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Russian analyst, primary source for Steele dossier charged with repeatedly lying to FBI

Special Counsel John Durham says Igor Danchenko's lies materially affected the Russia collusion probe, including misleading agents about his relationship with Russian government officials and a PR executive.

Published: November 4, 2021 10:23am

Updated: November 4, 2021 1:19pm

Special Counsel John Durham on Thursday unsealed a federal grand jury indictment charging the primary source for the now-discredited Steele dossier with repeatedly lying to the FBI during the Russia collusion investigation that falsely tarred Donald Trump's presidency.

The 39-page indictment alleges Russian analyst Igor Danchenko misled the FBI about his contacts with Russian government officials and a Democrat-connected public relations executive, falsehoods that materially affected the FBI's investigation and its representations to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to get warrants targeting Trump's campaign and one of its advisers.

"All of DANCHENKO's lies were material to the FBI because, among other reasons, (1) the FBI's investigation of the Trump Campaign relied in large part on the Company Reports to obtain FISA warrants on Advisor-1, (2) the FBI ultimately
devoted substantial resources attempting to investigate and corroborate the allegations contained in the Company Reports, including the reliability of DANCHENKO's sub-sources; and (3) the Company Reports, as well as information collected for the Reports by DANCHENKO, played a role in the FBI's investigative decisions and in sworn representations that the FBI made to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court throughout the relevant time period," the indictment charged.

You can read the full indictment here.

Among the charges, Danchenko is alleged to have injected information from a Democrat-connected public relations executive into the dossier and failed to tell the FBI about it.

"DANCHENKO stated falsely that he had never communicated with a particular U.S.-based individual - who was a long-time participant in Democratic Party politics
and was then an executive at a U.S. public relations firm about any allegations contained in the Company Reports." the indictment said. "In truth and in fact, and as DANCHENKO well knew, DANCHENKO sourced one or more specific allegations in the Company Reports anonymously to PR Executive-l.

"PR Executive-I's role as a contributor of information to the Company Reports was highly relevant and material to the FBI's evaluation of those reports because (a) PR Executive-l maintained pre-existing and ongoing relationships with numerous persons named or described in the Company Reports" and "maintained historical and ongoing involvement in Democratic politics, which bore upon PR Executive-l's reliability, motivations, and potential bias as a source of information," the indictment added.

The indictment provides another black eye to Christopher Steele, the former MI-6 agent who wrote the dossier on behalf of Hillary Clinton's campaign law firm. He recently defended his work, but the indictment makes clear the primary subsource who provided him information lied repeatedly.

Danchenko was arrested earlier Thursday by federal authorities and was slated to appear in court.

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