In his fascinating Vanity Fair narrative, author Howard Blum asked whether there are two Steele dossiers – one is the 35-page document posted by BuzzFeed News and the other “a longer, more expertly crafted and sourced document, the final work product of a well-trained M.I.6 senior deskman”.
Two dossiers is entirely possible. And, there can be little doubt that the dossier sitting on BuzzFeed is an incomplete product.
A study of the published dossier reveals many gaps in the number sequence, indicating that sections were pulled from public view rather than missing parts of a finished product as Blum assumes. There are also chronological gaps and one undated section.
In tallying up these omitted memos, it looks like the public dossier is a bare bones copy of Steele’s full product. Upwards to 156 sections (memos) are apparently excluded, covering over three months’ of collected material from Steele. This contrasts with the 17 sections (memos) found at BuzzFeed.
The most significant omissions are at the start of the work product where Steele may have pulled 79 sections covering the Summer of 2016 and from October to December 2016, where 30 memos are missing.
Christopher Steele arranged his memos in a particular way. Each page had the header: “CONFIDENTIAL/SENSITIVE SOURCE” and each section of the dossier is given a subhead: “COMPANY INTELLIGENCE REPORT” followed by the year and an identifying number (e.g. COMPANY INTELLIGENCE REPORT 2016/80).
He was precise and organized. After all, the dossier was a work product paid for by his client. Steele would present a consistent, standardized memo, arranged by date and subject matter. Each section also contained a brief SUMMARY and a deeper, itemized DETAIL. Lastly, each section was terminated with a date.
BREAKDOWN OF MISSING MEMOS
Here’s the detail by section or memo, showing how the missing parts are extrapolated.
Section 1: “2016/080” – Dated 20 June 2016. This the most startling portion. It might be the start of the dossier but why would Steele begin at number 80? Wouldn’t it be more sensible to start at the beginning? If Steele started his memos with number one, then it stands to reason that the initial 79 sections prefacing 2016/080 are missing.
Section 2: “2016/086” – Dated 26 July 2016. Gap between 80 and 86. There’s also a one-month gap. As will be shown, Steele’s memos follow a daily publication date, which means anywhere from four to six memos are missing. Keep in mind that Steele showed his dossier to FBI during this time frame, and the agency may have demanded redactions.
Section 3: “2016/094” – Dated 19 July 2015. Numbering gap between 86 and 94. However, what is most eye catching is the date. The year is 2015. Was this an oversight? It’s difficult to believe that Steele would allow this to be released without correcting such a glaring error.
Section 4: “2016/095” – Undated. The lack of a date indicates the memo is incomplete, as Steele ended each memo with a date. By comparing the dates of the preceding and succeeding memos, we know the time frame is between 19 July and 30 July 2016.
Section 5: “2016/097” – Dated 30 July 2016. Gap between the previous section indicates one memo is missing, i.e., number 96.
Section 6: “2016/100” – Dated 5 August 2016. Gaps between the previous section indicates two memos are missing, i.e., numbers 98, 99
Section 7: “2016/101” – Dated 10 August 2016. No sequential gap.
Section 8: “2016/102” – Dated 10 August 2016. This has the same date as the previous memo and gives the impression that Steele was producing multiple memos daily.
Section 9: “2016/105” – Dated 22 August 2016. Sequentially, three sections are missing along with a gap of about two weeks from the previous section.
Section 10-12: “2016/111-112, 113” – Each Dated 14 September 2016. Sequentially, six sections are missing and a gap of over two weeks from the previous section.
Section 13: “2016/130” – Dated 12 October 2016. There’s a one-month gap from the previous memo and 17 sections appear to be missing.
Section 14: “2016/134” – Dated 18 October 2016. Four sections appear to be missing with a gap of less than one week from the previous memo.
Section 15: “2016/135” – Dated 19 October 2016. This sections runs in sequence and again indicates Steele was producing memos on a daily basis.
Section 16: “2016/136” – Dated 20 October 2016. There is no gap with this memo either in time or sequence. However, the published version is inexplicably inserted after the 10 August memo (2016/102).
Section 17: “2016/166” – Dated 13 December 2016. Even though the presidential election occurred a month prior, Steele continues assembling his dossier. This section number and date would indicate 30 hidden sections over a period of seven weeks’ time. This is the final published memo.