November 4, 2021
"The Russian political analyst was the primary researcher for Steele's dossier...Many of the dossier's claims remain unproven or have been debunked, though the document was cited by the FBI in a secret warrant application to spy on a Trump campaign advisor."
Special counsel John Durham charges Igor Danchenko, the Russian analyst behind Steele dossier with lying to FBI agents: US public relations exec with Democrat ties was key source for claims Trump colluded with Putin, indictment says
A key source who provided information to British ex-spy Christopher Steele for his 'dirty dossier' of allegations against Donald Trump has been arrested in the US.
Igor Danchenko, a Russian-born analyst living in the United States, was arrested on Thursday in Virginia by federal agents assigned to John H. Durham's special counsel inquiry into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, according to the Justice Department.
He 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'. The Russian political analyst was the primary researcher for Steele's dossier alleging that Trump's 2016 presidential campaign conspired with Russia in a covert operation to beat Hillary Clinton, and that Russia had salacious videos that could be used to blackmail Trump.
Many of the dossier's claims remain unproven or have been debunked, though the document was cited by the FBI in a secret warrant application to spy on a Trump campaign advisor. The indoctment 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 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.
Danchenko is the third person, and second in a two-month span, to face charges in Durham's probe. Danchenko's attorney was in trial and could not be immediately reached by DailyMail.com on Thursday morning.
Trump has long denied any illegal conspiracy with Russia in his 2016 campaign, insisting that the allegations were trumped up by his political enemies. Likewise, Democrats claim that Durham's probe is a political hatchet job.
Durham was appointed as special counsel by Trump administration Attorney General Bill Barr in October 2020, and tasked with investigating whether the FBI's Trump-Russia probe, code-named 'Crossfire Hurricane,' was opened and conducted legally.
In FBI hands, the dossier was used to further its probe into Trump during the presidential campaign, and was cited in a FISA warrant application to surveil Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, an American who has never been criminally charged.
Durham previously signaled his interest in Danchenko and the Steele dossier by obtaining subpoenas in February for old personnel files and other documents related to Danchenko from the Brookings Institution, where he worked from 2005 until 2010.