this entire article yourselves, as it is absolutely loaded with important details.
Having said that let me offer a few of what I thought of as perhaps the most important takeaways.
On Christopher Steele's initial surprise:
“It started off as a fairly general inquiry,” Steele would recall in an anonymous interview with Mother Jones, his identity at the time still a carefully guarded secret. But over the next seven incredible months, as the retired spy hunted about in an old adversary’s territory, he found himself following a trail marked by, as he then put it, “hair-raising” concerns. The allegations of financial, cyber, and sexual shenanigans would lead to a chilling destination: the Kremlin had not only, he’d boldly assert in his report, “been cultivating, supporting, and assisting” Donald Trump for years but also had compromised the tycoon “sufficiently to be able to blackmail him.”
Steele had at least five sources, A, B, C, D, and E.
"A" was “a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure.”
"B" a "former top level intelligence officer still active in the Kremlin.”
"D" was a "close associate of Trump who had organized and managed his recent trips to Moscow."
"E" an "ethnic Russian” and “close associate of Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump.”
And finally "F" who "was a female staffer” at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton hotel, who was co-opted into the network by an Orbis “ethnic Russian operative”
What he learned:
These two sources told quite a lurid story, the now infamous “golden showers” allegation, which, according to the dossier, was corroborated by others in his alphabet list of assets. It was an evening’s entertainment, Steele, the old Russian hand, must have suspected, that had to have been produced by the ever helpful F.S.B. And since it was typical of Moscow Center’s handwriting to have the suite wired up for sound and video (the hotel’s Web site, with unintentional irony, boasts of its “cutting edge technological amenities”), Steele apparently began to suspect that locked in a Kremlin safe was a hell of a video, as well as photographs.
Steele’s growing file must have left his mind cluttered with new doubts, new suspicions. And now, as he continued his chase, a sense of alarm hovered about the former spy. If Steele’s sources were right, Putin had up his sleeve kompromat—Moscow Center’s gleeful word for compromising material—that would make the Access Hollywood exchange between Trump and Billy Bush seem, as Trump insisted, as banal as “locker-room talk.” Steele could only imagine how and when the Russians might try to use it.
What he initially did with that information:
In the end, Steele found the rationale that is every whistle-blower’s sustaining philosophy: the greater good trumps all other concerns. And so, even while he kept working his sources in the field and continued to shoot new memos to Simpson, he settled on a plan of covert action.
The F.B.I.’s Eurasian Joint Organized Crime Squad—“Move Over, Mafia,” the bureau’s P.R. machine crowed after the unit had been created—was a particularly gung-ho team with whom Steele had done some heady things in the past. And in the course of their successful collaboration, the hard-driving F.B.I. agents and the former frontline spy evolved into a chummy mutual-admiration society.
It was only natural, then, that when he began mulling whom to turn to, Steele thought about his tough-minded friends on the Eurasian squad. And fortuitously, he discovered, as his scheme took on a solid operational commitment, that one of the agents was now assigned to the bureau office in Rome. By early August, a copy of his first two memos were shared with the F.B.I.’s man in Rome.
To his dismay the FBI did nothing with the information, and that caused Steele to panic as he realized the enormity of what he had discovered.
So he did what was considered unthinkable for a former spy:
As his frustration grew, the mysterious trickle from WikiLeaks of the Democratic National Committee’s and John Podesta’s purloined e-mails were continuing in a deliberate, steadily ominous flow. He had little doubt the Kremlin was behind the hacking, and he had shared his evidence with the F.B.I., but as best he could tell, the bureau was focusing on solving the legalistic national-security puzzle surrounding Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. With so much hanging in the balance—the potential president of the United States possibly being under Russia’s thumb—why weren’t the authorities more concerned? He decided it was time for desperate measures.
“Someone like me stays in the shadows,” Steele would say, as if apologizing for what he did next. It was an action that went against all his training, all his professional instincts. Spies, after all, keep secrets; they don’t disclose them. And now that the F.B.I. had apparently let him down, there was another restraint tugging on his resolve: he didn’t know whom he could trust. It was as if he were back operating in the long shadow of the Kremlin, living by what the professionals call “Moscow Rules,” where security and vigilance are constant occupational obsessions. But when he considered what was at stake, he knew he had no choice. With Simpson now on board, in effect, as co-conspirator and a shrewd facilitator, Steele met with a reporter.
That reporter was David Corn of Mother Jones. (Here is that article.)
As I said you really need to read the entire Vanity Fair article.
However when you do feel free to come back here to discuss it in our comments section.