Steele dossier

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Publication.png Steele dossier 
(black propaganda)Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Publication date10 January 2017
Author(s)Christopher Steele
A dossier of smears concocted by Christopher Steele of Orbis Business Intelligence.

Not to be confused with the Dodgy dossier created by MI6's Operation Mass Appeal.

“The dossier was given credence only because it was backed by very powerful people who insisted that this obvious British hoax must be taken with absolute dead seriousness. Not taking it seriously or speaking out about its obvious flakiness was a career ender in the national security state.”
Barbara Boyd (12 January 2019)  Part III: A British Intelligence Fraud Creates the Coup Against Donald Trump [1]

The Steele dossier[2], Dirty dossier[3] or Trump dossier[4], was a key part of the attempt to tie the Trump election win in 2016 with Russia. Like all other parts of Russiagate, the sensationalist allegations eventually fizzled out into nothing.


In 2017, it was revealed [5] that the dossier was commissioned by Marc Elias, a lawyer at Perkins Coie law firm in Washington, DC, and once represented Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Elias hired the Fusion GPS opposition research firm on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).[6]

Fusion GPS, in turn, hired former British spy Christopher Steele and his private intelligence to compile a dossier comprising 17 memos that were written from June to December 2016[7] Steel was a former head of the Russia Desk for British intelligence (MI6), now gone into 'private' (i.e. plausibly deniable) business.


The dossier contains allegations of misconduct and conspiracy between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Government of Russia during the 2016 United States presidential election. Campaign members and Russian operatives allegedly colluded to interfere in the election and benefit Trump.

The dossier contained the infamous pee tape allegations, which claimed Donald Trump had a urine-soaked run-in with Russian sex workers while staying in the presidential suite at the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow, which then again was filmed by Russian secret services as blackmail material.


The dossier was published in full by BuzzFeed on January 10, 2017.[8] Several corporate media outlets criticised BuzzFeed's decision to release it,[9][10] but chose to report about it extensively it themselves anyway, as Buzzfeed had whitewashed the dubious claims to respectability. Buzzfeed editor Ben Smith suffered no negative career consequences for it, and in 2022 was rewarded with becoming editor of the generously funded Semafor.

MI6 connection

Analyst Ludwig De Braeckeleer[11] pointed out that the Mueller Report ignores the following facts on the role the Steele dossier and MI6 played in the Russiagate hoax:

Luke Harding "wrote the book Collusion to legitimize Steele’s dossier, [and] has served for a very long time as Steele’s publicist and scribe while conducting similar trysts with other major British intelligence figures. Harding has worked with both Hakluyt and Orbis."[12]

  • The Steele dossier was also a key foundation for the FISA warrant issued to spy on Trump's close aide Carter Page, in the hope of finding incriminating information, or getting Page to prejudice himself in police interviews by giving statements conflicting with the tapes.


When the FBI received the dossier from Steele in 2016, they willingly played along in the fabrication by cutting a number of corners in the verification process. Senior FBI analyst Brian J. Auten was responsible for vetting the Steele-dossier.

But during a 2020 review of Auten's procedures, Inspector General Michael Horowitz discovered that when Auten interviewed "Steele's primary sub-source" in January 2017 about the Steele-dossier, the source disavowed key allegations in the dossier, and told Auten that Steele "misstated or exaggerated” information he conveyed to him in multiple sections of the dossier.

According to the 2020 Inspector General's report, Auten stated he wasn’t concerned about Steele’s anti-Trump bias or that his work was commissioned by Trump’s political opponent, calling the fact he worked for Hillary Clinton's campaign “immaterial.” [13]


In July 2020, the identify of the primary source for Christopher Steele was revealed by the Wall Street Journal. The main source was Igor Danchenko, a Russian-born analyst living in the United States, who had worked for five years at the Brookings Institution as a Russia analyst. Noticably, he is directly linked to prominent Democrats closely tied to Hillary Clinton, in particular, Strobe Talbott, the leader of Brookings[14].


Related Quotation

Orbis Business Intelligence“The @Telegraph story claiming a link between Sergei #Skripal and Christopher Steele's company Orbis is wrong, I understand. Skripal had nothing to do with Trump dossier. Skripal had nothing to do with Trump dossier.”Luke Harding2018


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Hillary Clinton Did ItArticle20 May 2022WSJ Editorial BoardAppearing as a witness in John Durham’s trial of Michael Sussmann, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager, Robby Mook, says she personally approved a plan to give a false 'Trump, Russia' claim to the news media.
Document:It's official: Russiagate is this generation's WMDarticle23 March 2019Matt Taibbi
Document:Muellergate and the Discreet Lies of the BourgeoisieBlog post1 April 2019Craig MurrayThe capacity of the mainstream media repeatedly to promote the myth that Russia caused Clinton’s defeat, while never mentioning what the information was that had been so damaging to Hillary, should be alarming to anybody under the illusion that we have a working “free media”.
Document:Probable Western Responsibility for Skripal Poisoningblog post28 April 2018Craig Murray
Clive Ponting
Those of us who have been in the belly of the beast and have worked closely with the intelligence services, really do know what they and the British government are capable of. They are not “white knights”.
Document:Spy behind Donald Trump 'golden shower' dossier feared president had been 'compromised by foreign power'Article10 January 2018James Law"It's political rhetoric to call the dossier phoney. The memos are field reports of real interviews that Chris's network conducted and there's nothing phoney about it. We can argue about what's prudent and what's not, but it's not a fabrication."
Document:Where They Tell You Not to Lookblog post30 April 2018Craig MurrayCraig Murray's rule number one of real investigative journalism: 1. Look Where They Tell You Not to Look
Document:Why is disgraced MI6 author of the dodgy Trump-Russia dossier involved in a controversial group seeking harsh Covid restrictions?Article24 July 2021Kit KlarenbergChristopher Steele, the Russiagate spook is involved in lobbying for more lockdowns in the UK.
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  2. | access-date=April 1, 2018
  7. | access-date=February 11, 2018}}
  8. | accessdate=December 24, 2017
  11. "Russiagate — Prosecutor to Review Origins of Trump-Russia Inquiry"