Russian analyst who was source for Steele dossier arrested and charged with lying to FBI
Jonah M. Kessel/The New York Times/Redux

Russian analyst who was source for Steele dossier arrested and charged with lying to FBI

Igor Danchenko, a Russian analyst who was a source for the 2016 dossier of allegations about former President Donald Trump, was arrested and indicted Thursday for allegedly lying to the FBI, as part of Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the FBI’s Russia investigation.

Danchenko was charged with five counts of making false statements to the FBI, according to the indictment that was unsealed Thursday.

Danchenko will appear in the Eastern District of Virginia later Thursday.

Attorneys for Danchenko did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The New York Times first reported Danchenko’s arrest.

Danchenko was a key source of information used by former British intelligence operative Christopher Steele in a dossier that alleged Trump was compromised by ties to Russia ahead of the 2016 election. The dossier, which many of the claims in it were never proven, became one of the most controversial parts of the FBI’s 2016 investigation into Trump and Russia, known as “Crossfire Hurricane,” which led to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

In a move that the Justice Department inspector general later found issues with, the FBI used Steele’s dossier to obtain a foreign surveillance warrant on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

In September, Durham issued a new set of subpoenas, including to a law firm with close ties to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, an indication that he could be trying to build a broader criminal case, according to people briefed on the matter.

But so far, Durham’s two-year probe into the FBI’s Russia investigation hasn’t brought about the cases Republicans hoped it would.

The most recent grand jury subpoenas for documents came after Durham charged Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann with lying to the FBI in a September 2016 meeting.

Durham was appointed special counsel by former Attorney General William Barr in October 2020, but kept it secret so as not to interfere in the 2020 election.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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