Durham seeks delay of classified discovery in Danchenko case

Durham blamed the delay on intelligence agencies' slow production of documents

Updated: May 10, 2022 - 5:08pm

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Special Counsel John Durham on Monday requested a delay to produce classified documents ahead of the trial of primary Steele dossier source Igor Danchenko, citing federal agencies' slow declassification of documents.

While the bulk of classified discovery documents have been produced to Danchenko's lawyers, Durham noted that "recent world events continue to contribute to delays in the processing and production of classified discovery."

Durham indicted Russian analyst Danchenko in November 2021 for repeatedly lying to the FBI during the alleged Trump-Russia collusion investigation.

The special counsel wrote that the defense rejected the request to delay the filing deadlines, which would give them less time to study the documents before the October trial.

"To date, the Government has produced to the defense over 5,000 documents in classified discovery and nearly 61,000 documents in unclassified discovery," Durham wrote in his filling.

He explained that "some of the officials preparing and reviewing the documents at the FBI and intelligence agencies continue to be heavily engaged in matters related to overseas activities."

The "recent world events" and "overseas activities" Durham is referring to may be Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"Nevertheless, the Government is continuing to press the relevant authorities to produce documents in classified discovery as quickly as possible and on a rolling basis," Durham said.

The current deadline to produce classified discovery is set for May 13, but Durham wants the deadline pushed to June 13.

The request comes as the trial of former Hillary Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann is set to begin next week. Durham has also accused Sussmann of lying to the FBI.