DOJ, FBI Had Defended Steele Dossier Source Accused of Lying Russian analyst Igor Danchenko arrives at the Albert V. Bryan U.S. Courthouse before being arraigned on Nov. 10, 2021, in Alexandria, Virginia. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
By Jeffrey Rodack | Thursday, 11 November 2021 11:54 AM
The Department of Justice and the FBI gave cover to Igor Danchenko, Christopher Steele’s main source, even after interviews with the bureau during which special counsel John Durham claims the Russian was not truthful, the Washington Examiner reported.
Danchenko is considered the primary researcher of the discredited Steele dossier. He pleaded not guilty Wednesday to five counts of making false statements to the FBI.
The charges against the Russian citizen and Virginia resident stemmed from statements relating to the sources he used in providing information to a United Kingdom investigative firm that prepared what are identified in the indictment as "Company Reports."
The charges were brought by Durham, who was appointed by former Attorney General William Barr to probe the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
According to the Examiner, the moves by the DOJ and the FBI to defend the credibility of Steele’s dossier and his source were notable in 2018. And it all came a year after Danchenko allegedly lied to the FBI, while special counsel Robert Mueller continued his probe into any Russian collusion.
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Judge Rosemary Collyer in July 2018 was told by then-Assistant Attorney General John Demers that Danchenko had been "truthful and cooperative" with the FBI. His remarks came in a letter, the Examiner noted.
In addition, the DOJ knew Trump campaign associate George Papadopoulos had denied on numerous occasions any collusion with Russia during 2016 conversations with FBI confidential source Stefan Halper, according to the Examiner. But the FISA court was not made aware of those denials.
"At minimum, our discussions with [Danchenko] confirm that the dossier was not fabricated by Steele," the FBI wrote. "Our discussions with [Danchenko] confirmed that he operates within high level academic and government circles, maintains trusted relationships with individuals who are capable of reporting on the material he collected for Steele, and that Steele and [Danchenko] utilized reasonably sound intelligence tradecraft."