The primary source for Christopher Steele’s now debunked dossier, Igor Danchenko, was acquitted Tuesday of all 4 charges of lying to the FBI that were brought against him.
Count 1 (regarding Charles Dolan) was dismissed. The remaining 4 charges were:
Count 2: On March 16, 2017, Danchenko told FBI agents that he received a call in July 2016 from someone who he thought was Sergei Millian. Danchenko was aware that he had never received a call from Millian.
Count 3: On May 18, 2017, Danchenko falsely told FBI agents that he “was under the impression” that the July 2016 call was from Millian. Again, Danchenko knew that Millian had never called him.
Count 4: On October 24, 2017, Danchenko told FBI agents falsely that he had spoken to Millian on the phone more than once.
Count 5: November 16, 2017, Danchenko, knowing that he had never spoken to Millian on the phone, lied to FBI agents and said he “believed he has spoken to [Millina] on the telephone”
The acquittal came as another hit to Special Counsel John Durham’s team which is investigating the origins of Russiagate.
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Durham’s argument was that Danchenko never contacted or spoke with Millian and created the story for protection after he had told Steele that Millian was the source of the information that eventually became part of Steele’s dossier.
While Danchenko’s attorney claimed that “he was trying to help the FBI, and now they are prosecuting him for it,” prosecutor Michael Keilty said during his closing statement, “There was no call with Millian and there was no call with any individual.” Keilty went on to say of the fabricated events, “It’s a not-to-be-believed story.”
The trial lasted 4 days with the jury delivering a not-guilty verdict in just 9 hours.
Durham released a statement regarding the verdict saying, “While we are disappointed in the outcome, we respect the jury’s decision and thank them for their service. I also want to recognize and thank the investigators and the prosecution team for their dedicated efforts in seeking truth and justice in this case.”
While Danchenko’s case is the third one Durham has brought forth as part of his investigation, it is the second acquittal. The first aquiital was of Clinton campaign lawyer, Micahel Susssman, who was also accused of lying to the FBI.
Durham did get a guilty plea from FBI attorney, Kevin Clinesmith, who was accused of falsifying an email related to a FISA application, but Clinesmith was only sentenced to probation.
The Danchenko trial did reveal that the FBI offered Christopher Steele up to $1 million if he was able to corroborate his now-debunked dossier.