Danchenko admits he was FBI source amid charges he lied to the bureau

Danchenko faces five counts of lying to the FBI.

Updated: September 19, 2022 - 6:18pm

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Embattled businessman Igor Danchenko has admitted he was a confidential source for the FBI in court filings seeking to block the presentation of certain evidence in special counsel John Durham's prosecution against him for lying to the bureau.

Danchenko faces five counts of lying to the FBI. Durham, however, has sought to present, during his prosecution, other materially false statements Danchenko allegedly made, but for which he does not face charges, in order to establish a pattern.

The Russian analyst and his legal team have sought to block the presentation of those statements, asserting their irrelevance to the matters for which he faces charges. In presenting an argument against the presentation of the alleged uncharged false statements, Danchenko does admit to speaking directly with the FBI about the claims made against Trump.

Last week, Durham unsealed prior documents revealing that the FBI had paid Danchenko for over three years as a source for its investigation into Donald Trump before firing him for making false statements.

"In March 2017, the FBI signed the defendant up as a paid confidential human source of the FBI," the unsealed documents revealed. "The FBI terminated its source relationship with the defendant in October 2020. As alleged in further detail below, the defendant lied to FBI agents during several of these interviews."

The Russian businessman was a primary source for the now-debunked Steele Dossier, which included a plethora of unsubstantiated rumors surrounding Trump and led to the Mueller investigation into alleged collusion between his presidential campaign and the Russian government.

In the latest court filings, however, Danchenko has sought to block Durham's presentation of these allegedly false statements, arguing that they are immaterial to the ones for which he actually faces charges. He does, however, admit to providing information to the bureau as a source while disputing the facts of those discussions as Durham presented them.

Among the most salacious of the alleged false statements is Durham's identification of Danchenko as the source for the claim that Trump cavorted with prostitutes at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Moscow, one of the initially most explosive allegations from the Dossier.

"While Section I.B purports to be about Mr. Danchenko’s statements to the FBI, as the Special Counsel is well aware, Mr. Danchenko never told the FBI that his source for the information about former President Trump’s alleged salacious sexual activity in the Ritz Carlton Hotel was Sergei Millian, Charles Dolan, or Bernd Kuhlen," Danchenko's lawyers wrote.

"Rather, Mr. Danchenko told the FBI in January 2017 that he was told about a well-known 'rumor' regarding the alleged activity in early June 2016 by I.V. and 'that he had not been able to confirm the story' when he later met with hotel staff," the filing continued.

"What Donald Trump did or did not do at a hotel in Moscow, and anything Mr. Danchenko allegedly said about anything he had heard Trump may have done, is entirely unrelated to the specific false statements the Special Counsel actually charged in the Indictment," the filing reads.

"The five counts charged in the Indictment have nothing to do with anything that purportedly happened at a hotel in Moscow. Specifically, evidence related to Donald Trump's salacious sexual activity at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Moscow is not 'inextricably intertwined,' 'part of a single criminal episode,' or 'necessary preliminaries' to any of the charged statements," it asserts.