Jury has yet to reach a verdict in Danchenko trial, will resume deliberations Tuesday

Danchenko was indicted on five federal charges of lying to the FBI about his connections to sources he used to contribute to the Steele dossier.

Published: October 17, 2022 8:29am

Updated: October 17, 2022 7:41pm

The federal case against Steele dossier primary source Igor Danchenko ended Monday with closing arguments and jury deliberations, but without a verdict being reached.

The jury is set to resume deliberations Tuesday morning on four of the five counts of lying to the FBI that Danchenko has been charged with.

The case went to jury after Special Counsel John Durham blasted the FBI for its handling of the informant and its entire Russia collusion probe, saying the bureau had a "certain mindset" and clearly didn't do things as it should have.

Durham argued that one "could easily conclude the FBI mishandled the case," but that doesn't affect Danchenko's false statements.

He also noted that, regarding the investigation into the Steele dossier that was the basis of the Trump-Russia collusion investigation, "The FBI failed on multiple occasions."

In the defense's closing argument, attorney Stuart Sears noted how the prosecution "attacked" its own FBI witnesses. Durham addressed Sears' comment in his rebuttal, saying, "don't feel bad for the FBI agents."

The judge in the case told Durham to conclude his rebuttal while he was criticizing the bureau.

Sears argued in his closing that the government hadn't proven its case against Danchenko and, instead, placed the burden of proof on the defendant to show his innocence.

Developing ... 

Special Counsel John Durham's trial of Russian information specialist and Steele dossier source Igor Danchenko is expected to conclude Monday with closing arguments, sending the verdict to a 12-member jury in a federal court in Northern Virginia.

Danchenko was indicted on five federal charges of lying to the FBI about his connections to sources whom he used to contribute to the dossier, named for former British spy Christopher Steele, who compiled the report for the bureau as it probed possible collusion between Russia and the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.

However, Danchenko supplied about 80% of the content.

On Friday, District Judge Anthony Trenga dropped one of the five charges that Danchenko lied to the FBI, which was the count about speaking with source Charles Dolan, a Democrat operative.

Danchenko has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

Durham was appointed special counsel in 2020 by then-Attorney General William Barr to look into the FBI's conduct in its Russia collusion probe, originally called operation Crossfire Hurricane.

The dossier, which was essentially opposition research on then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, has now been largely discredited.

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