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A Russian analyst have been arrested in the Trump dossier investigation.

FILE PHOTO: Former U.S. President Donald Trump looks on during his first post-presidency campaign rally at the Lorain County Fairgrounds in Wellington, Ohio, U.S., June 26, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo/File Photo


Russian analyst Danchenko arrested in Trump-Russia investigation origins probe

Nov 04, 2021


Justice Department spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle confirmed Thursday Russian analyst Igor Danchenko has been arrested. His arrest, first reported by the New York Times, is part of special counsel John Durham’s probe into the origins of the FBI’s investigation into ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

According to a grand jury indictment issued in federal court in Virginia, Danchenko is facing five counts of making false statements. He’s accused of lying to the FBI when questioned about his work providing information for a dossier of research used leading up to the Trump-Russia investigation.

The indictment says Danchenko misled the FBI by denying a relationship with a public relations executive and longtime Democratic operative. The arrested Russian analyst had in fact anonymously sourced one of his allegations to the executive. Danchenko also is accused of fabricating details of a phone conversation with someone who had described what Danchenko called a “well-developed conspiracy of co-operation” between the Trump campaign and Russia.

That dossier was compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British spy who was paid by Democrats. It was given to the FBI and used by federal authorities to get surveillance warrants targeting former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. However, the dossier had no role in the actual launching of the Trump-Russia investigation. That investigation eventually found questionable ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, but did not find evidence to pursue criminal charges.

The Justice Department’s inspector general has faulted the FBI and the Justice Department for their handling of the dossier. Danchenko had revealed to FBI investigators during a 2017 interview that there were “potentially serious problems with Steele’s descriptions of information in his reports.” The arrested Russian analyst has also suggested the information he offered to Steele was not meant to be portrayed as indisputable fact.

“Even raw intelligence from credible sources, I take it with a grain of salt,” Danchenko said in an interview with The New York Times last year. “Who knows, what if it’s not particularly accurate? Is it just a rumor or is there more to it?”

This is the third criminal action Durham has brought in connection with the investigation. Cybersecurity lawyer Michael Sussmann was indicted in September, accused of making a false statement to the FBI during a 2016 meeting. Last year, an FBI lawyer admitted to altering an email related to the surveillance of Page.