By John Haughey and Zachary Stieber
ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Key moments in the third day of the trial of Igor Danchenko, a key source for the anti-Donald Trump dossier by his own admission, included the revelation that another person connected with the dossier was supportive of Trump’s political rival Hillary Clinton.
Clinton helped fund the dossier, which was compiled by ex-British spy Christopher Steele with assistance from Danchenko, a Russian national, and others.
Here’s new information that emerged during the proceedings on Oct. 13.
Danchenko Never Provided Information to Corroborate Dossier
Danchenko never gave the FBI any information that corroborated allegations in the dossier, special agent Kevin Helson, one of Danchenko’s handlers, testified.
“During the course of your relationship and dealing with Mr. Danchenko, did he ever provide any corroborating information of the sort of series of allegations made in the dossier?” special counsel John Durham asked.
“No,” Helson said.
Danchenko also provided no documents that were corroborative.
Danchenko also made up at least one source, Helson indicated.
In one message, Danchenko said he was seeking information on a certain topic. “The question is from a construction company from Switzerland,” he said.
Helson said he didn’t think Danchenko was representing such a company.
“Because that would be false?” Durham asked.
“Yes,” Helson said.
“That would be made up?” Durham pressed.
“Yes,” Helson said.
Dossier Sub-Source Viewed Clinton Favorably
Steele wanted Clinton to beat Trump in the 2016 election, and Danchenko said he was working “against Trump, according to previously published messages.
One of the people Danchenko said he received information from was also supportive of Clinton, Charles Dolan testified in court.
“Do you have a recollection, if any, if you discussed presidential candidate Clinton with Ms. Galkina?” Dolan was asked.
“Yes,” Dolan said.
“And do you have an understanding of how Ms. Galkina viewed Ms. Clinton?”
“Yes. Very favorably,” Dolan said.
Galkina has denied being a source for the dossier.
Dolan himself is a longtime associate of the Clinton family, and has worked on Democrat political campaigns over the years. He said he had a “fairly negative” opinion of Trump.
Republican Lobbyist Identified as Source
Gregg Hartley, a lobbyist, was part of a 2016 meeting that featured Danchenko, Dolan, and Galkina, Dolan also said.
Danchenko was connecting Galkina with Dolan for a potential business partnership.
“We thought there might be a government relations play in this. It turned out there wasn’t,” Dolan said of Hartley’s being part of the meeting.
A message Danchenko sent to Dolan indicated Hartley supplied information to Danchenko.
“Could you please ask someone to comment on Paul Manafort’s resignation and anything on Trump campaign? Off the record of course! Any thought, rumour, allegation. I am working on a related project against Trump. I asked Gregg three months ago but he didn’t say much although shared a couple of valuable insights,” Danchenko wrote.
Gregg referred to Hartley, Dolan said.
Hartley did not respond to a request for comment.
Dolan Says He Lied, Has Deep Connections With Russia
Dolan acknowledged he was lying when he claimed to have received information from a Republican friend.
“I had a drink with a GOP friend of mine who knows some of the players and got some of what is in this article, which provides even more detail. She also told me that Corey Lewandowski, who hates Manafort and still speaks to Trump, regularly played a role. He is said to be doing a happy dance over it,” Dolan told Danchenko in a message.
“I lied. I got it off cable news,” Dolan said. “Mr. Danchenko had brought me some business. I wanted to tell him that his sources were good. The woman was on cable news.”
Dolan also went over his deep connections with Russia, including how he worked with Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
While working as a consultant for a firm called Ketchum, Dolan worked with Peskov as he tried to bring foreign investment to Russia.
Dolan said he would have “regular meetings” with Peskov and traveled to Russia to meet with Peskov and other Russian officials.
Dolan also worked with Peskov later as part of his work for The Walt Disney Company in Russia.
Danchenko also has Russian ties. He was born in Russia and communicated with known Russian intelligence officers, according to the FBI.
FBI Thought a Second Dossier Was Possible
The publication of the first dossier, by Buzzfeed, shook the political world. It helped spark special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and triggered unsubstantiated claims that Trump and his campaign colluded with Russia. Mueller’s probe found no evidence for the claims.
“At that time, correct me if I’m wrong, there was concern in the FBI about a dossier No. 2 being released?” Stuart Sears, one of Danchenko’s lawyers, asked Helson.
“It was,” Helson said.
Danchenko notified the FBI he was going to meet Steele in late 2017.
The FBI had started paying Danchenko as an informant and “you were having Mr. Danchenko fish information from Mr. Steele about what Mr. Steele was up to?” Sears said.
“Yes,” Helson said.
By that time, Danchenko was concerned about sharing any more information with Steele because he felt Steele had embellished details from Danchenko when placing them in the dossier.
Danchenko had stipulated the information was rumor and speculation, drawn from sources who had spoken to other people, Danchenko told FBI agents.
Danchenko thought Steele had since become obsessed with trying to prove the allegations, Danchenko said.
“And that, I think it was your words, that Mr. Steele was willing to burn everyone around him to make the dossier true?” Sears asked Helson.
“That’s true,” Helson said.
Danchenko’s Payments Revealed
Danchenko was paid $219,000 for being an FBI informant for about three years, Helson said.
Helson said Danchenko gave the FBI information from his vast network of contacts and lamented losing Danchenko as a source when his identity as a dossier source became public.
Helson tried to make up for the danger Danchenko faced when his identity was exposed by asking the Department of Justice to pay Danchenko another $346,000 but the request was denied.
Danchenko is on trial for allegedly lying to Helson and other FBI personnel when he said that Dolan did not provide him information that ultimately was part of the dossier.
Danchenko also allegedly lied when he said he thought he received a phone call from Sergei Millian, a pro-Trump businessman.
Danchenko faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.