trump.
When Trump against all odds won anyway, they converted their dirty trick operation into a phony investigation to cover-up their misdeeds.