Special Counsel John Durham revealed part of the story behind the infamous “pee tape” allegation on Thursday, deep in his indictment against Russian-born, U.S.-based researched Igor Danchenko, a primary source for Christopher Steele’s “dossier.”
The “dossier” was used as the basis for claims that then-candidate Donald Trump had engaged in “Russia collusion.” And its most salacious accusation — which many Democrats believed — was that Trump had hired prostitutes on a visit to Moscow to urinate on a bed in the presidential suite of a hotel where he had been told that President Barack Obama had once slept.
The search for the “pee tape” consumed the media; impeachment investigator Daniel S. Goldman once claimed, falsely, it existed.
What lying? Nothing in the dossier has proved to be false (including your pee tape). But we can agree that we all look forward to the facts coming out. Everything that has come out so far has shown you to be an out and out liar (eg Cohen tape, purpose of June 9 meeting, etc). https://t.co/or1ZQbCmy0
— Daniel Goldman (@danielsgoldman) August 5, 2018
But Durham’s investigation turned up the back story.
The indictment relates that in June 2016, a person referred to as “PR Executive-1” — now confirmed to be communications executive and Clinton associate Charles Dolan Jr. — and “Organizer-1” visited Russia to plan an October 2016 conference, where they would meet with senior Russian officials and even visit the Kremlin itself. Dolan stayed at the Moscow hotel in question; Danchenko was in Moscow but did not stay at the same hotel.
The indictment relates (paragraph numbers removed):
Certain of the information in the June 20,2016 Company Report [i.e. the Steele “dossier”] reflected facts that PR Executive-1 and Organizer-1 also learned during the June 2016 Planning Trip to Moscow.
For example, and as alleged above, during the June 2016 Planning Trip, both PR Executive-1 and Organizer-1 stayed at the Moscow Hotel. While at the Moscow Hotel, PR Executive-1 and Organizer-1 (i) received a tour of the Moscow Hotel’s Presidential Suite (ii) met with the general manager (“General Manager-1”) and other staff of the Moscow Hotel, and (iii) attended meetings – to include with DANCHENKO – at various Russian government ministries. Further, PR Executive-1 had lunch with DANCHENKO during the June 2016 Planning Trip.
According to Organizer-1, during the aforementioned tour of the Presidential Suite, a Moscow Hotel staff member told the participants, including PR Executive-1, that Trump had stayed in the Presidential Suite. According to both Organizer-1 and PR Executive-1, the staff member did not mention any sexual or salacious activity.
A story of “salacious activity” nevertheless made it into Steele’s “dossier,” via Danchenko.
The rest of the indictment reveals Dolan’s extensive Russian contacts, and Danchenko’s use of those sources, at least one of whom openly hoped Hillary Clinton would win the election.
The “dossier” was paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, via opposition research firm Fusion GPS, as arranged by “democracy” lawyer Marc Elias.