Christopher Steele, 52, fled from his home in Surrey on Wednesday morning after realizing it was only a matter of time until his name became public knowledge, The Telegraph reports.
A source close to Steele said on Wednesday night that he now fears a prompt and potentially dangerous backlash against him from Moscow.
Steele, the co-founder of London-based Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, prepared a 35-page document, published by Buzzfeed on Tuesday, that alleges the Kremlin colluded with Trump’s presidential campaign and that the Russian security services have material that could be used to blackmail him, including an allegation that he paid prostitutes to defile a bed that had been slept in by Barack and Michelle Obama.
His research was initially funded by anti-Trump Republicans, and later by Democrats.
Trump said the allegations in the dossier was a “fake” and has said he feels as though he is living in Nazi Germany.
With his cover about to be blown, Steele hurriedly packed his bags and went to ground hours before his name was published on Wednesday.
One of Steele’s key contacts, David Corn of the political blog Mother Jones, wrote last year about the resulting dossier and his conversations with the “former spook” who had compiled it, but did not name Steele nor, crucially, did he give away his nationality.
The existence of the dossier, which ran to 35 pages in total, comprising several reports filed over the course of six months, had been common knowledge among journalists in the US for more than half a year, but it was only given credence when the US news network CNN reported that Trump and President Barack Obama had been given a two-page summary of its contents by the FBI.
CNN also reported that the dossier had been put together by a British former intelligence agent, and Steele’s anonymity was fatally compromised.
A source close to Steele said he was “horrified” when his nationality was published and is now “terrified for his and his family’s safety”.