US Jury Acquits Trump Dossier Source Danchenko

On Tuesday, Igor Danchenko, a Russian researcher accused of lying to the FBI about the sources for the so-called “Steele dossier” that alleged a Trump-Russia collusion, was acquitted on four counts in federal court.

US Jury Acquits Trump Dossier Source Danchenko
Image credit: cnn

Facts

  • On Tuesday, Igor Danchenko, a Russian researcher accused of lying to the FBI about the sources for the so-called “Steele dossier” that alleged a Trump-Russia collusion, was acquitted on four counts in federal court.
  • Danchenko’s case was the third brought by Special Counsel John Durham concerning the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation into alleged ties between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia. One of Durham’s previous cases ended in an acquittal, with a second ending with a guilty plea.
  • The dossier, which has been largely discredited, was made up of a series of allegations, including that Russians might have had blackmail material on Trump for his alleged interactions with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel.
  • Danchenko, by his own admission, was responsible for 80% of the raw intelligence and half of the dossier’s analysis.
  • US District Judge Anthony Trenga threw out Danchenko’s fifth charge last week, and one juror told The Washington Post that the decision on the other four counts was “pretty unanimous.”
  • The “Steele dossier” was indirectly funded by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, and subcontracted to Christopher Steele, a former British spy. Steele hired Danchenko to collect evidence in Russia.

Sources: Reuters, Guardian, spectrumlocal, Yahoo News, and New York Times.

Narratives

  • Democratic narrative, as provided by CNN. What an embarrassment this turned out to be for Durham, who personally handled most of the arguments and questioning in this case. He couldn’t even stop some of his own witnesses from providing testimony that helped Danchenko’s defense. Trump’s special counsel is now 0-for-3, proving he’s barking up the wrong tree in pursuit of government corruption.
  • Pro-Trump narrative, as provided by NY Post. Danchenko’s acquittal isn’t the story here; the focus should be on the FBI misconduct this trial uncovered. The FBI offered Steele $1M for evidence that verified the dossier’s claims, a futile move as neither party could prove any of the salacious allegations. While knowing the dossier wasn’t credible, the FBI still used it to obtain warrants and fuel the unjustified persecution of Trump. The FBI must be made to answer for this.