Thursday November 11, 2021
US Attorney and Special Counsel John H Durham’s laborious investigation into the origins of allegations that Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign illegally colluded with Russia’s government finally seems to be bearing fruit. In the latest development, a federal grand jury indicted Igor Danchenko, who was the primary researcher for claims that went into the Steele dossier, a compendium of salacious rumors and reports that Russian intelligence had obtained highly compromising material on Trump, causing him then to conspire with Moscow to help defeat Hillary Clinton and to otherwise serve Russia’s interests.
Danchenko was the second major figure associated with the questionable origins of the "Russiagate" scandal that dominated political debate and news media coverage throughout Trump’s presidency to be indicted. In mid-September, a grand jury indictment was handed down against cybersecurity lawyer Michael Sussmann, for lying to the FBI. Both Sussmann and Danchenko had worked for firms that the Clinton campaign employed to promote the Steele dossier and other Russia collusion allegations. The affiliations of the two men raise new doubts about the sourcing for the Steele dossier and the other "evidence" against Trump
These developments are potentially very significant. The Steele dossier was an important (perhaps even the key) catalyst for the "Crossfire Hurricane" investigation into the Trump campaign that the FBI launched in late summer 2016. It is hard to believe that even the usually rubber stamp Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court would have issued investigative warrants based on what meager justifications the FBI had absent the overblown Steele dossier. Indeed, the FBI had to go to great (and unethical) lengths to perpetuate the investigation once the Steele dossier began to unravel.