Igor Danchenko, source for Steele dossier, arrested as part of Durham probe
An analyst who was a primary source for a 2016 dossier of allegations against Donald Trump has been arrested on charges stemming out of special counsel John Durham’s probe of that matter, a spokesman for Durham said.
Igor Danchenko’s role in providing information to British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who compiled the accusations about Trump in a series of reports, has long been a subject of investigators’ scrutiny.
Trump and his supporters have accused senior FBI officials of conducting a partisan effort to discredit him, while the FBI’s defenders say the agency was obligated to examine allegations of Russian interference and possible collusion with the Trump campaign during the presidential election.
Durham’s probe into that FBI investigation has also led to an indictment of a lawyer connected to Democrats, on a charge he lied to the FBI.
The charges against Danchenko were not immediately known, though they are expected to be unsealed later Thursday, according to people familiar with the matter. The arrest was first reported by the New York Times.
Steele’s reports were based in large part on a person he called his “primary sub-source,” which was Danchenko, according to people familiar with the matter. Steele presented the dossier to the FBI, and it became part of the basis for secret surveillance court orders targeting former Trump adviser Carter Page.
An inspector general report - which was highly critical of how the FBI used Steele’s allegations - found that when the FBI later questioned Danchenko about the allegations contained in Steele’s dossier, Danchenko tried to distance himself from some of the claims, saying the dossier overstated the information he had originally provided to Steele.