Well, the government is shut down, the days are painfully short, I am on hold until Susie and I go to Paris on January 3rd, so having nothing better to do I surfed the web and located a complete text of the famous Steele Dossier. I read it all, from start to finish, working past the occasional strings of typos which I recognized as a consequence of the document having been scanned into a word processing program. You can find it here.
I was prompted to engage in this bit of background research by the news that evidence has surfaced confirming the dossier’s claim that Michael Cohen met with Russian agents in Prague. Apparently his cellphone pinged off a Prague cellphone tower. [Stop for a moment to contemplate how many terabytes of data must exist in the cloud for that fact to be discoverable! It is astonishing.]
Keep in mind what this document is. It is a report by Steele of raw intelligence. Steele makes no attempt at any point to evaluate the data, to argue for or against its accuracy, and certainly not to estimate its significance. Nor does he organize it into a coherent story. The dossier is a series of discrete reports of what he has been told by sources. I am not going to try to summarize the dossier, because inevitably that will make it appear that I am endorsing it, vouching for it, and I have absolutely no basis whatsoever for doing that. I urge you to take the time to read it yourself.
Thus far, portions of the dossier have been confirmed in detail by Mueller’s indictments, and none of its reports have been disconfirmed. I do in fact believe those indictments, but that is just me.
Two things struck me in the dossier, one potentially very big, one small. Big first. One of Steele’s informants asserts that the Cohen meeting in Prague [confirmed by the cell phone ping] was for the purpose of arranging payments from Trump to the hackers. If that is ever confirmed, it is game over. The small bit is that twice in the dossier Jill Stein is identified as someone the Russians were using to try to weaken Clinton’s election chances. It is also claimed that the Russian IT team were targeting young educated Bernie supporters in an attempt to use their dislike for Clinton to get them either to vote for Trump, vote for Stein, or just not vote.
Inasmuch as Mueller has had this document for a year, I suspect we will fairly soon learn what more, if anything, he has been able to confirm of its reports.