A jury on Tuesday found Russian national Igor Danchenko, the primary sub-source of the anti-Trump dossier, not guilty on all four counts of making false statements to the FBI.
The charges had been brought by Special Counsel John Durham, who is investigating the origins of the FBI’s original Trump-Russia investigation.
U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga acquitted Danchenko on one of the five counts last week after the prosecution laid out its case. The decision came after a standard Rule 29 proceeding where the defense brings a motion to dismiss the case, arguing that the prosecution has not brought sufficient evidence to prove it.
Count One had alleged that Danchenko lied to FBI Special Agent Kevin Helson when he said he had not “talked” to longtime Democratic operative and PR executive Charles Dolan about information that went into the Steele Dossier.
Danchenko served as the primary sub-source for the anti-Trump dossier authored by ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele.
The dossier was commissioned by opposition research firm Fusion GPS, and paid for by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee through law firm Perkins Coie.
It served as the basis for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant and renewals against Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz in 2019 said the dossier was used to justify the initial FISA warrant and its three subsequent renewals. Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee first said the dossier served as the basis for those warrants and surveillance of Page.
The Justice Department admitted in 2020 that the FISA warrants to surveil Page, when stripped of the FBI’s misinformation, did not meet the necessary legal threshold and never should have been issued.
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