Democrats who probed Russian interference and hyped Steele dossier silent after Danchenko indictment

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Democrats who probed Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections and touted the Steele dossier are now quiet following the indictment of Igor Danchenko, the primary sub-source of the dossier’s contents, for making false statements to the FBI.

Fox News sought comment on Danchenko’s indictment from seven Democratic members who sat on the House Intelligence Committee during its Russia probe and promoted or defended the dossier, including Reps. Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, Joaquin Castro, Mike Quigley, Jackie Speier, André Carson and Jim Himes.

None of their offices responded. Schiff was confronted over the dossier but refused to address the issue head-on. None of the other Democrats appears to have addressed Danchenko’s indictment despite previously hyping the anti-Trump report. 

DURHAM CHARGES STEELE DOSSIER SUB-SOURCE WITH FIVE COUNTS OF MAKING FALSE STATEMENTS TO THE FBI

Danchenko, a Russian national who lives in Virginia, was charged with five counts of making false statements to the FBI last week. Danchenko is said to be the sub-source for Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer, who compiled the dossier that served as the basis for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against Trump campaign aide Carter Page. 

Adam Schiff was confronted over his role in promoting the discredited anti-Trump Steele dossier by "The View" guest host Morgan Ortagus.  (https://twitter.com/TheView/status/1458126060038598666)

Almost every Democrat on the Intelligence Committee in 2017 and 2018, when the committee probed Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 elections, elevated the discredited dossier. 

Schiff, now the committee’s chair, was one of the most vocal voices in Congress in pumping the dossier. 

“Unilateral subpoenas issued by House Intel Majority appear to be part of effort to discredit Steele, rather than determine truth of dossier,” Schiff tweeted in 2017.

 Schiff on Tuesday over his defense of the dossier. 

MORGAN ORTAGUS RIPS ADAM SCHIFF OVER DISCREDIT DOSSIER, ADMITS ‘HANDS WERE SHAKING’ DURING ‘THE VIEW’ CLASH

“You defended, promoted and even read into the Congressional Record the Steele dossier,” Ortagus told Schiff on “The View.” “We know last week the main source of the dossier was indicted by the FBI for lying about most of the key claims in that dossier. Do you have any reflections on your role in promoting this to the American people?” 

Schiff avoided directly answering the question and instead said that “whoever lied” to Steele or the FBI should be prosecuted. 

Swalwell also pushed and defended the dossier.

“Which part of it hasn’t been proven factual?” Swalwell said.  

“Are you serious?” MacCallum asked. She then listed off obscene allegations within the dossier, none of which were ever confirmed. 

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., arrives at the start of the fifth day of the second impeachment trial of former President Trump, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021 at the Capitol in Washington. (Stefani Reynolds/Pool via AP)

Quigley, an Illinois Democrat, said actions taken during the committee’s investigation were attempts to discredit Steele.

“Sole purpose of FBI subpoena was to discredit Christopher Steele instead of doing our due diligence to evaluate whether his claims are true,” Quigley tweeted in 2017. 

during a CNN appearance. 

GRAHAM: FBI LIED TO FISA COURT, LIED TO CONGRESS ABOUT DOSSIER

During a House hearing in 2017, Castro, who proclaimed his “reliance on the reputation of the author,” pressed then-FBI Director James Comey on allegations within the dossier. A large portion of his questioning was on the debunked report, the Daily Caller reported at the time. 

“I want to take a moment to turn the Christopher Steele dossier, which was first mentioned in the media just before the election and published in full by media outlets in January,” Castro said. “My focus today is to explore how many claims within Steele’s dossier are looking more and more likely, as though they are accurate.”

In this image from , House impeachment manager Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, speaks during the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Feb. 10, 2021.  ((Senate Television via AP))

Reps. Speier, Carson and Himes also backed the anti-Trump report. 

Alabama Rep. Terri Sewell, a Democrat on the committee, does not appear to have publicly promoted or defended the dossier. Rep. Denny Heck, another Democrat, sat on the committee but left Congress to become Washington’s lieutenant governor.

According to the Danchenko indictment, in March, May, June, October and November of 2017, the Russian national made false statements regarding the sources of specific information he provided to a U.K. investigative firm that, in turn, were included in reports prepared by the firm and subsequently passed to the FBI. 

The Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign funded the dossier through law firm Perkins Coie.

Danchenko, charged as part of Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, has pled not guilty. 

Fox News’ Houston Keene, Brian Flood and Brooke Singman contributed reporting.

Joe Schoffstall is a Fox News reporter
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