WASHINGTON D.C. – Special Counsel John Durham, who is heading up a probe into the origins of the Russia investigation, revealed in court documents filed on Tuesday that the FBI had paid a Businessman with ties to Moscow’s spy network to be an informant for the agency’s probe into Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and whether or not members of it had colluded with Russians to affect the outcome of the presidential election.
The court filing in question were submitted in preparation of the trial of Igor Danchenko, 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 Trump that have since been discredited.
Steele had previously been used as an informant by the FBI until they terminated him in November 2016 for contacting the news media; shortly afterwards, they reportedly his “Steele Dossier” main source, Danchenko, despite being aware of – and having “concerns” over – his previous involvement with Russia’s intelligence agency a decade prior.
The federal judge presiding over the upcoming trial honored Durham’s request that the court filing be unsealed, which revealed to the public that Danchenko had served as a “confidential human source” for over three years for the FBI. Danchenko continued to serve in this capacity until he was fired in the fall of 2020 after he had provided numerous falsehoods to the agency, according to Durham’s newly-submitted documents.
“In March 2017, the FBI signed the defendant up as a paid confidential human source of the FBI,” Durham’s unsealed filing said. “The FBI terminated its source relationship with the defendant in October 2020. As alleged in further detail below, the defendant lied to FBI agents during several of these interviews.”
Durham also shed light on the fact that Danchenko had even been the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation from 2009 to 2011; nonetheless, that wasn’t enough to stop the FBI from later turning around and hiring him to assist in their 2016 Trump probe.
The charges that Danchenko will be facing at his upcoming federal trial in October – due to be held in the Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C. – include five counts of lying to the FBI.