Jury finds Danchenko not guilty on all counts of lying to the FBI

Danchenko was found not guilty in federal court in Virginia.
Igor Danchenko, Alexandria, Va., Nov. 10, 2021

A jury on Tuesday found Steele dossier contributor Igor Dancheko not guilty on all counts of allegedly lying to the FBI about his relationship with the sources for the Trump opposition research documents. 

The case was led by Special Counsel John Durham who handled much of the prosecution's questioning of witnesses in the case and whose intent for the trial was, at least in part, to expose the FBI's mishandling of the large Russia-2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign collusion probe. 

The jury deliberated for roughly nine hours before announcing its verdict.

"While we are disappointed in the outcome, we respect the jury’s decision and thank them for their service," Durham said afterward in a statement to the media. "I also want to recognize and thank the investigators and the prosecution team for their dedicated efforts in seeking truth and justice in this case."

Danchenko attorney Stuart Sears thanked the jurors for their service and said the American public has now learned of Danchenko's innocence, of which he had long been aware.

Durham was appointed in 2020 by then-Attorney General William Barr to look into the FBI's handling of the probe. 

Danchencko compiled about 80% of the information in the dossier organized by former British spy Christopher Steele. 

The biggest revelation in the trial that started Oct. 11 is that the FBI offered Steele as much as $1 million to corroborate the information in the dossier, which was essentially a Trump opposition file that was paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign and that has now been largely discredited.  

However, it was the basis for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, warrant and three renewals to surveil Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

Danchenko was found not guilty by a 12-member jury in a federal court in northern Virginia. Juror Joel Greene said the decision was close but that the jury ultimately reached an unanimous decision.

Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Trenga dropped one of the five counts in the original indictment that alleged Danchenko didn't fully disclose the nature of his contacts with dossier source Democrat operative Charles Dolan. 

The trial is expected to be the last in Durham's probe, and he will now deliver a final report to the Justice Department.

In Durham's only other trial in the investigation, former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann was found not guilty in June of making false statements to the FBI regarding the collusion probe. 

However, Durham won a guilty plea in his prosecution of former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith who admitted to altering and sending an email in connect with the Page surveillance warrant. He received a sentence last year of 12 months probation and 400 hours of community service.