Soon after Special Counsel John Durham indicted Igor Danchenko, the “Primary Sub-Source” of the Steele dossier, on five counts of lying to the FBI, the press paused to feign a moment of public introspection. The corrupt media’s attempt to frame their failings as mere confirmation bias, however, holds no truer than the Russia-collusion hoax they peddled for five years.
The proof of this reality is seen in the prostitute sex tapes: the non-existent “golden showers” one and the verifiable, but ignored, Hunter Biden videos.
The first step of what appeared, at least momentarily, to be the kick-off of a mea culpa parade came earlier this month when the Washington Post amended large segments of two articles covering the Russia-collusion storyline, one from March 2017 and the second from February 2019.
Both articles had named Sergei Millian, a Belarusian-American businessman, as the individual identified as “Source D” in the Steele dossier. While Millian had long denied speaking with Danchenko or having any role in the dossier, it was only after Durham charged the Russian-born Danchenko and former Brookings Institute employee with lying about receiving a telephone call from Millian that the Post and other media outlets removed the claims.
Then, last week, The New York Times ran a “guest essay” by professor of journalism and former Columbia Journalism School dean Bill Grueskin, headlined, “How Did So Much of the Media Get the Steele Dossier So Wrong?”
Greenwald, who has long been skeptical of the Russian collusion narrative and outspoken of the media’s uncritical coverage, torched the top Democratic lawmaker for his defiant stance.
“Look at what an amoral sociopath Adam Schiff is,” Greenwald reacted. “He spent years promoting the Steele Dossier. He read it into the Congressional Record. He lied about the ‘smoking gun’ evidence he saw (that Mueller never found). Watch how he worms his way around to avoid even an iota of mea culpa.”
He added, “Notable that Adam Schiff — who appears on every CNN, MSNBC and Sunday morning network news program as often as possible — just had his first truly adversarial questioning about his pathological Russiagate lies not on any of those networks but from Morgan Ortagus on the View.”
Special Counsel John Durham revealed part of the story behind the infamous “pee tape” allegation on Thursday, deep in his indictment against Russian-born, U.S.-based researched Igor Danchenko, a primary source for Christopher Steele’s “dossier.”
The “dossier” was used as the basis for claims that then-candidate Donald Trump had engaged in “Russia collusion.” And its most salacious accusation — which many Democrats believed — was that Trump had hired prostitutes on a visit to Moscow to urinate on a bed in the presidential suite of a hotel where he had been told that President Barack Obama had once slept.
The search for the “pee tape” consumed the media; impeachment investigator Daniel S. Goldman once claimed, falsely, it existed.
But Durham’s investigation turned up the back story.
The indictment relates that in June 2016, a person referred to as “PR Executive-1” — now confirmed to be communications executive and Clinton associate Charles Dolan Jr. — and “Organizer-1” visited Russia to plan an October 2016 conference, where they would meet with senior Russian officials and even visit the Kremlin itself. Dolan stayed at the Moscow hotel in question; Danchenko was in Moscow but did not stay at the same hotel.
Given all we know now, a program informed by basic journalistic ethics should have exposed the mix of partisan politics and Trump derangement syndrome that led many in the highest reaches of media and government to countenance Steele’s absurd claims. What we need is a postmortem. Instead, we get a resurrection.
The first 50 minutes of the 68-minute program are a love letter to this former MI6 agent turned gun for hire. As ominous music plays in the background, it portrays Steele as a suave and tireless truth seeker – we even get a James Bond clip to make the point. Following a treacly account of his beloved first wife, who died young, a parade of associates assure us that Steele was the best of the best while spying in Russia for the British government and then as a private intelligence contractor after he left the service in 2009.
One of those clients was the FBI. With blazing dishonesty, ABC News suggests his work was pivotal in exposing Russia’s corrupt scheme to host the soccer World Cup in 2018. In fact, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz reported in 2019 that “Steele did not have any role in the [FIFA] investigation itself, he did not provide court testimony, and his information did not appear in any indictments, search warrants, or other court filings.”
Having falsely established Steele’s bona fides, George Stephanopoulos allows him to repeat his anti-Trump smears while merely noting here and there that not everyone agrees with his view.
The Primary Subsource said at first that maybe he had asked some of his friends in Russia – he didn’t have a network of sources, according to his lawyer, but instead just a “social circle.” And a boozy one at that: When the Primary Subsource would get together with his old friend Source 4, the two would drink heavily. But his social circle was no help with the Manafort question, and so the Primary Subsource scrounged up a few old news clippings about Manafort and fed them back to Steele.
Also in his “social circle” was Primary Subsource’s friend “Source 2,” a character who was always on the make. “He often tries to monetize his relationship with [the Primary Subsource], suggesting that the two of them should try and do projects together for money,” the Primary Subsource told the FBI (a caution that the Primary Subsource would repeat again and again.) It was Source 2 who “told [the Primary Subsource] that there was compromising material on Trump.”
And then there was Source 3, a very special friend. She would borrow money from the Primary Subsource that he didn’t expect to be paid back. She stayed with him when visiting the United States. The Primary Subsource told the FBI that in the midst of their conversations about Trump, they would also talk about “a private subject.” (The FBI agents, for all their hardnosed reputation, were too delicate to intrude by asking what that “private subject” was).