WASHINGTON, D.C. – The man who was the main source for information in former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele’s so-called “Steele Dossier” – documents containing allegations of wrongdoing against former President Donald Trump – was arrested Thursday and charged with five counts of lying to FBI agents.
The Steele Dossier contained numerous claims against Trump – with some being quite bizarre – but the focus of the investigation of Special Counsel John Durham into the document’s origins were centered around allegations that members of the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia to alter the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
Durham has charged Igor Danchenko – a Russian citizen currently living in Virginia who is not affiliated with the Russian government – after he allegedly made false statements to the FBI concerning the sources he utilized when providing information to Christopher Steele’s UK-based investigative firm.
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Former spy Steele compiled his infamous dossier – reportedly funded by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign – that later served as the basis for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
During previous 2017 interviews with the FBI – which had been declassified at the direction of then-Attorney General William Barr – Danchenko had allegedly told agents that the information in Steele’s dossier was “unsubstantiated and unreliable” and was comprised of “second and third-hand information and rumors at best.” Danchenko had also reportedly said in 2017 that he “disagreed with” and was “surprised by” how the information he provided to Steele was actually portrayed in the dossier.
Barr, prior to leaving the Trump administration in December 2020, assigned Durham as special counsel to investigate the origins of the Steele Dossier and the allegations of Russian collusion against the Trump campaign.
“The Special Counsel’s investigation is ongoing,” Durham’s office said.