The FBI reportedly established an immunity arrangement with British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s key source just before making Igor Danchenko a paid confidential informant in early 2017, according to stunning details recently revealed during special counsel John Durham’s trial.
Danchenko worked as a confidential informant for the FBI from March 2017 until October 2020, according to court records, before being charged with five counts of providing false statements to the Bureau in November 2021.
He has pled not guilty, and his attorneys are now hoping the FBI will recognize his efforts as an informant.
Durham prosecutor Michael Keilty stated on Tuesday that the FBI had two key aims in relation to Danchenko in early 2017: discovering the Russian’s dossier sources and seeking to validate or deny the dossier’s assertions. In his opening statement, Keilty mentioned the immunity deal, claiming that it required Danchenko to disclose the truth, not conceal facts, and not lie.
Durham stated after the jury had left the room that Danchenko’s lawyer’s statements were “very improper” and “untrue.”
Although Danchenko was not granted complete immunity, the judge stated that he was granted partial immunity.
The agreement was signed by Danchenko, his former defense counsel Mark Schamel, and David Laufman, the now-former chief of the counterintelligence and export control unit of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division.
One of the FBI agents who interrogated Danchenko in January 2017 was FBI supervisory intelligence analyst Brian Auten, who testified during the trial on Tuesday.
According to Auten, neither Danchenko nor Steele ever produced confirming evidence for the claims contained in the dossier.
Durham claims that Danchenko anonymously relayed a bogus report regarding Trump 2016 campaign manager Paul Manafort to Clinton friend Charles Dolan.
According to Durham’s indictment, Danchenko also lied to the FBI about a phone call he claims he received from Sergei Millian, a Belarus-born U.S. citizen and businessman who, according to the Steele source, told him about a conspiracy of cooperation between former President Donald Trump and the Russians.
Claims which appear to be completely false.
As the trial continues, Danchenko’s lawyer continues to insist on his client’s innocence.