The US authorities have arrested a man who played a key role in preparing the so-called Steele dossier on Donald Trump in 2016. That’s what insiders say to the newspaper The New York Times. However, it is still unclear what exactly the arrested Igor Danchenko is suspected of.
The Steele dossier was prepared in the run-up to Trump’s won presidential election. It is full of salient rumours that were damaging to the Republicans. For example, it was suggested that Russia would have video footage of Trump and prostitutes in a Moscow hotel. That has never been proven, and that also applies to many other sensitive claims in the file.
Russian-born Danchenko was the lead investigator, according to the newspaper. He investigated for the former British spy Christopher Steele whether there were links between the Trump campaign and Russia. The work is said to have been funded in a roundabout way by Hillary Clinton’s Democratic Party, who then ran against Republican Trump as a presidential candidate.
The entire file ended up on the street in 2017, shortly before Trump was sworn in. FBI agents are also said to have spoken with Danchenko in that year. They then tried to determine whether the claims from the file were correct. Years earlier, it would have been investigated whether Danchenko himself secretly worked for Russia. The researcher himself has called that suggestion “ridiculous” and “defamation”.
Danchenko defended his work for Steele in an interview with The New York Times last year. He emphasized that he was only passing on information and was not responsible for its subsequent use in the file.