Patterico's Pontifications


Constitutional Vanguard: The Misinformation in the Steele Dossier Was Likely a Russian Operation to Help . . . Donald Trump? Yes, Donald Trump.

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:10 am

My latest piece — 9,000 words for the paid subscribers, while freeloaders get only 5,000 of those — explains why I think that John Durham is right that the Steele dossier had Russian misinformation . . . but I think that misinformation was planted there for the benefit of Donald Trump. How could I possibly think that? Well, all I can say is that Bill Browder agrees. This I know because I read his book.

After reading Browder’s compelling account of Glenn Simpson’s pro-Kremlin antics in Freezing Order, I am convinced that this theory is not only a possibility; it is the most likely scenario. The Russians deliberately planted disinformation in the dossier . . . false information connecting Trump and the Russians, so they could later show that information to be false, and discredit the entire narrative that Trump was in bed with the Kremlin.

In the extended entry for the paid subscribers I analyze the main takeaways from the Durham report and give my analysis as to why I think the Durham report is consistent with my belief that the Russians planted disinformation in the Steele dossier to help Trump. Excerpt:

There is no doubt that the Steele dossier is at the center of most of the complaints Republicans have made about the FBI’s investigation into Trump. And many of those complaints are indeed valid. Let me take a moment to drive that home. We pretty much knew from the Inspector General Horowitz’s report in 2019 — and Durham has added little to this — that the FBI was very sloppy and cavalier about how it treated its representations in the FISA warrants on Carter Page. In particular, the way they uncritically used the Steele dossier, and failed to include relevant caveats and exculpatory information—and the way they ignored Danchenko’s previous connections to the Russian government, as detailed above!—was unprofessional and in, at least one instance, even criminal. Horowitz shined the light on errors so pervasive that it is hard to believe they were not systematic.

Moreover, although Horowitz found no political bias in the opening of the investigation or the handling of the Steele dossier, the texts between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok were quite biased, unprofessional, and inappropriate.

But with all that said, the dossier’s significance to the Trump presidency has been wildly exaggerated, and its significance to the Mueller investigation is nonexistent.

Read it here. Subscribe here.

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