… Steele did not personally collect any of the factual information in his reports. The “vast network” was instead a “social circle” of an American-based former Brookings Institute junior staffer, recently identified for the first time as Igor Danchenko.
The friends didn’t have well-documented claims so much as rumors, drunken gossip, and outright brainstorming, conjecture, and speculation.
Even that information was “multiple layers of hearsay upon hearsay” before it got to Steele, who then hyperbolically overstated it. And the damning claims of “collusion” appear to have been scandalously
misattributed or invented out of whole cloth.