Researcher Igor Danchenko, the primary source for the infamous “Steele” dossier in the federal government’s investigation into ex-President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, was found not guilty by a jury on Tuesday for allegedly lying to the FBI about the source of his information. The jury’s decision handed special prosecutor, John Durham, another loss in his nearly 3 1/2-year probe.
The jury deliberated for less than 10 hours, after which Juror Joel Greene told reporters that the verdict was “pretty unanimous,” according to The Washington Post.
“We looked at everything really closely. The conclusion we reached was the conclusion we all were able to reach.”
Trump predicted Durham would uncover “the crime of the century” inside the U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies that investigated his campaign’s links to Russia. But so far, no one charged by the special counsel has gone to prison, and only one government employee has pleaded guilty to a criminal offense.
“The public is waiting ‘with bated breath’ for the Durham Report, which should reveal corruption at a level never seen before in our country,” Trump wrote in August on his social media platform, Truth Social, after FBI agents raided his Mar-a-Lago complex. – The Washington Post.
Durham, a former Connecticut U.S. Attorney, was appointed in 2019 by Trump’s then-Attorney General Bill Barr to investigate the FBI’s investigation into Trump for signs of misconduct or bias – with Danchenko at the center.
In January 2018, former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele, was referred to the Justice Department for criminal investigation by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) after reports the British spy kept a file of classified documents supposedly tying President Trump to the Kremlin. Both Republicans sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, Graham called the Russia investigation a “hoax,” and called former FBI Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence, Peter Strzok – who initially led the investigation – a “political hack.”
“I believe that Mr. Strzok was a political hack,” Graham answered. “I believe that Mr. Ohr had a conflict of interest. His wife worked for the organization that produced the dossier. And if he interacted with Mr. Steele, that is wrong. I believe Mr. Mueller fired Mr. Strzok for a reason. But that’s not the end of the inquiry.”
The total of 17 reports, comprised of conversations with Russian sources, filed by Steele “alleged that the Russians had compromising material about Trump and that they sought to tilt the election in his favor. Trump has denied the allegations in the dossier. However, the U.S. intelligence community has concluded that the Russians engaged in an elaborate operation to swing the election to Trump,” The Washington Post reported.
Special counsel Durham’s journey to “prove” the FBI and Department of Justice unjustly targeted former President Trump as a political vendetta headed by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has hit another dead end. The Alexandria grand jury used in the investigation is inactive.
After almost 36 months, the longtime prosecutor’s case seems poised to end with a whimper, not the bang promised by Trump. In May, cybersecurity expert Michael Sussman was acquitted of lying to the FBI and former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith received a year of probation after pleading guilty to altering an email.