” dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, have filed a motion to dismiss the charges brought against their client by special counsel John Durham.|” dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, have filed a motion to dismiss the charges brought against their client by special counsel John Durham.
In the process, they have revealed another startling and potentially criminal dimension to the FBI’s probe of potential collusion between the campaign of former President Donald Trump and the Kremlin.
Five counts of lying were brought against Danchenko by Durham in November 2021. Four of those relate to statements he made in a February 2017 interview, in which he repeatedly claimed to have met and had conversations with Sergey Millian, a Belarusian-born businessman who claimed ties with the Trump campaign.
Danchenko, and thus Steele, claimed Millian was a key source of the dossier’s most explosive allegations – namely, that there was a “well-developed conspiracy of cooperation” between Trump and the Kremlin, that Russia’s GRU had hacked the Democratic National Convention email server and provided the content for WikiLeaks for the purposes of “plausible deniability,” and the then-Presidential candidate had received a “golden shower” from prostitutes while in Moscow years earlier, which was filmed by Russian intelligence and could be used as “kompromat.”
According to his FBI interview conducted from February 9-12 2017, Danchenko stated that he received the incendiary information through phone conversations and emails with Millian. Millian also suggested that they meet in New York City. Durham claims that Danchenko falsified these calls and repeatedly emailed Millian with no response. He was also not invited to any meetings anywhere.
A new court filing shows Danchenko gave the Bureau a synopsis from an email he sent Millian in August to back up these claims. It was also recorded by Danchenko a month before the sit-down interview series. Yet, as the filing notes, the communication makes no mention of the phonecalls they’d purportedly engaged in previously, or the prospect of meeting in person.
Danchenko’s lawyers now argue that this email in fact proves he wasn’t lying about having had direct contact with Millian, and made clear they’d never spoken to his interviewers. However, it was a problem for everyone involved that Danchenko and Steele both linked wild accusations against Trump’s campaign to Millian prior to this email.
FBI vs the truth
This means that the FBI also had strong reasons to suspect at least part of the Steele dossier as bogus by January 25, 2017. But the Bureau, undeterred, continued to not only “assess” the dossier’s veracity, but to use it as a justification for further surveillance of Trump 2016 presidential campaign adviser Carter Page, and intensifying its investigation of the campaign.
The FBI’s questionable use of the dossier in court submissions to secure FISA warrants against Page is well-known, and was a key criticism of a December 2019 Justice Department Inspector General review, which determined the Bureau made 17 errors or omissions in its FISA applications.
Even worse, Trump spoke privately to James Comey at the FBI just days after Danchenko submitted the defamatory email. Trump raised the Steele dossier.
According to Comey’s account of the dinner, as retold in the Mueller report: “the President…stated that he was thinking about ordering the FBI to investigate the [Steele]To prove their falsehood, allegations should be made. Comey responded that the President should think carefully about issuing such an order because it could create a narrative that the FBI was investigating him personally, which was incorrect.”
In other words, Comey played Trump, appealing to his ego and feigning concern for his reputation, when he knew better than anyone bar Steele and Danchenko themselves that the FBI was already investigating the former MI6 operative’s “allegations” and knew them to be meritless. Had he told the truth, perhaps the entire Russiagate fraud would’ve collapsed before it had even properly erupted publicly.
He may have known that the President was not being successfully pressured to demonstrate his anti-Russian credentials by adopting an increasingly hostile and aggressive stance toward Moscow. This led to Trump going to extreme lengths previously avoided.
Ressentment towards the Bureau
In any event, while the filing is in many ways useful confirmation of top-level FBI knowledge of the dossier’s inherent worthlessness at an early stage, it could pose problems for Danchenko’s prosecution.
His conviction hangs on the ability of Durham’s team to prove his lies to the FBI materially influenced its investigation, and it can be easily argued that the Bureau’s evident determination to investigate Trump’s non-existent Russia ties meant no disclosure, true or false, would’ve convinced the agency to stop.
It is well-known that the FBI was determined to harm Trump as both a candidate and leader regardless of any facts. However, it is now largely forgotten by most people. One might argue it’s quite incredible that even the former president’s supporters have not invoked this dubious history in the wake of the Bureau’s raid on Mar-a-Lago, which bears clear hallmarks of being likewise politically motivated.
Evidence of the FBI’s anti-Trump agenda is amply available in black and white – so too the agency’s surging Russophobia. This was the position of two key Bureau officials involved in the Trump-Russia investigation, former lovers Peter Strzok & Lisa Page. They made it clear both in private messages and public testimony.
The latter was the subject of a Strzok text to Page, July 2016, right as the Trump Russia probe launched, in order for Page to declare. “f*** the cheating motherf***ing Russians…bastards…I hate them…I think they’re probably the worst. F***ing conniving cheating savages.” He also pledged that the pair would together “stop” Trump from winning. Page’s testimonies to Congress were a little less raunchy in July 2018.
“It is my opinion that with respect to Western ideals and who it is and what it is we stand for as Americans, Russia poses the most dangerous threat to that way of life.”
Quite why Strzok and Page, along with many other Bureau operatives, haven’t been prosecuted for their role in arguably the biggest US national security scam since the Iraq War isn’t clear.