Special Counsel Durham Takes Aim at FBI in Closing Arguments in Danchenko Trial
Special Counsel Durham Takes Aim at FBI in Closing Arguments in Danchenko Trial

By John Haughey and Zachary Stieber

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—FBI agents investigating the anti-Donald Trump dossier authored by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele should have done a better job investigating the truthfulness of its source, special counsel John Durham said in closing arguments for the source’s trial on Oct. 17.

Durham said FBI agents should have performed a “detailed review” of Igor Danchenko, the source, and his statements, including a behavioral assessment, an examination of Danchenko’s finances, and a polygraph test, at least some of which were recommended by FBI experts.

With the evidence presented during the trial, jurors could conclude that the FBI “mishandled the investigation,” according to Durham.

“The government is not here to defend the FBI’s performance in these matters,” he said.

The important thing is how the probe started, Durham noted.

Danchenko has taken credit for the bulk of the information in the dossier, a collection of rumorslies, and innuendo that painted Trump as potentially under the thumb of Russian President Vladimir Putin, which was hyped by Trump rival Hillary Clinton, who was later revealed as being one of the document’s funders.

Danchenko allegedly lied to FBI agents when he told them that he didn’t speak with Charles Dolan, a Clinton associate, about information in the dossier, even though an email from Dolan to Danchenko made its way, nearly word-for-word, into the finished product. Defense lawyers said Danchenko understood the word “talked” as communicating orally, an argument that helped convince the judge overseeing the case to toss the charge.

Danchenko was also charged with making false statements about thinking he spoke with Sergei Millian, a pro-Trump businessman, over the phone. No phone records support communications between the pair, and Danchenko later wrote emails to Millian and at least one other person as if he had never spoken with Millian.

In one email, Danchenko wrote that “Sergei doesn’t respond,” with no mention of a call or a planned meeting.

Igor Danchenko outside the U.S. courthouse in Alexandria, Va., on Oct. 11, 2022. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The false statements impacted the bureau’s investigation into the dossier, Durham’s team alleges.

The focus of deliberations should be whether the statements “affected the FBI’s actions,” Michael Keilty, an assistant special counsel, told the jury before deliberations began.

“That is all you need to consider,” he said.

Danchenko told dossier author Steele, a Clinton supporter and ex-British spy, that he met Millian in person, but he later informed FBI agents that he actually lied to Steele, according to the agents.

Stuart Sears, one of Danchenko’s lawyers, said Danchenko made clear to Steele that the information he was passing on was “rumor and speculation” and that Danchenko told FBI agents that he didn’t know if anything in the dossier was true.

Sears described his client as being “shocked and upset” by how Steele presented the information in the dossier, which was utilized by the U.S. government to get warrants to spy on former Trump campaign associate Carter Page and in other aspects of Crossfire Hurricane, which Durham was tasked with probing by former Attorney General William Barr.

Sears also noted that Kevin Helson, Danchenko’s handling agent, actually told Danchenko to erase information from his phone after his identity as a source became known to the public.

And Danchenko was clear that he believed, but wasn’t sure, that the person on the phone was Millian. Further, FBI agents didn’t ask detailed follow-up questions, Sears said.

Affiliate News Feeds

  • Reuters
  • Washington Examiner
  • The Federalist
  • The Epoch Times
  • The Guardian
  • The Gateway Pundit
  • Judicial Watch

By Naveen Athrappully NASA announced on Tuesday that it intends to cancel the development of its GeoCarb mission, which was proposed to be a low-cost satellite aimed at monitoring greenhouse gas… [...]

By Bryan Jung The rate of job cuts in the United States soared 127 percent in November, amid a wave of layoffs in the tech industry. The American employers announced 76,835 cuts… [...]

By Jennifer Margulis and Joe Wang What medicine should you take? How should you treat any given illness? What preventative measures are most effective for you? Which vaccines do you need? These… [...]

A former professor at the University of California San Diego said she gave all of her students "A" grades and no homework in a recently unearthed video. [...]

A key Senate vote over whether to provide paid sick leave for rail workers is highlighting a divide within the GOP, a party that has increasingly tried to position itself… [...]

Transmission infrastructure will need to double or triple to accommodate the growth. [...]

Anyone still wearing a face mask to protect himself from Covid probably has no intention of ever shedding it now. [...]

Anyone who actually watched 'Wednesday' can see that the 'racism' accusations are ridiculous and performative. [...]

Chuck DeVore's historical fiction book 'Crisis of the House Never United: A Novel of Early America' demonstrates not only why procedure and patience matter, but also the genius of the… [...]

The head of the largest oil and natural gas trade association warned that failure to replenish the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) could trigger another oil crisis in the coming… [...]

This episode will premiere on Friday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. ET. In this episode of Kash’s Corner, we discuss the impending release of the Jan. 6 committee’s final report.… [...]

New York’s quest to replace the troubled Rikers Island jail complex with smaller facilities across the five boroughs could lead to either hazardous overcrowding or the release of dangerous detainees,… [...]

Health Security Agency issues rare alert over rise in cases, urging people to seek immediate medical help if they see symptomsQ&A: what are the symptoms and how can strep A… [...]

Exclusive: Labour says ministers have been told repeatedly that people with prepayment meters are not getting enough supportCase studies: ‘I can’t afford to heat my son’s room’Up to half a… [...]

Group G match at Stadium 974 kicks off at 7pm GMTCameroon v Brazil – follow live with Scott MurrayShare your thoughts with Will via email or on TwitterThe national anthems… [...]

Joe Biden’s gender fluid “pup handler” DOE employee Sam Brinton was charged with felony theft for stealing a woman’s luggage last month at MSP airport in Minnesota. According to Alpha… [...]

By Wayne Allyn Root Let me start with a disclaimer. I’m a Jew. Not just any Jew. Ancestery.com tested my DNA and reported I’m 99.9% Eastern European Jewish ancestry. That’s… [...]

The Department of Homeland Security has issued a National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin in advance of the holidays. The United States remains in a heightened threat environment. Lone offenders and… [...]

From Fox News: The Secret Service will not say why they changed their position regarding a government watchdog’s records request into Hunter Biden’s gun investigation records. Government watchdog Judicial Watch… [...]

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that the United States Secret Service has repeatedly changed its position about whether it is in possession of records related to the investigation… [...]

The Biden administration is giving a nonprofit partially funded by leftwing billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundations (OSF) $12 million to strengthen labor rights and empower workers in three Latin… [...]


USNN World News (USNN) USNN World News Corporation is a media company consisting of a series of sites specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information, local,...