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New details on botched FBI investigation into source for infamous anti-Trump dossier revealed

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 9/30/2022 Jerry Dunleavy
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New details on how the FBI botched a counterintelligence investigation into the source for the infamous anti-Trump dossier have been revealed.

The information has come to light ahead of the trial of Igor Danchenko, a Russian lawyer charged with lying to the FBI. Special counsel John Durham is leading the case against Danchenko.

Durham prosecutor Michael Keilty revealed the new information this week, saying that “the FBI closed the investigation because they mistakenly believed” that Danchenko had left the United States, “but it wasn’t because they hadn’t found anything on Mr. Danchenko.”


Keilty argued the counterintelligence investigation’s findings are relevant because of the bureau’s later need to determine if the Democratic-funded dossier was true, adding that “there was a huge fear in the FBI that this was Russian disinformation.”

The Durham prosecutor revealed that “there was a lot of miscommunication between the agents in Baltimore” who apparently led the counterintelligence investigation “and the handling agent” for Danchenko “about what happened with that investigation.”

Keilty said Danchenko’s handling agent “will testify that he was under a misimpression” about why the investigation was closed. Keilty also said a Baltimore FBI agent will say he thought the Danchenko counterintelligence investigation was “incredibly important” but it was not properly communicated to Danchenko’s handler.

The prosecutor summarized his argument by saying the FBI was concerned about Russian disinformation in the dossier, Danchenko made false statements about the sourcing of the dossier’s claims, and knowing the truth could have led the FBI back to the prior counterintelligence investigation.

Judge Anthony Trenga repeatedly pressed Keilty on this, and the prosecutor said the counterintelligence investigation’s findings would help highlight the materiality of the false statements Danchenko later made to the FBI about the dossier.

Trenga is weighing whether evidence about the prior counterintelligence investigation should be allowed in this case.

Durham has previously highlighted how Danchenko was the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation from 2009 to 2011, and he revealed this month the bureau had apparently flubbed it when “the investigation into the defendant was closed in 2010 after the FBI incorrectly believed the defendant had left the country.”

The special counsel wants findings from that investigation, which unearthed links between the defendant and Russian intelligence, to be used at the October false statements trial.

Danchenko allegedly lied to the FBI about the existence of a phone call he claims he received from Sergei Millian, an American citizen born in Belarus, who the Steele source had said told him about a conspiracy of cooperation between Trump and the Russians, which Durham says is not true.


Danchenko also anonymously sourced a fabricated claim about Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort to Hillary Clinton ally Chuck Dolan, who spent years, including 2016, doing work for Russian businesses and the Russian government, according to Durham’s November 2021 indictment.

Trenga will issue a ruling on the saga before the jury selection begins on Oct. 11.


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Tags: Justice, Justice Department, FBI, John Durham, Christopher Steele, Steele dossier, Donald Trump, Russia, News

Original Author: Jerry Dunleavy

Original Location: New details on botched FBI investigation into source for infamous anti-Trump dossier revealed


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