The FBI arrested Igor Danchenko on Thursday as part of the Durham investigation.
Danchenko was the primary researcher for the Hillary Clinton-commissioned dossier alleging that Trump's 2016 presidential campaign conspired with Russia in a covert operation to beat Mrs. Clinton, and who fabricated the allegation that Russia had salacious videos that could be used to blackmail Trump.
In June 2020 the Gateway Pundit broke the story that the Primary Sub-Source (PSS) for the Steele dossier was Igor Danchenko – the individual behind most of the made up lies in the Steele dossier. Subsequent investigation by independent researchers showed that far from being a Russia-based source as Christopher Steele claimed, Danchenko was operating right here in America.
Danchenko was arrested in Virginia by federal agents assigned to Durham's special counsel inquiry into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, according to the Justice Department.
According to reporting by the UK’s Daily Mail, Danchenko is charged with five counts of lying to FBI agents about the sources he used in collecting information for Steele, who is identified in the indictment only as 'UK Person-1'.
Many of the dossier's claims remain unproven or have been debunked, though the document was cited by the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller in secret warrant applications to spy on Trump’s campaign advisor Carter Page.
The FBI interviewed Danchenko several times in 2017 about the information he had provided Steele. According to the indictment, Danchenko lied to the FBI in those interviews about his sources.
The Daily Mail reports the indictment alleges that Danchenko lied to federal investigators by saying that he had not had contact with a certain US-based executive at an American public relations firm, who had deep and longstanding ties to the Democratic Party.
In fact, Danchenko did communicate with the unnamed PR exec, and used him as a key source for one or more of the allegations in the Steele report, according to the indictment.
While the indictment is careful not to name other actors in the conspiracy to fabricate and promote the Steele Dossier, after reading the indictment it seemed pretty clear to us that among those whose names are masked are members of the Perkins – Coie law firm and the Fusion GPS PR firm. However, Techno Fog reports the unnamed PR Exec is Charles Dolan Jr. Evidence that Techno Fog might be right is that Dolan seems to have ghosted himself from the internet.
Perkins Coie employed Clinton campaign lawyer and former federal prosecutor Michael Sussmann, who Durham recently charged for allegedly making a false statement to the FBI concerning the Trump Organization’s use of a secret server to communicate with Kremlin-connected Russian bank Alfa Bank.
In addition to lying about contact with the PR exec, Danchenko is accused of fabricating information about an anonymous phone call he claimed he received in July 2016 from someone he believed to be the president of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce.
A year ago, Senator Lindsey Graham, then-chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Representative Devin Nunes, top Republican on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, made comments suggesting that Danchenko is a Russian agent.
The Daily Beast reported in 2019 a review by the DOJ’s Inspector General revealed that Danchenko had come under suspicion for being a Russian agent while working for the Brookings Institution 10 years earlier. Danchenko denied the accusation, calling it “slander.”
The Washington Post has reported that a DOJ inspector general report found that Danchenko tried to distance himself from the dossier when the FBI later questioned him about the allegations in the file. He claimed the dossier overstated information he had given to Steele.
The case represents the third prosecution related to Mr. Durham’s investigation, which began in May 2019 when then-Attorney General William Barr appointed the Connecticut U.S. attorney to look into matters related to the investigation into Mr. Trump and his campaign associates.
Social media has already fueled speculation that Danchenko would flip and unleash “the Mother of all conspiracy cases,” but so far Danchenko has continued to maintain his innocence and claim he was a non-partisan researcher merely passing along “raw intelligence” to ex-British spy Christopher Steele.
John Durham investigation
Charles Dolan Jr.
Primary Sub-Source (PSS)
lying to FBI agents
Perkins-Coie law firm
Fusion GPS PR firm