The Russia Hoax has imploded once-and-for-all. But in the wake of Special Counsel John Durham’s bombshell indictment of Igor Danchenko, the primary source for the discredited Steele dossier, the news media has failed to come to grips with the breathtaking scale of deceit perpetrated against the American public.
The instrumental media propagators of the Trump-Russia collusion fairytale are thus not only liars, but cowards. They remain unapologetic about deceiving the American people for partisan gain, and they intend to keep lying so long as there are no consequences. The institutional damage the Russia hoax has wrought to the corporate media may indeed be permanent.
The Washington Post, in its standard mealy-mouthed fashion, half-confessed they may have been (gasp) wrong about dragging the country down the endless Russia rabbit hole all along.
A 2019 report by the Justice Department inspector general found major problems with the accuracy of Danchenko’s information. But the 39-page indictment unveiled Thursday paints a more detailed picture of claims that were allegedly built on exaggerations, rumors and outright lies. The indictment is likely to buttress Republican charges that Democrats and FBI agents intentionally or accidentally turned cheap partisan smears into a high-stakes national security investigation of a sitting president.
Allegedly? Let’s examine what is actually in Durham’s indictment.
After explaining how the Steele dossier was used to commit the crime of deceiving a FISA court to spy on a U.S. citizen and a presidential campaign, it reveals the FBI, and by extension, the U.S. media, were unable to substantiate any core claims.
“Over time, the FBI attempted to investigate, vet, and analyze the Company Reports but ultimately was not able to confirm or corroborate most of their substantive allegations,” the indictment states.
“In the context of these efforts, the FBI learned that U.K. Person- 1 [Steele] relied primarily on a U.S.-based Russian national, Igor Danchenko (“Danchenko”) the defendant herein, to collect the information that ultimately formed the core of the allegations found in the Company Reports [Steele dossier]. From in or about January 2017 through in or about November 2017, and as part of its efforts to determine the truth or falsity of specific informationin the Company Reports, the FBI conducted several interviews of Danchenko regarding, among other things, the informationthat Danchenko had provided to U.K.Person-1 (collectively, the “Interviews”),” the indictment says.
“As alleged in further detail below, Danchenko lied to FBI agents during these Interviews,” it adds, bluntly.
The lies that Danchenko told are substantial and cut to the heart of the media’s pathological lying over the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory for over three years.
“The five count-indictment of Igor Danchenko reveals the Christopher Steele informant actually got his fake ‘intelligence’ on Trump-Russia directly from a Hillary Clinton P.R. guy who goes unnamed in the indictment, but who internet sleuths and reporters have identified because his cv matches up with the indictment particulars,” PJTV’s Victoria Taft summarizes.
I think I've found a match for "PR Executive 1": Charles Dolan. pic.twitter.com/4bW5C2qbA7
— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) November 4, 2021
“Danchenko promised a State Department job in a Hillary Clinton Administration, then funneled the fake news to Christopher Steele, who worked for Fusion GPS. Fusion answered to Perkins Coie, the law firm working for Hillary Clinton, Democrats, or both,” Taft notes.
“The indictment says Danchenko, who was Fusion fabulist Christopher Steele’s ‘sub source 1’ in his pile of memos and sticky-note scribbles that Washington insiders persist in calling a ‘dossier,’ lied to FBI officials about where he got the intel,” she adds.
“All of the manufactured information was spoon fed to reporters, Senator John McCain, the FBI, and the DOJ, with the CIA chief’s knowledge,” she recounts.
The lies told by Danchenko were provided in bulletpoints by the great microblogger TechnoFog:
- Falsely denying he didn’t talk to the Democrat PR executive (Dolan) about the dossier allegations.
- Falsely stating he took a 2016 call from Russian Sergei Millian (whom he says alleged a Trump/Russia conspiracy).
- Falsely stating in another FBI interview that he took the 2016 call from Millian.
- Falsely stating he talked to Millian more than once over the phone.
- False in another FBI interview about his conversations with Millian.
The lie about meeting Millian is particularly damaging, Hans Mahncke points out.
Called it. The fact that Danchenko lied to Steele about meeting @SergeiMillian is the key to blowing everything up. Without it Steele would've never made Millian the "source" for so many lies: the pee tape, the "well-developed conspiracy of cooperation", Wikileaks and Alfa Bank. https://t.co/IF0Upaj0se pic.twitter.com/0XlWZmFUYx
— Hans Mahncke (@HansMahncke) November 4, 2021
“Called it,” Mahncke said. “The fact that Danchenko lied to Steele about meeting Sergei Millian is the key to blowing everything up. Without it Steele would’ve never made Millian the ‘source’ for so many lies: the pee tape, the ‘well-developed conspiracy of cooperation’, Wikileaks and Alfa Bank,” he noted.
Another disturbing revelation to come out of the indictment is that a member of Donald Trump’s national security team, Fiona Hill [“Think Tank Employee-1”], had worked with Igor Danchenko and had actually arranged his meeting with Christopher Steele [“U.K. Person 1”] as well as with Olga Galkina [“P.R. Executive 1”].
Alarmingly, Galkina, who had been promised a job in Clinton’s State Department had Hillary won the 2016 election, assessed Danchenko as a possible FSB asset [i.e., an agent of a Russian intelligence agency successor to the KGB]. Yet, she wanted to do business with him anyway.
“He is too young for KGB,” Galkina apparently stated. “But I think he worked for FSB.”
Thus, the Clinton-deployed orchestrators of the Russia hoax were knowingly willing to collude with Russia’s intelligence agencies to frame Donald Trump in the 2016 election. This is the exact opposite of what the U.S. mainstream media had been shouting all-too-loudly for over three long years during the interminable Russia ‘witch hunt.’
As I have long argued, the Russia hoax bears all the hallmarks of a FSB-orchestrated ‘dezinformatsia‘ operation. Political operators leveraged the ambitions of a craven political candidate, Hillary Clinton, to sow chaos into the election. The ultimate aim of Russian interference, recall, was not to aid Trump, but to discredit the legitimacy of U.S. institutions. Mission accomplished.
The Wall Street Journal laid out the impact of the Durham developments on the U.S. media’s malpractice, as well as the complicity of the Clinton campaign in the “dirty trick.”
“Special counsel John Durham’s latest indictment is an important step in unraveling what really happened in the long tale of false Russia-collusion allegations against the 2016 Trump presidential campaign,” the Wall Street Journal proclaimed in a Friday editorial. “The facts in the indictment add to the evidence that this was from first to last a dirty trick by Hillary Clinton’s campaign—and that the media were its gullible promoters.”
“This Durham indictment reads like a story with more to come, but some lessons are already clear,” WSJ continued. “One question is why the country is only now learning these facts. The Durham indictments treat the FBI as the duped party, but the record shows former FBI director James Comey and his investigators knew from the summer of 2016 that Clinton campaign fingerprints were all over the dossier.”
The Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board lays out a compelling case, but it is flawed by its trademark restraint. The notable Russiagate investigator UnderCover Huber was stark in his assessment of the Durham developments.
Special Counsel John Durham has now alleged in a federal indictment that Clinton paid shill Steele’s primary and only real “source” fabricated that Trump, Carter Page and Paul Manafort were involved in a “well-developed conspiracy of cooperation” with Russia.
The FBI literally cut and pasted that exact wording of a “well-developed conspiracy” into a FISA warrant and multiple renewals (Including one signed off after Robert Mueller took over).
The FBI then redacted the “well-developed conspiracy of cooperation” wording from the FISAs when they were released. Because by this time, they’d interviewed Steele’s “source” & knew he was lying. And wanted to protect the lie they’d sworn to in a secret court. Let that sink in).
Thus, the mainstream media’s anti-Trump sentiment was not “gullible,” so much as outright malicious. Independent journalist Glenn Greenwald lays out the media malpractice in a stemwinder of a social media thread:
These last two DOJ indictments — first of Hillary’s lawyer, then of Christopher Steele’s main source — show that the Clinton campaign funded and fed to the FBI a gigantic batch of lies in the 2016 election, which the vast bulk of the media spent 3 years ratifying and spreading:
The charges are that not only did Clinton/Democrats fund the dossier but a longtime Clinton/Dem operative was one of the sources for the rumors about Trump. Doesn’t get much worse. https://t.co/JsXANbgoIZ
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) November 5, 2021
The employees of these media corporations know, deep down, what they did. They did the worst thing you can possibly do while calling yourself a “journalist”: they drowned US politics for years in a fake conspiracy theory funded and concocted by criminals for partisan gain. But we have heard so little about these indictments from these media figures. Why? Because they know that as long as they stay united in silence, the only people who will point out what they did are those they have frozen out of their circle and trained their audience not to hear
The NYT, the Washington Post, CNN, NBC and the digital liberal outlets are all vastly more guilty of what they have spent years claiming Trump and the GOP are: they basically ran a dangerous disinformation campaign, full of lies, in conjunction with CIA/FBI, and now won’t own up to it. From the start, Russiagate — which drowned US politics and dangerously ratcheted up tensions with a major nuclear-armed power — was concocted from whole cloth by serial liars paid for by the Clinton campaign and spread by their media servants: David Corn, Isikoff, Frank Foer. They all made gigantic profit from this set of lies: all of them. Their ratings skyrocketed by scaring liberals about Kremlin control of the US. They wrote best-selling books and gave themselves Pulitzers based on this massive fraud. FBI lied to the FISA court. CIA fueled it all. In 2019, [Matt Taibbi] called Russiagate “this generation’s WMDs.”
“That was before these indictments. But from a media credibility perspective, this is worse. With WMD, they engaged in self-critique. With this, they never will: the media model doesn’t allow it. Instead of owning up to what they did, look at what they’re doing instead. Adam Schiff just wrote a book claiming Robert Muller is SENILE (to explain why he didn’t find the fake conspiracy). They ignore these indictments and what they mean except for meek admissions like this:
The indictments “cast new uncertainty on some past reporting on the dossier by news organizations, including The Washington Post?” LOL The dossier wasn’t just paid for by the Clinton campaign – which they lied about for a year – but the info in it came from a Clinton operative. What Rachel Maddow in particular did makes her one of the most disgraceful and unhinged media figures ever to work for a major media corporation. Her derangement and lies were off the charts. Yet the liberal networks are bidding for her: because DNC disinformation is their model!
Anyway, for all of those who lied to the public for years — the NYT and WPost reporters, the rich and insulated CNN and NBC hosts, the countless charlatans and politicians like Adam Schiff & John Brennan who wrote bestselling books — none of this will matter. Lies are rewarded. Polarization of media means virtually every major media corporation — CNN, NBC, NYT, WPost, NPR — have an exclusively Dem audience. These Dems don’t want to hear that they were lied to and, even if they knew, they’d be fine with it: for the right cause. So zero consequences. But if you are someone who hates these media outlets and the liars who work for them to your core, know that your hatred is valid, justified and righteous. They are a toxic force in US political life. They don’t lie, smear and propagandize on occasion: it’s their core function. Do you see what CNN’s model is from this? It has nothing to do with journalism: zero. Journalism is the marketing disguise for the actual business they’re in. How else to explain this?
The propagandists at CNN, who were responsible for injecting the Steele dossier into the mainstream and who spent years pushing its bogus claims, cannot find room on their front page for a single story about the arrest of Igor Danchenko. pic.twitter.com/bkFiclP5mI
— Tom Bevan (@TomBevanRCP) November 5, 2021
A glimpse into how they perceive themselves:
As I’ve noted before, most corporate journalists adamantly refuse even to recognize let alone atone for all the evidence that has emerged showing how much of what they said is false. Isikoff was one of the earliest but has admitted much of it was false:
— Michael Isikoff (@Isikoff) November 6, 2021
Here was Isikoff on MSNBC in 2019 telling Chris Hayes and David Corn what they very obviously did not want to hear: much of the media, including MSNBC, spread falsehoods for years. Almost nobody else did this:
Here was @Isikoff on MSNBC in 2019 telling @chrislhayes and @DavidCornDC what they very obviously did not want to hear: much of the media, including MSNBC, spread falsehoods for years. Almost nobody else did this:pic.twitter.com/KQejtpSY3d
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 6, 2021
Greenwald’s masterful thread exposing the deceitful nature of the Deep State-DNC-Media Complex was accompanied by further scathing commentary. Durham’s indictment also vindicated numerous gadflies on the left who had sought accountability for the bad journalism the frothing-at-the-mouth peddlers of the Russia hoax were serving up on a daily basis during the Trump years. Matt Taibbi, in particular, was proven to be prescient for declaring that the Russia hoax was the “WMDs” of the present generation, and that Mueller’s inability to prove Trump-Russia collusion was the “death-blow for the reputation of the American news media.”
Durham’s indictment of Danchenko is merely the latest blow to the reputation of the mainstream media, which is now essentially worthless in terms of credibility and reliability. It is also the third indictment the Special Counsel has brought against the perpetrators of the Trump-Russia collusion myth.
“This is Durham’s third indictment in an investigation that began in April 2019,” the Free Beacon’s Chuck Ross notes. “He charged former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith with altering an email about Carter Page’s relationship with the CIA. Durham charged cybersecurity lawyer Michael Sussmann in September with making false statements to the FBI’s general counsel in September 2016 regarding an investigation he was leading into possible links between Trump and a Russian bank. Sussmann allegedly denied he was working on behalf of a client with interest in the information, when he was in fact working for the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.”
The Russia collusion hoax’s consequences for the media and for the nation was summarized nicely by The Federalist’s Sean Davis.
“It’s beyond obvious with this Steele associate indictment that the entire Mueller probe was designed to cover up the fact that the Hillary Clinton campaign and FBI colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election and then run a coup against Trump after he won,” he wrote.
Donald Trump Jr., who was implicated repeatedly by the media’s lies, showed frustration about the lack of accountability for higher-ups in the IC community.
These indictments against Team Hillary operatives & associates for lying to the FBI are all well and good. But when are we going to see indictments against senior IC & FBI officials for lying to congress?
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 4, 2021
“These indictments against Team Hillary operatives & associates for lying to the FBI are all well and good. But when are we going to see indictments against senior IC & FBI officials for lying to congress?” Trump Jr. wrote.
But liberal attorney Jonathan Turley believes that Durham may be aiming higher than merely Danchenko in his investigation.
While the statute of limitations may protect some, Durham has shown that he can use the crime of lying to federal investigators (18 U.S.C. 1001) as a handy alternative. Targets must admit to prior misconduct or face a new charge.
Thus, Durham clearly seems to be making a meticulous case that the Steele dossier was a political hit job orchestrated by Clinton operatives. His latest indictment connects Danchenko to several intriguing figures and groups that, in turn, relate to the Clinton campaign.
The Danchenko indictment may indeed be the “tip of the iceberg” for Russia hoax accountability. But in regards to the mainstream media, it continues to indict itself on a daily basis with its collective silence about the Russia hoax, now that its fraudulent narrative has been completely debunked.
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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.