In June 2016, a month that is key to the origin story of the Steele dossier, the primary source for that salacious document met with an official in the Russian ministry of energy and a journalist friend in Russia, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.
Igor Danchenko, a Russia analyst who worked for Christopher Steele, met with Sergey Abyshev, who was then a deputy director in the energy ministry, and Ivan Vorontsov, the editor-in-chief of a Russian finance website, according to a Facebook post by Vorontsov and confirmation from Abyshev.
It is not entirely clear what relevance the rendezvous might have to the dossier, but it helps fill in the timeline of Danchenko’s interactions and movements at a critical stage in the development of the provocative report.
At the time of the meeting, Danchenko was well at work for Steele collecting information about Donald Trump’s possible ties to Russia.
Danchenko, a Russian national who lives in Washington, D.C., told the FBI in January 2017 that Steele, a former MI6 officer, tasked him in June 2016 to dig up dirt on Trump. Steele was hired in May 2016 by Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm working for the Clinton campaign and DNC.
Vorontsov posted a photo on June 16, 2016 from the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), an annual business conclave, saying he had met the prior evening with Danchenko and Abyshev.
“The night before was so nice with Sergey Abyshev and Igor Danchenko,” Vorontsov wrote.
Four days later, on June 20, 2016, Steele penned the first of 17 memos that make up what is colloquially known as the dossier. Steele has said that most of the information was collected by a single source who worked as an independent contractor for his firm, Orbis Business Intelligence.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 8/07/2020) (Archive)
More photos of Source 2, from Ivan Vorontsov’s Facebook page:
A footnote on page 239 of the Mueller Report describes the source of the pee-pee tapes: