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    John Durham Set to Kick Off Major Trial, Directly Target Huge Name Behind Steele Dossier

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    A think tank analyst who worked on research about Donald Trump and Russia will go on trial for lying to the FBI on Tuesday, five years after the term “Steele dossier” entered the political language.

    Igor Danchenko is the third individual that Special Counsel John Durham has brought to justice. Durham was appointed to look into the beginnings of “Crossfire Hurricane,” the name given to the FBI’s 2016 investigation into former President Trump’s suspected ties to Russia.

    It is also the first of Durham’s cases to explore the dossier’s beginnings in great detail.

    Here is some background information on the case.

    WHO IS DANCHENKO AND WHAT CHARGES HAS HE BEEN MADE?

    Danchenko, a Russian analyst, provided material to Christopher Steele, a former British spy hired by Democrats to investigate connections between Russia and Donald Trump, who was then a presidential candidate. The collection of research materials, which contained sleazy rumors and unsubstantiated claims, became known as the Steele dossier. The Justice Department relied on the dossier when it requested and was granted warrants to monitor the communications of a former Trump campaign adviser, even though it did not assist in the FBI’s investigation into possible cooperation between Russia and Trump’s 2016 campaign. The FBI spoke with Danchenko in 2017 as part of its efforts to validate the facts in the dossier. Danchenko is accused of misleading the FBI in order to make his own contributions appear more genuine. He is also accused of lying to investigators about his information sources.

    WHAT DO THE CHARGES SAY?

    When the FBI questioned Danchenko about where he got the information for Steele, the prosecution claims that he lied. In particular, they assert that he denied relying on Charles Dolan, a Democratic operative and public relations professional who volunteered for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.  Additionally, according to the prosecution, Danchenko lied when he claimed to have gotten information from an unidentified phone conversation he thought had been made by former Russian-American Chamber of Commerce president Sergei Millian. They contend that Millian wasn’t the source of any anonymous phone calls, and that Danchenko understood this. According to the indictment, had the FBI known that a Democratic operative was the main source of much of the information in the Steele dossier, it may have made a more accurate assessment of its reliability.

    WHAT CONCLUDES THE DEFENSE?

    The prosecution, according to Danchenko’s attorneys, “is a case of exceptional government overreach.” They point out that throughout 2017, Danchenko freely consented to numerous FBI interviews. They claim that all of his responses to the FBI were valid in theory. For instance, an FBI agent questioned Danchenko about whether he had ever “spoken” to Dolan about the details contained in the dossier, despite the fact that the prosecution has provided proof that the two had email conversations regarding the subjects covered in the dossier. “It was a bad question,” said Danchenko’s lawyer, Stuart Sears, at a pretrial hearing last month. “That’s the special counsel’s problem. Not Mr. Danchenko’s.”

    Furthermore, despite the fact that Danchenko claimed to have confidence that Millian was the caller’s identity, he never gave the FBI any proof that it was Millian.

    Such imprecise claims, according to Sears, don’t go far enough to support a conviction for making false representations.

    More on this story via The Western Journal:

    WHAT OTHER CASES HAS DURHAM BROUGHT?… CONTINUE READING…

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