November 14, 2021
"Danchenko worked for several years at the Brookings Institute...Steele testified in London in a 2019 defamation suit that he had disclosed some of his dossier’s details to Strobe Talbott, then the president of Brookings...when Hillary Clinton was secretary of State, Talbott was named chairman of the State Department's foreign affairs advisory board."
Durham's latest indictment: More lines drawn to Clinton's campaign
~~~~~~~~~ Igor Danchenko, 43, was a key figure in the compilation of the infamous Steele dossier that led to the now discredited investigation of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 presidential race. But Danchenko, a Russian emigre living in the U.S., seems unlikely to be the Durham investigation’s apex defendant. In fact, Durham describes him at points more like a shill than a spy, an “investigator” who was fed what to report by Clinton operatives such as Dolan. ~~~~~~~~~~
Danchenko's indictment on five counts of lying to the FBI serves two obvious purposes. First, these counts — with a possible five years in prison on each — are enough to concentrate the mind of any defendant about possibly flipping for the prosecution. Second, indicting Danchenko “hoists the wretch” for potential targets to see and consider that there but for the grace of God — and Durham — go they. ~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thus, Durham clearly seems to be making a meticulous case that the Steele dossier was a political hit job orchestrated by Clinton operatives. His latest indictment connects Danchenko to several intriguing figures and groups that, in turn, relate to the Clinton campaign. ~~~~~~~~~~
Durham alleges that it was Dolan, not Russian sources, who gave Danchenko key allegations to put into the Steele dossier, including some of its most salacious claims. Dolan is described as traveling to Moscow to meet with Russian officials who were paying his firm. The connection is notable because American intelligence believed that sources used in the dossier were, in fact, Russian agents and that the dossier may have been a vehicle for Russian intelligence to spread misinformation. However, Dolan reportedly admitted to "fabricating" facts given to Danchenko. Dolan's attorney now describes him as a "witness" in the investigation.
Danchenko worked for several years at the Brookings Institute, a leading liberal think tank in Washington, as an analyst in Russian and Eurasian affairs — and, as a result, Brookings features prominently in this latest indictment. Around 2010, another Brookings employee had introduced Danchenko to Steele, who subsequently retained him as a contract investigator.
Steele testified in London in a 2019 defamation suit that he had disclosed some of his dossier’s details to Strobe Talbott, then the president of Brookings. Talbott had his own longstanding Clinton ties. Among those, he was an ambassador-at-large and a deputy secretary of state under President Clinton; when Hillary Clinton was secretary of State, Talbott was named chairman of the State Department's foreign affairs advisory board.
Then there is Hillary Clinton herself. Steele also has testified that it was his understanding that Clinton was aware of his work and the development of the dossier. Yet during the campaign and long afterward, Clinton never admitted that her campaign funded the dossier, despite media and congressional inquiries about that fact. No less an official than campaign chairman John Podesta denied any connection in testimony before Congress.
More importantly, before the Steele dossier was given to the FBI and the press, then-CIA Director John Brennan briefed former President Obama on Clinton’s alleged “plan” to tie candidate Trump to Russia as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.”
Now, with Danchenko’s indictment, Dolan’s name has been added to a seemingly growing array of Clinton associates whom Durham has referenced in the development of the Russia collusion scandal.
Again, it is not known whether Durham has suspicions or evidence of criminal conduct against anyone else beyond Danchenko. But many other figures are at least likely to feature greatly in the conclusions of the special counsel’s final investigative report if many of the details of the indictments to date are any indication.
One thing is clear, though: Too many “great Democrats” keep popping up in Durham’s investigation.