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FBI Put Key Dossier Source on Payroll in Apparent Effort to Conceal Dossier Fabrications

Posted on Tuesday, September 20, 2022
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by Outside Contributor
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47 Comments
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Special counsel John Durham filed a pre-trial motion in limine on Sept. 13 in his false statements case against Igor Danchenko, the primary sub-source of Christopher Steele’s dossier on former President Donald Trump. Danchenko, who is charged with five counts of lying to the FBI about his sources for the dossier, had earlier filed a motion to dismiss the charges against him.

Motions in limine are routine motions that are used to determine what evidence may and may not be used at trial. Danchenko’s trial is scheduled to begin next month.

However, Durham’s motion is anything but routine and contains a series of stunning revelations about Danchenko.

Perhaps the most stunning disclosure is that Danchenko was given confidential human source (CHS) status by the FBI in March 2017. Notably, this was after Danchenko had disowned the Steele dossier in a January 2017 FBI interview, having admitted that it was based on gossip and rumors. Given the admission, there was no legitimate reason to extend the protections of CHS status to Danchenko, who no longer had any bona fide value to the FBI’s investigation into alleged Trump–Russia collusion.

In fact, the FBI’s investigation ought to have ended as soon as Danchenko disclosed the true provenance of Steele’s reporting.

The FBI’s goal in giving Danchenko the highly coveted CHS status appears to have been to take Danchenko off the grid. As a CHS, Danchenko enjoyed special protections and privileges. Crucially, the FBI was able to use his status to conceal Danchenko and his disclosures from congressional inquiries, such as the investigation by then-Rep. Devin Nunes led by Kash Patel. Other inquiries, such as Freedom of Information Act requests, could similarly be stonewalled by reference to the “sources and methods” justification for concealing the identity, and even the existence, of a CHS.

The FBI had huge incentives to hide Danchenko. Although Danchenko told the FBI several lies in what Durham now describes was an attempt to reconcile what Danchenko had told Steele, the overarching message from Danchenko was that the dossier was untrue. This effectively ended any legitimate inquiry into Trump–Russia collusion. Danchenko’s disavowal also meant that the FBI’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Trump campaign adviser Carter Page—which were issued based on the Steele dossier—were effectively invalidated.

The FBI had a legal duty to inform the FISA court about Danchenko but failed to do so. In fact, they successfully applied for two further FISA warrants against Page on the basis of the Steele dossier which they knew to be false.

The timing of Danchenko’s elevation to CHS status coincided with two major developments. First, on March 20, 2017, then-FBI Director James Comey told Congress that the Trump campaign was under investigation for alleged ties to Russia. At the time, Comey knew that Danchenko had shredded the investigation’s predicate, yet he chose to forge on regardless. Second, also in March 2017, Nunes found out from a whistleblower in the intelligence community that the Trump transition team had been spied on. Nunes complained that Congress hadn’t been given that information.

As head of the House Intelligence Committee, Nunes immediately ratcheted up his own investigation into the Trump–Russia matter. That investigation would lead to the Nunes memo in February 2018. However, the Nunes memo made no mention of Danchenko or of the fact that he had disavowed the dossier. After the FBI put Danchenko on their CHS payroll, he was completely off the grid and any information about him was withheld from Congress under the “sources and methods” justification.

The FBI’s apparent scheme to bury Danchenko seems to have worked as planned. Neither Nunes nor anyone else knew about Danchenko or his disavowal of the Steele dossier until December 2019, when Justice Department (DOJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz issued his report on the FBI’s FISA abuses. Horowitz didn’t disclose Danchenko’s name and provided very little information other than that Steele had a primary sub-source whose story differed from the one told by Steele himself.

It wasn’t until July 2020 that a group of online sleuths, including myself, were able to extrapolate Danchenko’s name from various data points in Horowitz’s report, as well as from heavily redacted interview notes published by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

With the identification of Danchenko, any remaining credibility of the Steele dossier collapsed. Contrary to the FBI’s claims, Danchenko wasn’t a Russian-based source with access to Kremlin insiders. Instead, he was a Beltway insider who had spent a number of years working at the Democratic-leaning Brookings Institution, where anti-Trump impeachment witness Fiona Hill was his mentor.

Yet, the FBI continued to pay Danchenko, as well as maintain his CHS status, until October 2020. By then, Durham had already been investigating the origins of the Trump–Russia probe for 19 months. It also isn’t known when Durham found out about Danchenko’s CHS status. It’s likely that Danchenko’s CHS status was revoked after then-Attorney General William Barr disclosed in September 2020 that Danchenko had been suspected of working for Russian intelligence.

That fact was known to the FBI since 2009, but Barr’s public disclosure may have forced the bureau’s hand.

It appears that the sole purpose of making Danchenko a CHS was to conceal FBI malfeasance from Congress, from the FISA court, and from the public; that opens up new avenues for Durham to criminally pursue FBI officials. These officials include former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former head of counterespionage Peter Strzok, and Danchenko case agent Brian Auten.

It was thought that the statute of limitations for bringing charges against FBI officials had lapsed earlier this year, when five years had passed from the time the officials took their respective actions. However, it now appears as if the time limit has been extended because the FBI continued employing Danchenko under false pretenses until October 2020. That gives Durham plenty of time to pursue FBI officials, if he’s so inclined.

Aside from the CHS revelations, Durham’s new motion also sheds light on the above-mentioned incident in which Barr disclosed that, while Danchenko was employed by the Brookings Institution, he allegedly had approached two fellow employees and told them that if they “had access to classified information,” and wanted “to make a little extra money,” he knew “some people to whom they could speak.”

After the incident was reported to law enforcement in 2009, the FBI opened a “full investigation” into Danchenko after learning that he “(1) had been identified as an associate of two FBI counterintelligence subjects and (2) had previous contact with the Russian Embassy and known Russian intelligence officers.”

Until Sept. 13, the status of that investigation remained unknown. Durham now has revealed that the FBI closed the investigation into Danchenko in 2010 because it “incorrectly believed” that he had left the country.

It isn’t known whether Durham believes the FBI’s threadbare explanation. It’s noteworthy that Durham hasn’t charged Danchenko with lying about his contacts with Russian intelligence officers. During his January 2017 FBI interview, Danchenko claimed not to know or have met with any such officers.

It’s also notable that Durham hasn’t charged Danchenko with lying about the infamous “pee tape” story. The dossier claims that the story originated in June 2016 from a senior Western employee at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Moscow. However, Durham has now revealed that his office tracked down the only Western hotel employee at the time, a German national.

According to Durham, that German national will testify at Danchenko’s trial that he never met Danchenko and had never heard of the pee tape story until the media started reporting about the dossier in 2017.

Similar to the situation involving the Russian intelligence officers, it isn’t known why Durham hasn’t charged Danchenko specifically with lying about his supposed interactions with the German hotel manager. Given the massive interest that the pee tape story generated, it would have seemed to be a natural path to pursue, in particular since the hotel manager is able and willing to testify in court.

The manager’s account is backed up by Charles Dolan, a political adviser with connections to Bill and Hillary Clinton. According to Durham, Dolan will testify at Danchenko’s trial that he and Danchenko had traveled to Moscow in June 2016 but that, unlike Dolan, Danchenko didn’t stay at the Ritz-Carlton and didn’t meet the German hotel manager. It appears that Danchenko made up the pee tape story from whole cloth, falsely attributing it to the German manager whom he never met.

While Danchenko is charged with lying about his interactions with Dolan, Durham is asking the court to also allow the hotel manager to testify as a means of demonstrating Danchenko’s “efforts to ​​fabricate and misattribute information reflected in the Steele Reports.”

In another stunning revelation, Durham has now disclosed that in February 2016, only a few months before his dossier work, Danchenko briefed the managing partner of a business intelligence firm on how to fabricate sources. According to Durham, Danchenko’s advice to the partner was that if there were no sources, one should “use oneself as a source” while obscuring this fact by citing others “to save the situation.”

Although Danchenko’s interactions with the business intelligence partner aren’t directly tied to the dossier or to Danchenko’s alleged lies to the FBI, Durham is asking the court to allow that information to be presented to the jury as a means of showing Danchenko’s modus operandi in fabricating sources.

While Durham’s latest revelations are extremely damning for Danchenko, they are far more damning for the FBI who appears to have perfidiously used the CHS mechanism to take Danchenko off the grid and bury the fact that he had disavowed the dossier. By doing so, FBI leadership deceived Congress, the courts, the DOJ’s inspector general, and the public. Worst of all, they did it in order to be able to continue with their efforts to take down then-President Trump.

While Danchenko’s chances of conviction have risen considerably with these latest revelations, Durham’s filing shows that the real prize is FBI leadership. Whether Danchenko is convicted is largely meaningless if FBI leadership isn’t held to account.

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David Millikan
David Millikan
1 year ago

Bet Hillary Clinton has HIDEN Records with Involvement that can be found. Like paying for it.
Authorizing FBI to SPY and LIE.
The Records are all there both
Official and non-official.

PaulE
PaulE
1 year ago

No one on the 7th floor of the FBI building is going to be held accountable for anything. We’ve seen this scene play out literally dozens of times over the last 25 years. If the FBI has to offer up some sacrificial lamb to appease Congress or deflect attention from other more serious issues the Democrats face after the midterms, FBI leadership will pick some low to mid level special agent willing to take the hit for the team. All with the understanding no criminal or civil charges will ever be filed and he or she will be allowed to retire with full pension benefits years ahead of schedule. Not disclosed will be the “little something extra” to ensure everyone is happy all around. You know, the type of deal Lois Lerner and others were given to keep the name of the big players out of the public record.

Virtually everything outlined in the article above it what you would expect to find in some third-world banana republic or some socialist police state. Justice for all has been replaced by there is one form of Justice if you are a high level Democrat and then there is the other form of justice that applies to everyone else in the country.

Hal
Hal
1 year ago

The FBI needs a staggering overhaul personnel wise. Trump snapped the head off in his effort to clean up the FBI. But I would bet in his afterthoughts he wishes he had done a lot more. If the political environment is going to function as intended by the Constitutional law and the Amendments thereto, the FBI needs a massive overhaul personnel-wise … but if the DemocRats do it, it will likely come out worse, if possible.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

Proof FBI IN ON this day1 & those raids

granky
granky
1 year ago

The FBI was founded and controlled by one of the most corrupt humans who has ever lived, J Edgar Hoover. He managed to head this agency thru the 9 different presidents, until his death. He accomplished this thru blackmail with information obtained via illegal wiretaps and surveillance, secret files only he maintained. Amazingly thru the years the media has glorified this corrupt organization. Propaganda is a powerful tool.

Myrna Wade
Myrna Wade
1 year ago

I am surprised that the current administration allowed Durham to proceed. I guess they thought they would look as corrupt as they are if they did not.

Al Wunsch
Al Wunsch
1 year ago

I hope Durham is successful in getting to the FBI leadership but he needs to also look into the DOJ because it seems to me that the FBI’s activities would have, at some point, intersected with that of the DOJ leadership.

Robin W Boyd
Robin W Boyd
1 year ago

Even more disgusting than the deceitful attacks on President Trump is the fact that the co-conspirators of this attack used our tax dollars to pay for it. We are forced to pay for a Progressive coup against our Constitutional Republic.

porterv
porterv
1 year ago

Flush the FBI!

Del
Del
1 year ago

So can they now prosecute the entire Comey Cabal for virtual treason?

Philip Hammersley
Philip Hammersley
1 year ago

I get tired of certain conservatives who say “99% of the agents are honest.” That CANNOT be true; otherwise the “honest” agents would REFUSE to obey the corrupt orders such as full-on SWAT raids on white-collar “criminals.” At least there are about a dozen honest whistle blowers!

Darius Dickison
Darius Dickison
1 year ago

And what are We The People going to do about these usurpers occupying our agencies and offices?

Oldclimber
Oldclimber
1 year ago

So who do you send after the “Top Cops” ?

William C Smith
William C Smith
1 year ago

Crime and corruption begin at home.

Lori Ignasiak
Lori Ignasiak
1 year ago

I saw this yesterday

pete
pete
1 year ago

this story is all the top cops, the Clinton crime family and a cast of thousands. I want to see a montage of all these people cuffed and manacled in a steady stream into prison. But, I’m not holding my beath, they won’t do a bloody thing…

DenvilleSr
DenvilleSr
1 year ago

The FBI needs to be dismantled or at least decapitated. A fabricated attack on an elected official is an attack against the American people. Comey is the poster child for corruption, but he has a lot of confederates.

William C Smith
William C Smith
1 year ago

Time to investigate and probably prosecute every alphabet agency director and major leadership members involved for the past twenty years. Sometimes, examples for appropriate behavior must be demonstrated to these prople by the people for who they supposedly serve–especially the apointed and unelected.

Jake the snake
Jake the snake
1 year ago

Fire every single fbi and doj employee. Cancel all pensions. Put them all on red lists so they can not own weapons. Take away their voting rights and make them ineligible for being hired into any government job every again.

The corruption the democrats create is all consuming.

GTPATRIOT
GTPATRIOT
1 year ago

Why are we spinning our wheels ? We have known for three years that the “dossier” ( whay not just call it a pack of letters) was a lie. We have known for 4 years that Hillary hid 30,000 emails on a private server We have known for 3 years that Hunter is a crook. And we also know that nothing will every be done about any of this. Do you actually keep butting your head against a wall
when nothing changes.? Please. Go after something that will actually get results. None of this is news. Its just old rot. Why not bring up Roosevelt’s mistress ? Just as irrelevant. We failed to bring these crooks to justice. Live with it.

GTPATRIOT
GTPATRIOT
1 year ago

People. We are all hot air. We will wait for the dims to bring another get rid of Trump ruse in front of us and do nothing about it. Thats who we are . Thats what we do. Nothing. Hopefully we will get this election right. After that we will climb under our rocks and send useless emails like this one that get nothing done. Yea, we see hundreds of examples of corruption yet we do nothing. So what ?

Nick Patriot
Nick Patriot
1 year ago

The GOP continues to do NOTHING TO STOP THIS CABAL OF TRAITORS!! Don’t say they can’t. Where is the opposition to this treason??. Does anybody think for even a minute that the 87,000 IRS agents won’t be coming after every registered Republican?? Freeze all our savings accounts? Plunder all our assets? How can this happen in our country? Where are the Republicans??

BAE
BAE
1 year ago

Will we ever clear the swamp? The Dems and the Republicans lie and cheat to stay in power. What do they really accomplish for the American taxpayer? I’m still trying to figure it out, but I do KNOW big government sucks!

Joey Mize
Joey Mize
1 year ago

Who do You send after the top cops ??? yea that is the question ? the 64 million dollar question !

In France in 1778 they sent the people to the steps of the palace to pull down the TOP COPS and all the rest. As we all know it worked and the end was what it had to be HEADS ROLLED literally. Unless the the Courts act and we clean house at the DOJ and FBI things can’t improve. Won’t improve, the same cancer will continue to eat away at our freedoms, and it will end with a huge flop.
When the bell of Freedom was rung in Philadelphia is was if I recall correctly, heard around the world. The impact of how America came to be was a Shining Beacon on a Hill for all to reach out to and emulate. That light is still there the Dark Clouds are obscuring it and have for a good long time but there is a real future and a way to begin again. It all starts in 45 days and we have to make it happen or it won’t. This is the final thread and they know it as well as we do. This is the last best chance to turn the ship back on course and gain control of our country once and for all.
I do not suggest that violence be the method or messenger as in 1778 but there has to be a real impact and it has to happen at the ballot box, they cannot steal every election.

David
David
1 year ago

Durham and all honest Representatives and Senators owe it to the rank-and file FBI members who are still working in the best interests of the Country to ensure the Department is thoroughly fumigated of the current and past infections that have sullied the FBI’s reputation.

Michael B.
Michael B.
1 year ago

With these revelations, I think that the FBI has lost any remaining speck of credibility that it might have had! #FBICorruption #EndtheFBI #Russiagate #RussiaHoax #ClintonCrimeFamily #HangHillary #LockThemUp #DraintheSwamp #ConventionofStates #ArticleV

Michael B.
Michael B.
1 year ago

If you have not already done so, please go to the following website and sign the petition to #EndTheFBI: EndTheFBI.com

GTPATRIOT
GTPATRIOT
1 year ago

After the “dossier” (whats that ?) , Jan 6, and the Mara-Lago raid all failed to put Trump in jail, the dims are on to the next one. Now the NYC DA has charged Trump and his family with overinflating
property values. Desparation at its lowest.

Frank
Frank
1 year ago

Save

Hal
Hal
1 year ago

Simply put, I do NOT trust the FBI as it (and has been for many years) an unreliable in the appropriate roles it should take going way back to Ted Kennedy’s MJK’s drowning incident. Contemporarily, it seems to have morphed into a DemocRat tool for damaging the Republican Party’s politicos.

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