A Discredited Trump Dossier Analyst Was Acquitted at Trial


Alexandria, Virginia (AP) A think tank researcher was cleared by a jury on Tuesday of charges that he lied to the FBI about his role in making a fake dossier about the late President Donald Trump.

Igor Danchenko’s complaint was the third, and maybe the last, one that Special Counsel John Durham filed as part of his investigation into how the FBI handled its investigation into claims that the 2016 Trump campaign and the Russian government worked together.

The first two trials ended with the defendants being found not guilty and the defendants pleading guilty and getting probation.

Danchenko didn’t show any feelings as the verdict was read. After the clerk read “not guilty” to the last of the four charges against him, his wife wiped away her tears.

Danchenko didn’t say anything after the hearing, but his lawyer Stuart Sears briefly spoke to the media and said, “We have always known that Mr. Danchenko is not guilty. We’re glad that the American people know about this now.

After talking for almost nine hours over two days, the jury gave their verdict. Joel Greene of Vienna, Virginia, said that there weren’t any big disagreements on the jury. He also said that the jury just wanted to think about the four counts carefully.

The acquittal was a very bad thing for Durham. Even though Trump supporters thought the prosecutor would find evidence of a wide-ranging plot by the FBI and other groups to stop his campaign, the three-year investigation turned up nothing.

A Discredited Trump Dossier Analyst Was Acquitted at Trial

The two cases Durham took to trial ended in complete acquittals, and the only person who was found guilty was an FBI lawyer who admitted to changing an email related to the surveillance of a former Trump aide.

This behavior was found not by Durham but by the inspector general of the Justice Department.

Durham chose not to talk after the hearing, but he did say the following through the Justice Department: “Even though we are sad about the outcome, we respect the jury’s decision and thank them for their work.

I also want to thank and acknowledge the prosecutors and investigators for working so hard to find the truth and do what is right in this case. After being found not guilty in the first trial, he said the same thing.

The “Steele dossier” is a collection of claims that Trump’s 2016 campaign worked with the Kremlin. It started with the Danchenko case, which was the first of three to look into these claims in depth.

Most infamously, it said that the Russians might have information on Trump that could be used to blackmail him because he supposedly met prostitutes in a Moscow hotel. When the dossier was made public in 2017, Trump called it fake news and a political witch hunt.

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Even though trial testimony showed that Danchenko was surprised and upset by how Steele presented the information and made it sound like facts when Danchenko thought it was mostly rumors and speculation, Danchenko was responsible for 80% of the raw intelligence in the dossier and 50% of the analysis that went with it.

If Danchenko had been more honest about his sources, the prosecution says, the FBI might not have been so skeptical about the dossier.

As it turned out, the FBI used information from the dossier to support applications to spy on Carter Page, a member of the Trump campaign, without a good reason. This was true even though the FBI was never able to confirm a single claim in the dossier.

The prosecution says that Danchenko lied to Steele about where the information he gave him came from. When the FBI asked Danchenko where he got the information for the dossier, he allegedly made up one of his sources. This is one of the specific accusations against him.

Danchenko told the FBI that he got some of the information from a man he thought was Sergei Millian, a former leader of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce, who called him but didn’t identify himself.

A Discredited Trump Dossier Analyst Was Acquitted at Trial

Lawyers said Danchenko’s story didn’t make sense. They said that the phone records don’t show that there was a call, and Danchenko had no reason to think that Millian, a Trump supporter he had never met, would suddenly want to spread false information about Trump to someone he didn’t know.

As a first step, Danchenko’s defense team says that Danchenko has never said that he talked to Millian. When the FBI asked him for his expert opinion, he just said that Millian might have been the caller. Also, they said he shouldn’t be punished for answering the FBI’s request with the right answer.

But Danchenko’s lawyers say he had good reason to think that the caller could very well have been Millian. A mutual friend set them up with each other through email, and a few days later, Danchenko emailed Millian.

Danchenko told the FBI that the call could have been made using a secure mobile app for which he had no records. Danchenko’s lawyers say that the fact that his phone records don’t show a call doesn’t matter because the call could have been made anyway.

On Monday afternoon, after hearing the last arguments for all four charges, the jury began making its decision. Friday, U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga threw out a fifth count because the prosecution hadn’t proven it beyond a reasonable doubt.

Before the trial started, Trenga almost threw out all of the accusations because Danchenko’s defense was so strong, but he didn’t because it was “an extraordinarily close call.”

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