US jury acquitted Russian of lying to FBI over ‘Steel dossier’

WASHINGTON, Oct 18 (Reuters) – A Russian researcher has provided explosive details of a document known as the “Steel Dossier” that claimed former U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign There is a link between the campaign and Russia, and a jury on Tuesday acquitted him of lying. Check with the FBI for his sources.

Igor Danchenko’s acquittal in Washington federal court deals another blow to Special Counsel John Durham, who was appointed by Trump-era Attorney General William Barr in 2019 to investigate the FBI ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ probe into whether Trump campaign members colluded with Russia.

Jurors acquit Danchenko on four counts. The judge in the case earlier dismissed the fifth charge.

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“While we are disappointed by the results, we respect the jury’s decision and thank them for their service,” Durham said in a statement.

In a separate trial of defendants charged in Durham, a Washington jury in May acquitted Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign attorney Michael Sussman of lying to the FBI , when he gave the FBI a tip about a possible communication that was later discredited. Relations between Trump’s businesses and a Russian bank.

Danchenko, a Russian-born researcher living in Northern Virginia, was indicted in 2021 by Durham’s office on five counts in 2017 of supplying FBI agents with information about former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele misrepresentation of sources of information.

His lawyers argued that the indictment was baseless, saying their client’s answers to the FBI’s often “ambiguous” questions were “literally” true and unimportant.

For example, Danchenko is accused of misleading the FBI by claiming that he never “talked” to Democratic operative and public relations director Charles Dolan about anything in Steele’s dossier, when in fact they had communicated in writing.

U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga said last week that he agreed with the defense and dismissed one of five charges against Danchenko related to his communications with Dolan.

The judge allowed the jury to decide the other four charges. The charges allege that Danchenko lied to the FBI by claiming that he had spoken to Sergei Milian, the former chairman of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce, to gather information that was later used in the dossier.

Danchenko’s lawyers insist their client received an anonymous call from someone Danchenko suspects is Millian, but he told the agent he wasn’t sure it was him.

Steele was employed by an American research firm called Fusion GPS, which in turn was hired by Sussman’s law firm to represent the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to dig into the Trump scandal. The dossier contained erotic details about Trump, many of which were never confirmed.

Trenga imposed strict limits on the evidence Durham’s team could give to jurors, including ruling that scandalous allegations about “Donald Trump’s alleged sexual activity in a Moscow hotel” were not limited, finding they were not direct evidence that their relevance Sex is questionable.

An investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general later found that the FBI improperly continued to rely on unproven information in the Steele dossier when it applied for a court-approved search warrant application to monitor the communications of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. accusation.

Former FBI attorney Kevin Kline Smith was later indicted by Durham and pleaded guilty to forging a document used in a law enforcement agency’s warrant application.

Another special counsel, Robert Mueller, conducted an investigation documenting contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russians, but his final report concluded there was insufficient evidence to prove The campaign has a criminal conspiracy with Moscow.

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Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Will Dunham, Scott Malone and Tim Ahmann

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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