Alleged Steele Dossier Sources Deny Involvement, New Court Filing Shows

By Jeff Carlson
Jeff Carlson
Jeff Carlson
Jeff Carlson is a regular contributor to The Epoch Times. He is a CFA® Charterholder and worked for 20 years as an analyst and portfolio manager in the high-yield bond market. He also runs the website TheMarketsWork.com and can be followed on Twitter @themarketswork.
and Hans Mahncke
Hans Mahncke
Hans Mahncke
Hans Mahncke is a regular contributor to The Epoch Times. He holds LL.B., LL.M. and Ph.D. degrees in law. He is the author of numerous law books and his research has been published in a range of international journals. Hans can be followed on Twitter @hansmahncke.
June 22, 2021 Updated: June 26, 2021

In new affidavits filed in a Washington, D.C., court late on June 21, sub-sources for Igor Danchenko—the “primary sub-source” in Christopher Steele’s dossier on the 2016 Trump presidential campaign—deny having provided any information contained in the dossier.

Danchenko had previously told the FBI that he obtained the information that was published in the dossier by “word of mouth and hearsay” from a network of sub-sources in Russia.

The affidavits were filed as a part of a long-running defamation lawsuit by the owners of Russia’s Alfa Bank against Fusion GPS, the company that tasked Steele with compiling the dossier.

Steele’s dossier contained allegations that the owners of Alfa Bank “were on very good terms” with Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as allegations of other connections between them.

In response to these allegations, the owners of Alfa Bank—Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven, and German Khan—filed their defamation suit against Fusion GPS and its owner, Glenn Simpson, in October 2017.

The lawsuit has been mired in various technical battles over the years but recently, new life was breathed into the matter after it became public that Danchenko was Steele’s main source, along with the identities of sub-sources whom he professed to have obtained his information from.

Based on this new information, lawyers for the owners of Alfa Bank began quietly working to obtain affidavits from Danchenko’s now-identified alleged sources.

All of Danchenko’s sub-sources have now denied under penalty of perjury that they provided Danchenko with any information that was attributed to them in Steele’s dossier.

Alfa Bank’s attorneys are also attempting to directly depose Danchenko, Steele’s source for most of the material in the dossier.

Request for Danchenko Deposition

In the June 21 filing with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Fridman, Aven, and Khan requested that the court compel Danchenko to appear for a deposition. Their attorneys argue that “the declarations of Mr. Danchenko’s sub-sources call into question the veracity and reliability of not only Mr. Danchenko, but of the Defendants’ entire dossier.”

The lawsuit notes that “Danchenko told the FBI that he obtained the information that Defendants published in the dossier by ‘word of mouth and hearsay’ from a network of sub-sources in Russia.”

Steele stated in testimony before a British court that Danchenko’s sub-sources were “Russians with ‘personal knowledge of and/or direct access to the relevant information,’ and that they included ‘top-level’ Russian government officials ‘[a]t the peak of the vertical of power.’”

Steele has also claimed, according to a book authored by Fusion GPS’s Simpson, that Danchenko was “a remarkable person with a remarkable story who deserves a medal for his service to the West.”

The court documents reference additional statements by Simpson who “claimed that the sources for the dossier were “deep and well placed” and that the allegations in the dossier came from “people with extraordinary access in Russia.”

And Simpson’s partner, Peter Fritsch, testified in Florida that the information in the dossier came from a source network that “was extremely well placed and had been reliable in the past.”

The lawsuit notes that all of Danchenko’s “claimed sub-sources” have provided denials made under penalty of perjury that they provided Danchenko with any information “related to the contents of the dossier.”

And that “these declarations call into question the veracity and reliability of not only Mr. Danchenko, but of the Defendants’ entire dossier.” It also states that Danchenko’s sub-sources have “never held any kind of ‘official’ government position at all, and none could remotely be characterized as a ‘top-level’ Russian official.”

Danchenko’s Sub-Sources

Danchenko’s claimed source for the infamous pee tape story, Ivan Vorontsov, denies in a deposition having ever told Danchenko anything in relation to the dossier, claiming, “I was not a ‘source’ for the Dossier. I never provided Mr. Danchenko (or anyone else) with any information associated with the contents of the Dossier.”

Vorontsov also alleged that Danchenko admitted to that, stating that “Mr. Danchenko later confirmed this to me as well when he expressed guilt for dragging me into this whole controversy concerning the Dossier.”

Vorontsov said the dossier was “fabricated to fit whatever the client who requested the information wanted to receive.”

Lyudmila Podobedova, who also has denied providing any information used in the dossier, said that “once Mr. Danchenko realized that the Dossier was coming under scrutiny, he decided to point at me to make it look as if I were involved in the Dossier and thus add credibility to his work.”

Olga Galkina, who worked for a Russian-owned IT company, Webzilla, was the alleged source for the dossier story that Webzilla had hacked into the Democratic National Committee’s servers. As with the other sources, Galkina is now on record as denying that she told Danchenko any of those things, stating that Danchenko named her to “create more authoritativeness for his work.”

Alexey Dundich and Ivan Kurilla, both of whom are Russian academics, also deny having provided Danchenko with any information used in Steele’s dossier. Although Dundich was previously identified as an alleged dossier source, Kurilla’s name hadn’t been mentioned in the publicly released sections of the dossier.

Dundich’s affidavit claims that “Danchenko framed [Dundich] as Sub-Source 4” in order to “add credibility to his low-quality work, which is not based on real information.”

According to Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on FISA surveillance applications, the verification of Danchenko’s sources was ignored by the FBI as they pursued a FISA application and three subsequent renewals on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

In March 2020, Horowitz criticized the work of the FBI, noting that he does “not have confidence that the FBI has executed its Woods Procedures in compliance with FBI policy.” Woods Procedures refer to supporting factual documentation underlying any application for a FISA warrant.

Additionally, Horowitz’s report identified “at least 17 significant errors or omissions in the Page FISA applications, and many additional errors in the Woods Procedures.”

It appears that many of these same issues were present in the FBI’s underlying review of sources that allegedly contributed to the Steele Dossier.

Neither Steele’s company, Orbis Business Intelligence, nor Simpson’s company, Fusion GPS, immediately responded to a request for comment. An attorney for Danchenko returned an initial email asking for more information but didn’t provide a subsequent comment and couldn’t be reached by phone.

Jeff Carlson and Hans Mahncke are co-hosts of the program Truth Over News on EPOCH TV.

Jeff Carlson
Jeff Carlson
Jeff Carlson is a regular contributor to The Epoch Times. He is a CFA® Charterholder and worked for 20 years as an analyst and portfolio manager in the high-yield bond market. He also runs the website TheMarketsWork.com and can be followed on Twitter @themarketswork.
Hans Mahncke
Hans Mahncke
Hans Mahncke is a regular contributor to The Epoch Times. He holds LL.B., LL.M. and Ph.D. degrees in law. He is the author of numerous law books and his research has been published in a range of international journals. Hans can be followed on Twitter @hansmahncke.