Durham Indicts Alleged Steele Source Danchenko; Worked at Brookings Alongside Clinton Alums

FILE - This 2018 portrait released by the U.S. Department of Justice shows Connecticut's U
U.S. Department of Justice via AP

Special Counsel John Durham indicted Igor Danchenko on Thursday, targeting a key source whom former British spy Christopher Steele allegedly used in the false Russia “dossier” against Donald Trump, and who worked at the Brookings Institution.

The Associated Press summarized the charges:

The five-count indictment accuses Danchenko, a U.S.-based Russia analyst, of making multiple false statements to the FBI when interviewed in 2017 about his role in collecting information for Christopher Steele, the former British spy who was paid by Democrats to investigate connections between Trump and Russia.

Danchenko functioned as a source for Steele, whose dossier of research was provided to the FBI and used by federal authorities as they applied for and received surveillance warrants targeting a former Trump campaign aide.

The indictment says Danchenko misled the FBI by denying a relationship with a public relations executive and longtime Democratic operative and supporter of Trump’s 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, when he had in fact anonymously sourced one of his allegations to that person. He also is accused of fabricating details of a phone conversation with someone who, he said, had described a “well-developed conspiracy of co-operation” between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Danchenko was arrested Monday. The Wall Street Journal‘s Holman Jenkins described him last year as a “product of a regional Russian undergraduate legal education. At 16, he was an exchange student in Louisiana, later studying at Louisville and Georgetown. Aside from a three-year period writing legal documents for Russian trading firms, he made his career in the U.S. as an itinerant writer of business and political reports, including at Brookings.”

As the Epoch Times recently noted, Danchenko had worked at Brookings from 2005 to 2010 under Strobe Talbott, a State Department official in the Bill Clinton administration. Other Clinton and Obama administration alumni also worked at Brookings later, and Fiona Hill — who would go on to serve in the Trump administration — was shown the Steele “dossier.” During his time at Brookings, Danchenko became the target of an FBI counter-intelligence investigation; he was suspected of being a Russian spy.

Durham subpoenaed the Brookings Institution last year, and it complied with his investigation, the Daily Caller reported.

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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