Report: John Durham Subpoenaed Liberal Think Tank, Brookings Institution in Russia Origins Probe

Brookings Institution (NCinDC / Flickr / CC / Cropped)
NCinDC / Flickr / CC / Cropped

Special Counsel John Durham issued a subpoena to the Brookings Institution, a liberal think tank, late last year as part of his investigation into the origins of the probe into alleged “Russian collusion” with Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The New York Times reported Monday that Durham asked for information about a former Brookings researcher named Igor Danchenko, who was the primary source for Christopher Steele, who prepared the fraudulent Russia “dossier” for the Fusion GPS opposition research firm. Fusion was paid, in part, by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, through an arrangement facilitated by Perkins Coie, a leading Democrat-aligned election law firm.

The Times reported:

Michael Cavadel, the general counsel of Brookings, confirmed the subpoena for records and other materials about Mr. Danchenko, saying that it was received on Dec. 31 and that the think tank had taken until February to gather the files and turn them over to Mr. Durham’s team in part because its office is closed during the pandemic.

Last September, the attorney general at the time, William P. Barr, made public that from 2009 to 2011 Mr. Danchenko had been the subject of an F.B.I. counterintelligence investigation assessing his contacts with several suspected Russian intelligence officials, including at the Russian Embassy.

Brookings has been linked to the Steele dossier and the “Russia collusion” conspiracy theory through a variety of officials with connections to the think tank and the State Department.

As John Solomon reported last year at Just the News:

Danchenko also worked for several years until 2010 at the Brookings Institution, a think tank familiar to many in the Obama administration and to one key witness in the impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

Fiona Hill, a Russia expert at the National Security Council and an impeachment witness against Trump, worked at the Brookings Institution in 2016 and co-authored a paper with Danchenko prior to the dossier being assembled, according to Real Clear Politics.

In addition, the president of the Brookings Institution — former Clinton administration figure Strobe Talbott — contacted Steele early in the Russia collusion probe and requested a copy of his dossier to share with Obama administration officials, according to Steele’s recent testimony in a British lawsuit.

Attorney General Merrick Garland declined to say this confirmation hearing whether he would retain Special Counsel Durham. His predecessor, William Barr, committed during his confirmation that he would not dismiss Special Counsel Robert Mueller, then investigating “Russian collusion.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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