Trump ‘steel case’ analyst accused of lying to FBI – National – .

Trump ‘steel case’ analyst accused of lying to FBI – National – .

A Russian analyst who contributed to a dossier of Democrat-funded research into Russia’s ties to Donald Trump was arrested Thursday for lying to the FBI about his sources of information, including an associate of Hillary Clinton.

The case against Igor Danchenko is part of Special Advocate John Durham’s ongoing investigation into the origins of the FBI’s investigation into whether Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia conspired to tip the scales of the result of that year’s presidential campaign.

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The indictment, the third criminal case brought by Durham and the second in two months, is likely to amplify complaints from Trump allies that well-connected Democrats have been working behind the scenes to further suspicion about Trump and Russia who contributed to the FBI election -year investigation.

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The case does not call investigators’ findings that the Kremlin aided the Trump campaign – findings that were not based on the record. But he endorses a long-standing concern about the Russia investigation: This opposition research the FBI has relied on has been marred by unsubstantiated and unsubstantiated claims.

The five-count indictment accuses Danchenko of making several false statements to the FBI during an interview in 2017 about his role in gathering information for Christopher Steele, a former British spy paid by Democrats to investigate on Trump’s ties to Russia.

Danchenko, a US-based Russian who had specialized in Russian and Eurasian issues as an analyst at the Brookings Institution think tank, was an important source for Steele as Steele compiled his research brief. This dossier, the target of intense derision by Trump, was ultimately provided to the FBI and used by federal authorities as they solicited and received lookout warrants targeting a former Trump campaign aide.

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According to the indictment, Danchenko repeatedly lied to the FBI about his sources of information and this deception was significant because the FBI “devoted substantial resources to attempting to investigate and corroborate the allegations” in the dossier and had “relied heavily” on that research in obtaining the surveillance warrants.

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A lawyer for Danchenko made no immediate comment.

The indictment says Danchenko misled the FBI by denying that he discussed any allegations on the file with a contact of his who was a public relations official and a longtime Democratic agent who campaigned for Clinton , Trump’s opponent in 2016.

In fact, according to the indictment, Danchenko had sourced one or more allegations in the file anonymously from this Clinton associate. As the FBI scrambled to corroborate the allegations in the case, it would have been important to know the Democrat’s role in providing information as it revolved around his “reliability, motives, and potential bias as a source.” , according to the indictment.

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The individual is not named in court documents, but his attorney has confirmed his identity as Chuck Dolan, a former executive director of the Democratic Governors Association who advised Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and s’ volunteered for his 2016 campaign. Lawyer Ralph Drury Martin declined to comment further on the ongoing investigation.

The indictment documents also refer to salacious and unsubstantiated sexual allegations involving Trump’s behavior at a Moscow hotel that were included in the case but which Trump vigorously contested, including to former FBI Director James Comey.

The indictment says Danchenko told the FBI he gathered information about Trump’s activities at the hotel from multiple sources, but was unsure himself whether the sex allegations were true. .

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Clinton’s anonymous ally had stayed at the same hotel in June 2016 and attended meetings with Danchenko, according to the indictment. He says if the FBI had known the Democrat was a source for Danchenko, the office could have asked him about the trip to Moscow and whether he had discussed Trump’s own time there.

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The indictment also accuses Danchenko of lying to the FBI about a phone call he allegedly made in July 2016 with someone he believed to be the chairman of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce. This person, according to the file and Danchenko’s account to the FBI, told him about a “well-developed cooperative plot” between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The indictment indicates that Danchenko fabricated his account and never actually received such a phone call.

Both the case and the Durham investigation are politically charged.

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Trump’s Justice Department named Durham as Trump claimed the investigation into campaign ties to Russia was a witch hunt. Trump pointed to the record, which much of the indictment says the FBI has been unable to corroborate, as evidence of a tainted Democrat-led investigation.

But the file did not participate in the launch of the Trump-Russia inquiry. Special Advocate Robert Mueller ultimately found questionable links between the Trump campaign and Russia, but not enough evidence to pursue criminal charges. Democrats have lambasted the Durham investigation as politically motivated, but the Biden administration has not stopped it.

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The Department of Justice inspector general criticized the FBI and the Department of Justice for handling the case. Danchenko – who was not identified by name in the watchdog report – told FBI investigators in a 2017 interview about the origins and veracity of the case that there were “potentially serious issues with descriptions of Steele’s information in his reports ”.

But those scruples from Danchenko were omitted from the last three requests for surveillance, making the case more credible than even one of his own sources thought, according to Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report.

The indictment is Durham’s third criminal action.

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Cyber ​​security attorney Michael Sussmann was charged in September with lying to the FBI during a conversation in 2016 in which he raised concerns about potentially suspicious cyber contacts between a Trump organization server and the server of a Russian bank. The Durham team says he concealed from the FBI that he was presenting the concerns as a lawyer for the Clinton campaign. He pleaded not guilty.

Last year, Kevin Clinesmith, a former FBI lawyer, admitted to modifying an email related to the surveillance of Trump’s aide, Carter Page.

© 2021 The Canadian Press


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