Steele Dossier Researcher Pleads Not Guilty to Lying to FBI 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 Charlie McCarthy | Wednesday, 10 November 2021 10:18 AM
The Russian national arrested and charged as part of special counsel John Durham's investigation into the source of the Trump-Russia probe, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to five counts of making false statements to the FBI.
Igor Danchenko, 43, entered his plea in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria six days after being arrested by federal authorities.
"JUST IN: Durham target Igor Danchenko pleads not guilty to 5 felony charges of lying to FBI in Trump-Russia probe. Trial set for April 18, 2022," Politico senior legal affairs reporter Josh Gerstein tweeted.
Judge Anthony John Trenga ordered that Danchenko remain free on bond, Fox News reported.
Danchenko is considered the primary researcher of the Steele dossier. 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."
Durham was appointed by former Attorney General William Barr to probe the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
A new round of subpoenas came after Durham charged Hillary Clinton's former campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann in an indictment alleging he lied to federal investigators in September 2016 when he gave them data that he claimed showed a connection between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank in Russia.
The discredited Steele dossier was created as part of a Democrat effort to discredit former President Donald Trump's election victory.
The Steele dossier was a compilation of rumors and unproven assertions. Danchenko provided information to British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who compiled the accusations about Trump in a series of reports.
Steele said those reports were based on information from a person he called his "primary sub-source," which was Danchenko, people familiar with the matter told the The Washington Post.
Steele presented the dossier to the FBI, which used it to secure secret surveillance court orders targeting former Trump adviser Carter Page.