Special Prosecutor John Durham revealed in a bombshell revelation that Igor Danchenko, a Russian businessman and the primary source for the now-discredited Steele Dossier, was paid by the FBI to act as a confidential human source in the investigation into Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, despite it’s concerns that he was tied to Moscow’s intelligence community.
The unsealed motion revealed that Danchenko was paid by the FBI as a confidential human source for more than three years until the fall of 2020 when he was terminated for lying to agents.
Danchenko is currently facing trial next month in federal court for five counts of lying to the bureau during that relationship.
“In March 2017, the FBI signed the defendant up as a paid confidential human source of the FBI,” Durham’s unsealed court filing disclosed for the first time. “The FBI terminated its source relationship with the defendant in October 2020. As alleged in further detail below, the defendant lied to FBI agents during several of these interviews.”
The FBI fired former M16 agent Christopher Steele, who wrote the dossier funded by Hillary Clinton, as a human source in November 2016 for having unauthorized contact with the news media. This revelation means that they, only a few months later, hired Steele’s primary informer to work with the bureau, despite already having determined that some of Danchenko’s statements in the dossier were uncorroborated or exaggerated.
Additionally, Durham confirmed in the filing that the FBI was concerned about Danchenko’s ties to Russian intelligence ten years prior, and had opened a counterintelligence probe on him after they discovered that he was trying to buy classified information from the Obama administration.
“As has been publicly reported, the defendant was the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation from 2009 to 2011,” Durham wrote. “In late 2008, while the defendant was employed by a prominent think tank in Washington, D.C., the defendant engaged two fellow employees about whether one of the employees might be willing or able in the future to provide classified information in exchange for money.
“According to one employee (‘Employee-1’), the defendant believed that he (Employee-1) might be in a position to enter the incoming Obama administration and have access to classified information. During this exchange, the defendant informed Employee-1 that he had access to people who would be willing to pay money in exchange for classified information. Employee-1 passed this information to a U.S. government contact, and the information was subsequently passed to the FBI.
“Based on this information, the FBI initiated a ‘preliminary investigation’ into the defendant. The FBI converted its investigation into a ‘full investigation’ after learning that the defendant (1) had been identified as an associate of two FBI counterintelligence subjects and (2) had previous contact with the Russian Embassy and known Russian intelligence officers.”
The FBI closed that counterintelligence probe in 2010, but only after it “incorrectly believed that the defendant had left the country,” Durham told the court.
“During his January 2017 interview with the FBI, the defendant initially denied having any contact with Russian intelligence or security services but later — as noted by the agents, contradicted himself and stated that he had contact with two individuals who he believed to be connected to those services,” Durham wrote.
The filing went on to ask the court for permission to use evidence in trial of other lies that Danchenko allegedly told the FBI, but are not charged as part of his indictment. Durham argued that the evidence would help show a pattern of deception, and how it led to false narratives in the Steele dossier and media.
The special prosecutor hopes to show the jury evidence that Danchenko made “uncharged false statements to the FBI regarding his purported receipt of information reflecting Donald’s Trump’s alleged salacious sexual activity at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Moscow,” the filing said, in reference to the claim that the former president consorted with prostitutes in the Russian capital.
Prosecutors will provide evidence that Danchenko never received such information, and intend to introduce testimony that members of the hotel staff in Moscow never made any claims about Trump’s behavior, including those the Steele dossier attributed to them.
“The Government has interviewed and expects to call at trial the then-general manager of the Ritz-Carlton Moscow, Bernd Kuhlen,” according to the filing, “a German citizen who does not speak Russian (and whom the Steele Reports describe as ‘Source E,’ a senior (western) member of staff at the hotel.)
“Mr. Kuhlen does not recall ever meeting or speaking with the defendant in June 2016, or at any time. Mr. Kuhlen also has denied (1) having knowledge of the Ritz-Carlton allegations at any time prior to their being reported in the media, (2) discussing such allegations with, or hearing them from, the defendant.”
Former President Trump also posted about the bombshell news in a Truth Social Post, linking an article from JustTheNews on the subject. “This is a bombshell! The FBI was paying people to steal the 2020 Presidential Election from me. There has never been anything like this in the History of our Country—and then, we are supposed to trust them with documents that they illegally took from my home, Mar-a-Lago? They are not trustworthy.”
He continued, “Remember, the leadership of the FBI also tried to steal the 2016 Election from me for Crooked Hillary, but the Agents of the FBI revolted against Comey and his corrupt gang of thugs at the top.”
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