By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – Ex-U.S presidential candidate Hillary Clinton faces tough questions after the indictment of the primary source of a debunked dossier she used to attack her rival and then President Donald J. Trump.
Special counsel John Durham charged 43-year-old analyst Igor Danchenko with five counts of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in interviews during 2017.
Danchenko was the principal source for the so-called “Steele dossier” given to the FBI to investigate Trump’s alleged ties to the Russian government.
The dossier was named after its author Christopher Steele who was paid by the Clinton campaign and the governing Democratic National Committee of the Democratic Party.
Steel, a former British spy, leveled at least a dozen Russian election conspiracy charges against President Trump and associates based mainly on sources such as Danchenko.
Documents show that prosecutors concluded that Danchenko gave differing accounts, including of the most salacious allegations: Danchenko first claimed but later played down that Trump consorted with prostitutes at a Moscow hotel that was under heavy surveillance by Russian authorities.
The Kremlin allegedly held a video about the encounters to blackmail Trump, according to those involved in the dossier. Investigators later found there was no shred of evidence to support these claims.
The indictment says Danchenko told the FBI he collected information about Trump’s activities at the hotel from multiple sources but didn’t know if the sexual allegations were true.
Trump has consistently denied the accusations.
Danchenko also allegedly concealed that one of his sources for the information he provided to Steele was someone who directly worked with the Clinton campaign.
While the indictment did not disclose the Clinton ally directly, speculation through major news organizations named Chuck Dolan, a close friend of the Clintons and a longtime Democratic Party operative as the undisclosed person of named in the indictment.
Dolan, a public relations executive who had Russian contacts, worked on Bill Clinton’s successful presidential campaigns and Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential bid.
And the case against Danchenko is part of current special counsel Durham’s probe into wrongdoing by Trump opponents that could lead to the Clintons themselves.
He wants to know the origins of the FBI’s investigation into whether Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia had conspired to tip the outcome of that year’s presidential campaign.
The indictment, the third criminal case brought by Durham, is likely to boost complaints from Trump allies. They claim well-connected Democrats raised suspicions about Trump and Russia that contributed to the FBI’s election-year investigation.
Danchenko, appearing in court in an open-collar white shirt and dark pants, reportedly wanted to surrender to authorities Thursday as part of a deal with the government.
But prosecutors said that when news of the impending charges leaked, the FBI moved to arrest him. He was later released on a $100,000 bond following a brief court appearance.
Trial observers saw his indictment as another sign that Durham has eventually set his sights on the Clinton campaign. That’s because Clinton’s operatives spread the perceived bogus dossier to the Justice Department, the FBI, and news outlets.
Trump said the discredited dossier, authored by Steele, was a political attack to undermine his 2016 campaign and his presidency.
Steele has defended his report, a collection of memos, for the firm Fusion GPS.
Its explosive contents became part of the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign.
The discredited dossier was used to help support surveillance requests for former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
At the time, the FBI defended its efforts saying it wanted to counter a “well-coordinated conspiracy of cooperation” between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
The FBI based its information solely on the assessment by Steele, with the assistance of Danchenko, according to investigators.
A subsequent review of the FBI surveillance by the Justice Department’s inspector general reportedly revealed that the bureau’s surveillance requests were rife with error.
“Over time, the FBI attempted to investigate, vet, and analyze the (Steele report). But ultimately [it] was not able to confirm or corroborate most of their substantive allegations,” said court documents unsealed Thursday.
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