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The final expected trial of Special Counsel John Durham’s inquiry begins Tuesday and will largely focus on the discredited dossier, which many believe played a role in kickstarting the Trump-Russia investigation. The dossier also has many connections to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and her allies.
“The trial of a Russian national accused of lying to federal investigators about information he contributed to the so-called Steele dossier is set to begin this week, marking a major test for the special counsel investigating the origins of the FBI probe of former President Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia,” ABC News reported.
“Igor Danchenko, a Washington-based think tank analyst, was hired by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele in 2016 to collect information compiled in his now-infamous dossier, which included explosive and unproven claims about the former president. In a November 2021 indictment, prosecutors accused Danchenko of misleading FBI agents about his sources of information. Danchenko has pleaded not guilty. Danchenko’s trial, which begins Tuesday in Alexandria, Virginia, is expected to offer special counsel John Durham an opportunity to justify his years-long probe, which Trump and his allies once hoped would uncover a widespread “deep-state” conspiracy within the bureau,” the report added.
A court filing by Durham last month requested that the court issue 30 subpoenas for possible witness testimony for the trial starting Oct. 11.
Russian-born analyst Igor Danchenko — key source for the unverified Steele dossier that alleged ties between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia — was arrested by federal agents last year as part of the Durham investigation.
A report from the New York Post details how Durham’s investigation could be over by the end of this year.
“Russiagate special counsel John Durham is in the home stretch. His grand jury wrapped up work last week, apparently with no new indictments on the horizon. Attorney General Merrick Garland is said to anticipate receiving his final report by the end of the year. And Durham is gearing up for his last trial: the prosecution of Igor Danchenko, the principal source for the discredited Steele dossier,” the NY Post reported.
“That last one should be grabbing our attention. We now know that the so-called dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele was a Clinton campaign production. It is one of the great dirty tricks in modern political history: The 2016 Democratic presidential campaign colluded with the incumbent Democratic administration’s law enforcement and intelligence apparatus to portray their partisan opposition, Donald Trump, as a Kremlin mole, then made the smear stick to the point of forcing Trump to govern for over two years under the cloud of a special-counsel investigation,” the NY Post added.
“This enterprise included substantial reliance by the FBI on the bogus Steele dossier in obtaining spying authorization from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) — on sworn representations that the bureau believed Trump was in a “conspiracy of cooperation” with Vladimir Putin’s anti-American regime,” the NY Post continued. “Danchenko turns out to have been Steele’s principal source for this fever dream. Last year, Durham indicted him on five counts of lying to the FBI. But that’s not half of it. Last week, in a jaw-dropping court submission, Durham revealed that the FBI signed up Danchenko as an informant and paid him for almost three years — from March 2017 through October 2020.”
But wait, it gets even worse.
The FBI apparently was aware that it was using “unverified information from Steele and Danchenko to suggest to a court that the president of the United States might be a Russian asset, the FBI had intelligence indicating that Danchenko himself might actually have been a Russian asset.”
“That was detailed in yet another Durham court filing last week, in the Virginia federal court where Danchenko is soon scheduled to be tried. The prosecutor related that Danchenko was the subject of an FBI counterintelligence from 2009 to 2011,” the Post reported.
Former President Donald Trump recently predicted recent court filings from Durham are “just the beginning” of what’s to come.