Russian Analyst Who Fed Steele Dossier Is Charged

Indictment accuses Igor Danchenko of lying to the FBI
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 4, 2021 2:45 PM CDT
Russian Analyst Who Fed Steele Dossier Is Charged
Special Counsel John Durham, shown in 2018, is investigating whether Donald Trump's campaign conspired with Russa to affect the 2016 presidential election.   (U.S. Department of Justice via AP, File)

A Russian analyst who contributed to a dossier of Democratic-funded research into ties between Russia and Donald Trump was indicted Thursday on charges of lying to the FBI about his sources of information. The case against Igor Danchenko is part of special counsel John Durham's ongoing investigation into the origins of the FBI probe into whether Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia conspired to tip the outcome of that year's election, the AP reports. The indictment accuses Danchenko of making false statements to the FBI when interviewed in 2017 about his role in collecting information for Christopher Steele, the former British spy who was paid by Democrats to investigate connections between Trump and Russia.

Danchenko, a US-based Russia analyst who has been arrested, functioned as a source for Steele, whose dossier of research was provided to the FBI and used by federal authorities to receive surveillance warrants targeting a former Trump campaign aide. The five-count indictment says Danchenko misled the FBI by denying a relationship with a public relations executive and Democratic operative and supporter of Trump's 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, when he had in fact anonymously sourced one of his allegations to that person. He also is accused of fabricating details of a phone conversation with someone who, he said, had described a "well-developed conspiracy of co-operation" between the Trump campaign and Russia. Both the dossier and the Durham probe are politically charged.

Trump's Justice Department appointed Durham as Trump claimed the investigation of campaign ties to Russia was a witch hunt and pointed to the dossier, some of which remains uncorroborated or has been discredited, as evidence of a tainted probe driven by Democrats. But the dossier had no role in the launching of the Trump-Russia investigation. Special counsel Robert Mueller ultimately found questionable ties between the Trump campaign and Russia but not sufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges. Democrats have lambasted the Durham probe as politically motivated, but the Biden administration has not stopped it. The Justice Department's inspector general has faulted the FBI and the Justice Department for their handling of the dossier.

(More Russia investigation stories.)

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