John Durham has Russian analyst who worked with dossier author Christopher Steele arrested

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WASHINGTON, DC – A Russian political analyst who worked with Christopher Steele, the author of a conspiratorial dossier that contained unfounded accusations against Donald J. Trump, has been taken into custody.

On Thursday, Igor Danchenko was arrested in Virginia by federal agents assigned to John H. Durham’s special counsel investigation into the origins of an alleged collusion in 2016 between then-presidential candidate Trump and Russian intelligence officials.

Daily Mail obtained a copy of the indictment, which alleges that Danchenko lied to federal investigators by saying that he had not had contact with a certain U.S.-based executive at an American public relations firm, who had longstanding ties to the Democratic Party.

Danchenko allegedly produced information in order to create an appearance that Trump was compromised and colluding with Russian intelligence officials during the 2016 presidential campaign in order to defeat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

British ex-spy Steele then allegedly used the fabricated information to create a dirty and now-debunked dossier of allegations against Trump, presumably to hurt his chances of winning the presidential election.

Trump denied any collusion between his 2016 presidential campaign and Russian officials.

Also, Putin denied having compromising information about Trump, saying, “We don’t have anything.”

When confronted about having potentially damaging information on Trump, Putin told FOX News through an interpreter:

“Before he [Trump] announced that he will run for presidency, he was of no interest for us.

“He was a rich person, but well, there’s plenty of rich persons in the United States.  

“He was in the construction business. He organized the beauty pageants. But no, it would never occur to anyone that he would think of running for president.

“He never mentioned his political ambitions. It sounds like it’s utter nonsense.”

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 “U.K. Person-1,” according to a report by Daily Mail.

The Russian political analyst was the primary researcher for Steele’s dossier, which alleged that Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign conspired with Russia and that Moscow had salacious videos of a purported sex tape that could be used to blackmail Trump.

Business Insider reported:

“Danchenko was the source of perhaps the dossier’s most infamous claim: that Trump in 2013 rented out the presidential suite at the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow, where he hired Russian prostitutes to perform sexual acts in front of him which involved urination.

“Steele’s dossier claimed that Russian intelligence services had video evidence of the encounter and kept it as kompromat on Trump.”

According to Daily Mail’s report, Danchenko’s role in the affair emerged last year, when it was revealed he was the primary source for Steele’s claims in the dossier, which turned out to be funded by the Democratic Party and Clinton’s campaign.

Danchenko himself acknowledged that the “pee tape” claim was thin at best and that even he was skeptical of whether it was true.

Still, he added that his job was just to collect “raw intelligence” and he wasn’t responsible for how Steele, who was his employer at the time, portrayed it, according to the report by Business Insider.

Once the FBI obtained the dossier, it was used by the agency 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 was never criminally charged, Daily Mail reported.

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.

The Brookings Institution notes on its website that it “is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C.” whose “mission is to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level.”

Last year, Senator Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Representative Devin Nunes, top Republican on the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, made comments suggesting that Danchenko was a Russian agent, according to Daily Mail’s report.

In an interview with Sean Hannity, Graham said Danchenko had fed Kremlin disinformation to Steele. Steele, whose dossier was funded by Hillary Clinton’s Democrats, had then made it into a “Tom Clancy novel” which was in turn “sold” to the FBI.

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After being unmasked, Danchenko told The Guardian last year that he was hiding and was “afraid for his life.”

Danchenko responded to the allegations with a statement denying that he was working as a spy for Russia.

Daily Mail reported that the Russian analyst also emailed Reuters in which he claimed he was just “an experienced expert in Russian affairs who has spent more than a decade in business intelligence.”

Danchenko further said in the same email:

“My academic and business intelligence work in Russia has always been on behalf of Western clients and never on behalf of Russia.”

Durham’s investigation has been moving quietly and slowly. Danchenko is only the third person charged so far during the probe.

In September, Durham indicted cybersecurity lawyer Michael Sussmann, accusing him of lying to the FBI during a 2016 conversation. Sussmann allegedly relayed concerns about potentially suspicious cyber contacts between a Trump organization server and the server of a Russian bank.

According to Daily Mail’s report, the indictment alleges Sussmann told former FBI General Counsel James Baker, who nows works for Twitter, that he was not bringing the concerns to the FBI on behalf of any particular client.

However, Sussmann was actually representing the Hillary Clinton campaign and a technology executive.

The indictment further alleges that Sussmann was charging Clinton’s presidential campaign team and a technology executive, which several reports have identified as Rodney Joffee, according to a report by The Epoch Times.

In September, Sussmann pleaded not guilty to making a false statement to a federal agent, and his lawyers have suggested the case is being driven by politics rather than facts, according to Daily Mail’s report.

Last week it was reported that Durham is expected to call the former top lawyer for the FBI in a case involving a former attorney for a law firm that counted the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton as clients, according to a report by Conservative Brief.

During a status hearing on Oct. 26, Durham prosecutor Andrew DeFilippis and his team said they plan to call former FBI General Counsel James Baker to testify as part of the case against Sussmann, according to Fox News and the Washington Examiner.

The first criminal charges in Durham’s probe were against Kevin Clinesmith, an FBI attorney assigned to the Robert Mueller probe.

Clinesmith altered an email during the process of acquiring a wiretap warrant renewal on Page and later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to probation.

Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.  And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

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