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Kash’s Corner: The ‘Confidential Human Sources’ Sham | Special Episode With Guest-Host Lee Smith

In this special episode of Kash’s Corner, New York Times best-selling author Lee Smith guest hosts with Jan Jekielek and dives into new John Durham filings in the Igor Danchenko case.

“Wait a minute—the FBI had this guy under a counterintelligence investigation, and then they hire him as a confidential human source?”

Danchenko was the subject of an FBI investigation from 2009 to 2011 for apparently talking to a Brookings Institution coworker about selling classified information for money. According to a new filing in the Danchenko case, the FBI signed Danchenko on as a paid confidential human source in March 2017.

According to Lee Smith, the FBI has “outsourced” its lies, and John Durham should go after the agency to hold to account the people behind Russiagate and the Mar-a-Lago raid—scandals that Lee Smith views as intrinsically connected.

“They bury their corruption, and they make it impossible for people to ask questions. And then they turn it around on the people who are asking questions, saying, ‘Oh, no, no no. You’re the problem. You’re the one who’s going to get people killed,” says Lee Smith.

In 2017, Congressman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) was accused of endangering sources after demanding documents from the DOJ, and a recent New York Times article suggests that documents at Mar-a-Lago could compromise human intelligence sources.

Will Igor Danchenko ultimately be acquitted like Michael Sussmann? Did DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz know Danchenko was an FBI confidential source when he put out his 2019 report?

“The scandal grows larger and larger the more information we have,” says Lee Smith.

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Jan Jekielek:

Hey, everyone. We’ve got something really special for you today. Kash is off the grid for a while. So, we got our mutual friend Lee Smith, who is the author of the “Plot Against the President,” and the “Permanent Coup,” to join us and guest host for the day.

Lee Smith:

Hey, everybody. Welcome to Kash’s Corner.

Mr. Jekielek:

Lee, it’s so fitting that you would be the one to be guest hosting today, because I actually became aware of Kash Patel and his role in all of this through your book, the “Plot Against the President.” And it really was you, I believe, who connected us at the beginning.

Mr. Smith:

I’m very happy to hear that. It’s been an immensely profitable relationship for you and Kash and The Epoch Times. With all the information that you guys provide, and the insight that the show provides, you really launched Kash as a media superstar. You see him on Truth Social with hundreds of thousands of followers. I have to say, I’m really surprised. But every time I look at the stuff that he’s posting—it’s brilliant, informative, and a lot of fun. So, I couldn’t be happier to have been the person who introduced the two of you.

Mr. Jekielek:

When you read the Plot Against the President, you can see how Kash really understood how the DOJ worked. And the thing that really made an impression on me was that he really figured out how to depose these witnesses in ways that they could not say that they really knew nothing about Russia collusion. That set the stage for unraveling RussiaGate.

Mr. Smith:

Yes, that was one of the really important parts of writing the book and telling the story. I don’t know that authors necessarily have favorite lines or favorite passages from their book. There’s a part where Kash is talking about the investigation that he and former Congressman Nunes and Jack Langer and those guys set up over at the House Intelligence Committee. Kash says, “It was our thing.” Just look at how they named it Objective Medusa.” You can see the amount of effort that these guys put into getting to the bottom of different issues that were plaguing the Department of Justice at the time. Tragically, it seems to have only gotten much worse with our federal law enforcement authorities. Yet, with Kash’s insight into the DOJ and the FBI, he also expresses profound respect for the people who are really doing the jobs. And for the people who are not, he is rightly contemptuous of them on behalf of the American public for deceiving Americans and hurting the country.

Mr. Jekielek: 

I want to talk about two things today. One of them is this new filing from John Durham on the Danchenko case. There were some wild revelations in there. And at the same time, many of us at this point agree that this Mar-a-Lago raid was an extension of the original RussiaGate, for which John Durham is seeking some accountability. And there’s a whole series of new events that are transpiring which seem to be deeply connected. Actually, you’ve been writing about this, but let’s start with this Danchenko filing. Lee, after you read this filing, what did you think?

Mr. Smith:

It’s pretty amazing that the first thing that our social media sleuths pointed out was that Igor Danchenko, who is now on trial in October, was a confidential human source for the FBI. The most astonishing thing was they made him a confidential human source after they knew he had been lying. He was the primary subsource for Christopher Steele’s now notorious dossier reports alleging Donald Trump’s connections to Russia. And at the time, many of us knew it was absolute garbage.

Danchenko was the person who was feeding Steele a lot of this nonsense. The FBI, when they first interviewed Danchenko in January, 2017, walked a lot of it back saying, “Yes, I was exaggerating,” or, “It was bar talk.” Nonetheless, the FBI decided to make him a confidential human source, which meant a couple of different things. The first thing it meant was they were paying him. They had him on the payroll, which meant the U.S. taxpayer was paying for this guy who had lied to help frame a presidential candidate who became the president of the United States. In January of 2017, Donald Trump was president of the United States. And they hired the guy who was behind the lies, and who had obtained a warrant to spy on his campaign. It’s mind-boggling.

Mr. Jekielek:

Let me just jump in. This guy told them he was lying?

Mr. Smith:

Yes. He said he’d been exaggerating. He said, “Yes, I think Steele misunderstood this,” or, “It was bar talk.” Of course, the FBI at that point kept investigating Donald Trump. They would have Carter Page under a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant. The last renewal was at the end of June. So, they were spying on the Trump circle. It appears they were collecting the electronic communications of the Trump circle into the early fall of 2017. So, it’s pretty astonishing. That is what really stood out for most of the people who were going through this new filing. Now I will say that one of the issues that a lot of people have raised, and that certainly struck me when I first saw it, was the way that John Durham has shaped this case. It is the same way he shaped the Michael Sussmann case as well, where Sussmann was acquitted of lying to the FBI.

To set that case up, Durham had to frame it so that Michael Sussmann came in and lied to the FBI, and the FBI was the party that had been deceived, that was the sucker or the patsy. He’s doing the same thing with the Danchenko trial. He has charged Danchenko with numerous counts of lying to the FBI. There is a question, and this is something, Jan, you and I have been speaking about for for years now. Most of the viewers of Kash’s Corner are incredibly well read in on the whole subject. Our general assessment is that the FBI knew very well that Danchenko was making this stuff up, as was Christopher Steele. Because in fact, the FBI had outsourced their lies to contractors.

We now find out they wound up paying these contractors like Igor Danchenko. But I don’t know enough about this. We’ll have to see when Kash comes back and talk about the different legal issues that this may raise. A lot of people are wondering, “Is John Durham ever going to turn his attention to the FBI?” Because if he’s making them out to be the patsy again, and that they were lied to by Igor Danchenko, and they were really operating in good faith, a lot of people are going to be more than disappointed. They’re going to look at this as though it was a cover-up. If it’s protecting the FBI, and just going after people like Sussmann and Danchenko, it’s going to raise a lot of questions.

Mr. Jekielek:

Let me ask this. I realize we can’t really dig into the legalities of this because neither of us are legal experts. Couldn’t he simply be trying to establish that he lied to the FBI which is a crime, and this is the way to hold him accountable? Whether the FBI was willingly taking the lies or encouraging them would be a separate issue.

Mr. Smith:

That’s the hope, that he’s using this as an instrument to get Danchenko convicted and be able to build on this, and then go after the FBI. Maybe Igor Danchenko has so much pressure on him  that he’ll feel compelled to talk and give up different officials at the FBI and Clinton campaign. That’s the hope. What looks so strange about this is here’s the basic setup, and this is information that we knew about before. But it’s information that Durham now wants to introduce into the trial of Danchenko. Danchenko was actually under a counterintelligence investigation by the FBI in 2010. You’re right, Jan, we shouldn’t jump the gun here.

Neither of us are lawyers, and we should really rely on Kash for this stuff. We’ll get his information soon. But if it was me and they’re charging my client, I would say, “Wait a minute. The FBI had my guy under counterintelligence investigation and then they hire him as a confidential human source. And now you’re telling me the problem here is that my guy was lying to the FBI? There’s something going on at FBI headquarters, and you’re looking to hang my guy out to dry? That’s not the problem. The problem is at FBI headquarters. My guy should walk.” That’s how I see it, because the story is pretty weird, that the FBI was fooled. How were they fooled? They had a counterintelligence investigation on the guy. They found out he was not a Russian agent or not working on behalf of Russia at the time.

The story is, “We found out that this guy we once suspected of being a spy is the one feeding all this information, but now we know he’s not telling the truth. Now we’re going to make him a confidential human source.” Boy, that sure smells bad. And we know what these Washington juries are like. They’re ringing up January 6 prisoners for insanely ludicrous charges. They let Michael Sussmann walk. Are they going to let Igor Danchenko walk as well? So, this most recent filing raises a lot of interesting questions about Durham’s case. It also points to corruption at the FBI. Jan, you and I have been looking at this for so long, but there are still things that happen that surprise me. Maybe it’s just because they are more disgusting than previous things. But yes, this is pretty bad.

Mr. Jekielek:

There is one thing you haven’t talked about yet which is critical. What are the implications from the perspective of Michael Horowitz, who is trying to figure out what is happening here. He is doing an internal investigation of the FBI. What are the implications for someone like Danchenko actually being a confidential human source, for people that are trying to do these internal investigations?

Mr. Smith:

Yes. That’s a very good question. I asked that question yesterday on social media looking for legal advice. I said that Michael Horowitz, the Inspector General at the Department of Justice, wrote that very long and informative report in December, 2019. At that point, he knew that Igor Danchenko was a confidential human source, the primary subsource for the dossier that had now been brought into the FBI. That’s a big question. If Horowitz did know that, I wouldn’t say it entirely vitiates that Inspector General’s report, but it certainly compromises it. And if he didn’t know, that points to more deception at the FBI. It’s just mind-boggling, because the more and more clarity that we think that we’re getting, the more details that we think we’re getting, there’s so much more to know than we possibly could have imagined.

I was speaking to one of the guys from the investigation team of former Congressman Nunes. He said, “Look, is everyone who was involved in this a confidential human source? What’s going on?” I remember having a conversation with a foreign correspondent who’d actually been based in Moscow about three years ago. He actually knows something about the Russians. He knows something about Russian organized crime. And he also knew something about the former Wall Street Journal reporters, Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch who set up this garbage. He said, “To me this looks like a huge catastrophe, and it wouldn’t surprise me if this is all made up by FBI confidential human sources.” So, who knows if that will be the next shoe to drop. We’ll find out that a whole bunch of sources and a whole bunch of people who were feeding stuff into the dossier, and who were sending people in and out of the FBI, were also confidential human sources of the FBI.

Mr. Jekielek:

Of course, Steele was one of these confidential human sources. And we have Halper, and we have Joffe. As their information came up, they became very important figures. But the fact that they were designated as these confidential human sources made them very difficult to scrutinize. People say this is the reason that they were recruited, because it doesn’t seem to make any sense to make someone like Danchenko a confidential human source. You know he’s lying. You know he’s not really a Russian agent, because you ran that counterintelligence on him. How is he supposed to be a confidential source? Maybe you want to keep him out of scrutiny. That’s the theory.

Mr. Smith:

That’s the thing, they want to bury him. They want to bury Igor Danchenko. They didn’t want people asking questions. Back in May, 2018, during the investigation that Kash was leading, Objective Medusa, they were asking different questions. They were asking for different documents from the Department of Justice. And what was the DOJ’s response? They started leaking to the press. They started freaking out and saying, “Nunes and Patel are going to get people killed. They’re asking questions about confidential human sources.” So that’s what they do with the confidential human sources, they use them to bury their corruption and they make it impossible for people to ask questions. And then they turn it around on the people who are asking questions, saying, “No, you are the problem. You’re the one who’s going to get people killed.”

By the way, I don’t know if we want to go there right away but it’s worth reminding viewers that this is a lot of the language we’re hearing right now around the Mar-a-Lago raid. You might have seen Senator Mark Warner talking about, “Yes, these documents that Trump has are going to get people killed.” And so, we’ve heard a lot of the language about confidential human sources. They say they may be listed in documents that former President Trump may have had around Mar-a-Lago. That’s why a lot of people think that there’s a connection between the Mar-a-Lago raid and RussiaGate.

Mr. Jekielek:

You have a really fascinating theory around this, and I want to jump into that in a moment. Before we go there, let’s talk about this finding and how Durham has built his case. Essentially, Danchenko said one of his subsources was this guy Sergei Millian, who was vilified. Attempts were made to destroy his life. It turns out that Millian had nothing to do with any of this. He was shocked to discover that had even been associated with this whole thing in the first place.

Mr. Smith:

It’s a really heartbreaking story. Early on, Sergei Millian’s reported role in this was very confusing. This was a function of Fusion GPS and the FBI screwing around, so that Sergei Millian looked guilty. It was even hard for a lot of reporters with the mainstream press who were reporting this story to figure out what Sergei’s role was. I remember reading the book that Simpson and Fritsch wrote, and they alerted an ABC News producer to the existence of Sergei Millian. They set Sergei up. It wasn’t just the FBI. Fusion GPS also set up Sergei Millian. They put him in front of the cameras on ABC News. This is a heartbreaking story. Sergei and I trade messages, and he tells his story very honestly. He is understandably very suspicious about the bad people who have done bad things to him.

In the Durham filing, they note that Sergei is not going to return to the United States to testify, because he’s worried for his safety, the safety of his family, and he also doesn’t trust the FBI, for good reason. Wherever Sergei is, he’s doing great. He’s doing great right now. He’s living his life well, but remember what happened here. As a young person he had an opportunity to come to the United States and succeed. And he did. He first landed in Atlanta. The guy went out and did everything. He worked as a translator. He came over for a hotel fellowship. He started his own organization, the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce. He was a real go-getter. And finally, he became an American citizen.

It’s just such a beautiful immigrant story about a guy who looks at America from abroad, and this is what he wants. He comes and he’s a hardworking guy and he’s so successful and what do they do? Federal law enforcement, and the prestige media set this guy up. They frame him as a spy, and they do incredible damage to his life. One of the things that I keep telling Sergei whenever we’re in communication, “Boy, I hope this is all over soon. I want to take you out to dinner and we’ll all go around and just celebrate that you’re back here in your country.” Because it’s a heartbreaking story, and God bless, Sergei. He’s such a good guy and has such a strong character and is such a great American. I hope he comes back to his country soon.

Mr. Jekielek:

Durham makes a strong case in this filing that Danchenko was lying, especially around Sergei Millian. He also has as a witness the guy who allegedly provided the “pee tape” information, who’s saying this has nothing to do with anything. That’s my paraphrase.

Mr. Smith:

Yes. This is a clerk at the Moscow Ritz Hotel. The filing says that he doesn’t speak Russian. He’s a German guy, which makes sense. They have a lot of international travelers coming in and out of fancy hotels like that. But yes, apparently he’s going to testify at the trial, which should be great, because it will dispel the biggest myth. Of course, this was how they sold the whole dossier. It’s actually kind of a fascinating communications plan, because the underlying message is that Trump was colluding with Russia, that it was well-organized conspiracy with the Kremlin. That’s the message that got the spy warrant on the Trump team. But how did it get everyone’s attention? It got everyone’s attention by talking about the pee tape.

Clearly, it was just a communications strategy. This had nothing to do with law enforcement, and had nothing to do with counterintelligence. It had to do with selling it to the press, selling it to the public, and getting their attention. Then, there was another play going on behind the scenes. This same document that was out there smearing Donald Trump was also a document that was used to get a warrant to spy on American citizens. That was just terrible.

Mr. Jekielek:

Lee, you and Kash brought me over to this view that the whole Mar-a-Lago thing is an extension of RussiaGate. You have a very interesting theory about what exactly they were looking for and why.

Mr. Smith:

It really was Kash, because Kash was saying, “Yes, that’s what these clowns are looking for.” When I say clowns, I’m probably quoting Kash directly. At first, when I first saw news of the raid, my immediate impression was, “Obviously, it’s going to be about January 6th stuff, because that’s what they’re trying to do. They’re trying to roll up all the January 6th defendants and Donald Trump into a seditious conspiracy and whatever other nonsense they’re making up.” That was my earliest assumption. But then I heard Kash continue to say, “No. I believe this is about RussiaGate documents.” So, I laid the timeline out and they’re responding to different things that Kash was saying.

They are misinterpreting what Kash was saying, but they’re also hearing what they want to hear. That’s part of what prompted them to move on Mar-a-Lago. Also, if you look at the different press reports, especially from the New York Times, which carried water for that crossfire hurricane team for their RussiaGate investigators, if you look at the language that they’re using around this, it’s all RussiaGate language. And that’s what I meant before, going back to that moment in May, 2018, when the DOJ and the FBI are freaking out about confidential human sources, and that at the time was referring to Stefan Halper. Of course, we know that Stefan Halperis is not really a confidential human source. The guy was a political operative and he’s out there trying to set up everyone, including Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, and Svetlana Lokhova.

That’s who they are protecting. But again, this is a lot of the language I am seeing. I don’t like to send anyone back to the New York Times or Washington Post at this point. But as you’re reading through the reports, pay attention to that stuff about confidential human sources and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants, because you see this in lots of the reporting. Your audience, Jan, and Kash’s audience will know better than anyone else what this language is referring to. It’s referring to RussiaGate. The idea that Donald Trump has documents referring to other confidential human sources, and that he’s got a stash of papers on confidential human sources or is collecting FISA warrants is preposterous. There’s only one case that involved FISA warrants and confidential human sources that is of interest to the 45th president of the United States, and that is RussiaGate material.

Mr. Jekielek:

You alluded to the fact that the people orchestrating Mar-a-Lago raid were misreading what Kash was saying about the documents, but it wasn’t really clear. Can you explain what happened there?

Mr. Smith:

In a May 5th interview with Breitbart, they asked Kash to comment on reports that Donald Trump had classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. To the audience, if you have time, check out my article at Tablet magazine from a couple of weeks ago. I have all the links there and you can follow it closely. In the Breitbart interview Kash said, “No, this is not true. Donald Trump does not have classified documents there.” And then he made another comment which is often lost. He said, “Look, the president declassified a whole bunch of different documents. Some of these had to do with RussiaGate, the first impeachment related to Ukraine, and a whole bunch of other things that are of vast interest to the American people.” So, what is plausible is that FBI and DOJ listening to that interview are thinking that’s what Trump has down at Mar-a-Lago, because the two different statements got mixed up.

The question was about Mar-a-Lago. Then Kash transitioned into saying, “Look, regarding the documents, the president has full declassification authority.” He said, “No, he didn’t have stuff at Mar-a-Lago that was classified.” And then he went off again on a somewhat parallel track, saying he declassified a whole bunch of stuff. Again, it’s possible the FBI understood Donald Trump had these RussiaGate documents or these documents related to RussiaGate at Mar-a-Lago. Then, there was another situation, and this is equally dense. Donald Trump appointed Kash and John Solomon to be his representatives to the National Archives, because they wanted these RussiaGate documents.

Kash and Solomon eventually found out that the Archives did not have a record of those documents. I think what happened was is that the FBI felt that Donald Trump had these documents, because none of those RussiaGate documents were in the 15 boxes that went to the National Archives in January. It’s a little confusing and a little dense, but again, if you go back and check out that article, I explain it clearly. But the important thing is the timeline, and the likelihood that the FBI was listening to what Kash and John Solomon were saying, and they misunderstood it. And that’s why they’re on the hunt for RussiaGate documents.

Mr. Jekielek:

According to Kash, about 60 per cent of these RussiaGate-related documents that were declassified are already available, but 40 per cent are not. At the end of the Trump administration, Mark Meadows was going to release these. The FBI or the DOJ cited privacy concerns. So, he passed these over to the DOJ. At that point, they essentially disappeared right into the ether, so to speak.

Mr. Smith:


Mr. Jekielek:

With the intention that they were never to be seen again. It makes me wonder, what is in these documents? I really want to know. And of course, both Kash and Devin Nunes are very serious about their treatment of classified information. So, they’re not sharing it.

Mr. Smith:

Yes, definitely not. It’s like the scene of the end of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. When they take the Ark, perhaps the most precious possession in world history, they hide it away and the point is no one will ever see it again. That was the idea at the DOJ, “We’re going to take these documents, and we’re going to file them next to the Ark of the Covenant, and no one will ever see these documents again.” Certainly, we hope the next Republican White House will make these documents available, just as Donald Trump wanted to make them available to the American public, so we can understand what the FBI and DOJ was up to at that point. Jan, one of the things that you and I have often spoken about is that this has been going on for so long, it’s like we’re always playing catch-up.

We’re talking about documents here, about things that happened six years ago.  And look at what’s going on now. Now we want to know what was going on with Mar-a-Lago. What’s behind the decision for that raid? What are the documents behind it? And there’s a reason that Mar-a-Lago looks a lot like RussiaGate. Remember the affidavit that was released about two weeks ago? It was so heavily redacted that it reminded us of the heavily redacted FISA warrant on Carter Page. We’re seeing all these duplications. The reason it looks like RussiaGate is because it is RussiaGate. But we keep moving along, and we keep pushing along. Thanks to people like Kash and Devin we now have some information and some transparency to start with. We hope that John Durham will provide more. Certainly, the information he’s giving us will help with transparency, but I think people want accountability.

That’s what the American public wants. The people who broke the law, and the people who violated the trust of the American public who the FBI and DOJ are responsible for protecting, if they violated our trust, if they broke the law, they have to be held accountable. What have we seen instead? We’ve seen a six-year-long campaign of defending themselves and avoiding accountability. That’s why they made Igor Danchenko a confidential human source. Not because he had any useful information, but to protect him. Again, the more information we get, the scandal keeps growing larger and larger.

Mr. Jekielek:

Lee, it’s time for our shout-out.

Mr. Smith:

I love the fact that you and Kash do this every week. I find it really moving. I’m so honored that I get to do it this week. This week’s shout-out goes to the RussiaGate corner of Twitter. These guys have been amazing. I’ve learned so much from them, Jan. I know you have too, we all have. It’s just amazing to see people who not only gather information, but they disseminate information to help educate their fellow Americans. I’m going to shout-out as many names as I can remember. There has to be 30 or 40 people who have been doing great research for the last four, five years. We’re going to start with some of the guys who are also with the Epoch TV team, Hans Mahncke and Jeff Carlson. Thank you.

I also want to shout-out to Masseur’s Ghost. He was one of the first people, if not the first person who understood how Sergei Millian was being framed. He’s great. We have Fool Nelson, a legal mind, a savant, and a genius. Fantastic. Steven McIntyre, goes under the handle Climate Audit. Let me see, there is Walkafyre and Rising_Serpent. The other one that I really want to make sure I name is Sham_Infinite, because Sham is going to get mad if I don’t remember his name. The other person I have a big shout-out for is my man, Undercover_Uber. We haven’t seen him in so long, but the stuff that he was producing on RussiaGate was just amazing. So we love you Undercover_Uber, come back soon. And again, a big shout-out to the RussiaGate corner of Twitter. You guys are the best. If I forgot some of your names, go ahead and give me a hard time, but you should be on Truth Social anyway. We’ll see you next time on Kash’s Corner.

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