Statement by, Donald J Trump, 45th President of The United States of America on ICYMI: “Authorities Arrest Analyst Who Contributed to Steele Dossier”

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Choo Choo

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November 11, 2021

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“O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.”  Psalms 95:6 (KJV) 

An analyst who was a key contributor to Democratic-funded opposition research into possible links between Donald J. Trump and Russia was arrested on Thursday and charged with lying to the F.B.I. about his sources.

The analyst, Igor Danchenko, was a primary researcher for claims that went into the so-called Steele dossier, a compendium of rumors and unproven assertions suggesting that Mr. Trump and his 2016 campaign were compromised by and conspiring with Russian intelligence officials to help him defeat Hillary Clinton.

In a 39-page indictment obtained by the special counsel, John H. Durham, a grand jury accused Mr. Danchenko of five counts of making false statements to the F.B.I. about his sources for certain claims in the dossier.

The indictment showed that two and a half years after then-Attorney General William P. Barr appointed him to scour the Trump-Russia investigation for any wrongdoing, and a year after Mr. Trump lost re-election, Mr. Durham continues to press ahead.

“The special counsel’s investigation is ongoing,” the Justice Department said in a release that described the indictment but provided no direct statement from Mr. Durham.

Mr. Danchenko appeared before a magistrate judge at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Va., on Thursday afternoon, wearing a white shirt and dark green pants and standing with his hands behind his back as he listened to the proceeding. His defense lawyer tried to enter a plea of not guilty, but the judge said that was premature before releasing Mr. Danchenko on bond. The lawyer declined to make a statement to reporters afterward.

The dossier has played a vivid role in the Trump-Russia affair, but was largely peripheral to the official inquiry. The F.B.I. had already opened its counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia before the Steele dossier reached the agents working on that matter. The special counsel who eventually took over the inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election, Robert S. Mueller III, did not rely upon it in his final report.

But some claims from the dossier made their way into an F.B.I. wiretap application targeting a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page, in October 2016, and three renewal applications the following year. And other portions of it — particularly a salacious claim about a purported blackmail tape — caused a political and media firestorm when BuzzFeed published the materials in January 2017, shortly before Mr. Trump was sworn in.

Most of the important claims in the dossier — a series of reports written by Mr. Danchenko’s employer, Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent — have not been proven, and some have been refuted, including by Mr. Mueller. F.B.I. agents interviewed Mr. Danchenko several times in 2017 when they were seeking to run down the claims.

The first false statement charge in the indictment concerns Mr. Danchenko’s interactions with a person the indictment describes as a public relations executive with strong ties to the Democratic Party.

The indictment said Mr. Danchenko falsely told the F.B.I. that he had not discussed the claims in the dossier with the public relations executive. But, the indictment said, the executive — who in his professional career frequently interacted with Eurasian clients, with a particular focus on Russia — was a source for some of the claims, including gossip about the ouster of Paul Manafort as Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman.

The indictment did not name the person it called “PR Executive-1,” but its description matched the career of Charles Dolan Jr., who was the state chairman of the Clinton-Gore campaigns in Virginia in 1992 and 1996 and was appointed to a position in the State Department in the Clinton administration.

Mr. Dolan was earlier named in a declaration by Olga Galkina, one of Mr. Danchenko’s sources, as someone to whom Mr. Danchenko had introduced her; the indictment also said that the executive and a source who appears to be Ms. Galkina had regular interactions, including in ways that indicated they supported Mrs. Clinton’s campaign.

Mr. Dolan’s lawyer, Ralph D. Martin, confirmed in an email that his client was the executive named in the indictment, but said that Mr. Dolan, as a potential witness in the case, would have no comment.

The indictment linked Mr. Dolan to Mr. Danchenko in several other ways. It said he had lunch with Mr. Danchenko in Moscow in June 2016. At the time, Mr. Dolan was staying in the same Moscow hotel where the dossier claimed that Russian intelligence made a blackmail tape involving Mr. Trump and prostitutes.

Mr. Dolan toured the presidential suite, the indictment said, and a hotel staff member told him that Mr. Trump had stayed there — but Mr. Dolan and another person on the tour told the F.B.I. that the staff member did not mention any salacious activity.

Given that Mr. Dolan was present at places and events where Mr. Danchenko collected information for the dossier, the indictment said, the researcher’s “subsequent lie” about Mr. Dolan’s connection to it “was highly material to the F.B.I.’s investigation of these matters.”

The other four false-statement charges concern Mr. Danchenko’s claims to the F.B.I. about purported interactions with Sergei Millian, a former president of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce, as a potential source for the dossier. (The indictment did not explicitly name Mr. Millian, who has previously said that Mr. Danchenko reached out to him but that he never responded or spoke with the researcher.)

Mr. Danchenko told the F.B.I. that he received a phone call in late July 2016 from a Russian-sounding person who did not identify himself but whom Mr. Danchenko took to be Mr. Millian, and that he had arranged to meet the bus…

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