WASHINGTON, D.C. – The probe being conducted by Special Counsel John Durham into the origins of the Russia investigation has recently brought its focus on the 2016 presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton and its ties into the infamous “Steele Dossier,” with Durham noting that he may subpoena members of her team as trial witnesses.
The Steele Dossier was the work of former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele that was reportedly funded by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in an effort to dig up dirt on Clinton’s rival in the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump.
The dossier’s content served as the basis for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Trump campaign aide Carter Page; however, many of the allegations of wrongdoing in the dossier – including members of the Trump campaign purportedly colluding with Russia to alter the outcome of the election – have since been completely discredited.
Durham expressing interest in the conduct of Clinton campaign members during the 2016 election was revealed this month when a court filing was made in the case of Igor Danchenko – a Russian living in the United States who was the main source of information for the bogus Steele Dossier – who was arrested in November and charged with five counts of lying to FBI agents.
Durham’s court filing notes that Danchenko’s lawyers – Danny Onorato and Stuart Sears of the Schertler Onorato Mead and Sears law firm – had also represented both the Clinton campaign and its individual officials in “matters before the special counsel,” and telling the judge presiding over the case this could represent a conflict of interest.
“The Clinton Campaign financed the opposition research reports, colloquially known as the ‘Dossier,’ that are central to the Indictment against the defendant,” Durham says in the court filing. “Accordingly, for the reasons set forth below, the government respectfully requests that the Court inquire into the potential conflict issues set forth herein.”
Durham noted he may be looking into the possibility of subpoenaing aides to Hillary Clinton to testify at Danchenko’s trial.
“In the event that one or more former representatives of the Clinton Campaign (who are represented by defense counsel’s firm) are called to testify at any trial or other court proceeding, the defendant and any such witness would be represented by the same law firm, resulting in a potential conflict,” Durham court filing said.
Kash Patel, former chief investigative counsel for the House Intelligence Committee, said that the revelation that same law team representing both the Clinton campaign and Danchenko was an “an unbelievable twist” and was certain to raise more than a few eyebrows.
“You have to ask yourself why,” he said. “Why would the Clinton campaign lawyers go and represent the Steele dossier’s No. 1 source, who has been charged federally with five counts of lying to the FBI in a 39-page indictment that cites Clinton campaign former staffers? There is no such thing as coincidences in these types of investigations.”