Earlier this month, special counsel John Durham unsealed his second indictment since he was appointed in October 2020 by departing Attorney General William Barr.
Igor Danchenko, a Russian national living in the United States and long known to be the “primary sub-source” for Christopher Steele’s controversial dossier, was charged with five counts of making false statements to federal officials (pdf).
The first false statement charge detailed the deceptive answers by Danchenko to FBI agents about a longtime Bill and Hillary Clinton associate named Charles H. “Chuck” Dolan. Danchenko appears to have been determined to steer the FBI away from Dolan as a source for several of the Trump–Russia claims that are published in the Steele dossier. He failed in this attempt.
The other four charges have to do with Danchenko’s false claim that he got several dossier allegations—including a key allegation used in the FISA surveillance warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page—from Sergei Millian, former president of the Russian–American Chamber of Commerce. The FBI was able to determine that Danchenko had never spoken to or met Millian.
Durham had previously caused a considerable stir by indicting Michael Sussmann, a top attorney at the Perkins Coie law firm, in mid-September. Billing records, emails, and notes contained in the charging document made it clear that Perkins Coie attorneys were keeping top campaign officials up to date on the progress of the “confidential” “Russian Bank project.”
Now, with this latest indictment of Danchenko, Durham is taking direct aim at the other RussiaGate hoax: the Steele dossier.
Neither the Alfa Bank white papers nor Steele’s dossier could have stood up to any real scrutiny. Yet, the FBI ended up accepting both hoaxes and opening investigations based on them.
Danchenko Tried to Hide Real Dossier Sources
Having read through this new indictment, it’s clear to me that Danchenko’s false statements to the FBI agents who were interviewing him all have a single theme: He’s giving deceptive answers in a futile attempt to hide the real sources of the allegations that he was sending to Steele.
Now, for a bit of important background: Danchenko wasn’t an employee of Fusion GPS. Steele had hired Danchenko as a researcher for his private firm based in the UK—Orbis Business Intelligence (OBI).
The process of compiling the dossier involved Danchenko using a network of his Russian friends and international acquaintances to compile stories about supposed Trump–Russian-related activities, then putting those stories in what the indictment calls “Company Reports” and sending them to Steele.
Steele would then cull the Company Reports for the best Trump–Russia stories and place them in his dossier, which transformed it from an Orbis work product that Danchenko had done directly for him into a Fusion work product that Steele was compiling on behalf of Fusion GPS and the Clinton campaign.
This latest indictment makes it clear that “PR Executive-1” supplied Danchenko with at least two of the Trump–Russia allegations that made their way into the dossier. An email that Dolan sent to Danchenko appears almost word-for-word in the dossier, although it’s attributed to a top Republican and not a high-level Democratic associate.
It Never Leaked That Top Clinton Associate Was Dossier Source
Although there are already attempts in the mainstream media to downplay the fact that Dolan is a close associate of both Bill and Hillary Clinton, the damage has been done.
Even though Dolan’s name doesn’t directly appear in the Danchenko indictment—he’s referred to throughout the document as “PR Executive-1″—Durham’s office left little doubt as to who this person is, because they gave him a detailed eight-point resume.
According to the indictment, “PR Executive-1”:
- Lived in Virginia
- Was employed by a Washington public relations firm
- Was introduced to Danchenko by Fiona Hill of the Brookings Institution
- Had served as chairman of a national Democratic political organization
- Was a state chair of former President Bill Clinton’s 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns
- Was an adviser to the 2008 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign
- Was appointed by Bill Clinton to two four-year terms on an advisory commission at the State Department
- Was a campaign volunteer for Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential bid
Dolan worked on every Clinton presidential campaign, going back to Bill’s initial run at the White House when he was the governor of Arkansas in 1992. He was state chairman for the Bill Clinton campaign in Virginia in both the 1992 and 1996 elections. Dolan also played a role in both of Hillary Clinton’s failed White House bids, one in 2008 and the other in 2016. He also was the founding executive director of the Democratic Governor’s Association.
All right, so there’s no doubt that this is Chuck Dolan. What’s the biggest takeaway from that?
Federal authorities have known since 2017 that one of Steele’s sources for his dossier’s tall tales was a top Clinton family associate—and it was never leaked. This important detail was held in the strictest secrecy until Durham was ready to publicly reveal it.
This revelation is highly damaging to the federal authorities who were running the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation, as well as the Mueller special counsel’s office. It means the facts about Dolan’s involvement as a dossier source and Danchenko’s lying about Millian were deliberately hidden from the FISA court through the last two renewals of the Carter Page surveillance warrant, which didn’t expire until September 2017.
In some quarters, there’s speculation that Durham is running his investigation as a way to cover up for the FBI and Justice Department (DOJ) officials and Mueller special counsel team members involved in this scandal.
My take? If that’s what Durham is doing, why would he be exposing that the FBI personnel and the Mueller team members had to know about all of this damaging and exculpatory evidence? They had obviously engaged in a deliberate series of acts to hide it from the FISA court.
It’s not just that the FBI or the Mueller team discovered all of the manifest problems with the Steele dossier as they caught the political operatives that were pushing the dossier lying to them. And then, when the FBI interviewed the primary sub-source for the dossier, they caught that person lying to them as well. When they caught these people lying to them is the real issue.
The problem is that the documentary trail being declassified and revealed by Durham shows that these federal officials were catching these lies from Clinton’s private operatives starting in January 2017 and all the way through June 2017—while they were still using the Page spy warrant and submitting it for renewals.
They were deliberately hiding crucial exculpatory evidence from the FISA court. It’s beyond dispute. It’s a matter of public record.
So no, Durham isn’t covering up that the DOJ, FBI, and the Mueller special counsel office have a lot to answer for.
And you can quote me on that.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.