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John Durham Will Be The Main Prosecutor At Danchenko's Trial
FBI Recordings of Danchenko's Interviews Are Going To Be Highly Problematic For The Defense
On August 1st, Special Counsel John Durham dropped his latest bombshell: Durham himself is going to be the lead prosecutor in the upcoming October trial of the suspected Russian spy who fled the country in 2010 under suspicion of having engaged in espionage and yet somehow was back in the United States by 2016, employed by the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign via Fusion GPS as the primary source for Christopher Steele’s fake Dossier.
While Durham took a back seat during the Michael Sussmann trial, that won’t be the case during trial of suspected Russian spy Igor Danchenko.
Durham Files To Be Lead Prosecutor In The Danchenko Trial
Durham didn't even sit at the prosecution table in the Sussmann trial.
He certainly did not file to be the lead prosecutor in that case.
All the proceedings in the courtroom at the Sussmann trial was handled by 3 junior members of the Special Counsel's Office:
Michael Thomas Keilty
John Durham never said **one word** in the courtroom while the proceedings were underway.
So it sets a completely different tone for this upcoming trial that Durham has told the court he is lead prosecutor in this case.
What Is The Danchenko Trial About?
The upcoming trial is about 5 specific times Danchenko is alleged to have deliberately lied to federal officials who were interviewing him about his major role in the construction of what has come be called The Steele Dossier hoax.
The Steele Dossier was used by the FBI to get a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [FISA] warrant to legally spy on the Trump campaign while the 2016 presidential race was still ongoing. The surveillance continued all the way through September 2017, long after Trump had won the election and had assumed office inside the White House.
Only after they had already used the Steele Dossier to apply for a surveillance warrant on Carter Page in October of 2016 did the FBI get around to any attempts at verifying the allegations Danchenko had provided. Agents did not begin meeting with Danchenko to question him about the dossier allegations until January of 2017, when the FISA warrant was up for the first of three subsequent renewals.
Over the course of the next several months, during this series of interviews with FBI agents, interviews that were often recorded without Danchenko’s knowledge - more on that in a minute - Danchenko told five specific falsehoods.
It Is Strange That The FBI Was Secretly Recording It’s Interviews With Dancheko, But This Will Help Durham Make His Case
In normal interviews with suspects, it’s been longstanding agency policy that FBI agents are not allowed to make recordings of interviews. They are instructed to make handwritten notes during or immediately following the interview. The agents then enter the notes into the FBI computer system to create 302 interview forms.
This policy played a direct role in the fiasco of the General Michael Flynn case. That was the major scandal where former top officials inside the DOJ, the FBI and the Mueller Special Counsel all conspired together to target Flynn with an invented crime so that they could investigate and then prosecute him.
Because there were no recordings of the interview between Flynn and FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka, the 302 interview forms that the two agents filled out took on major significance in the Flynn case.
And it’s widely known that there were a whole series of strange shenanigans around these Flynn interview 302 forms.
Pientka’s role in all of this continues to be an exceedingly strange one.
Six years on, he remains the DOJ/FBI Invisible Man. In all the attention and hoopla surrounding the ever-growing SpyGate scandal, where people at the FBI such as Strzok and Lisa Page and Andrew McCabe became household names, Pientka remains an actual anomaly right in the center of the entire scandal.
In his detailed FISA Abuse Report, DOJ Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz and his team of investigators did a deep dive into many of the issues surrounding the Flynn 302 interview forms. It turned out FBI Lawyer and Strzok side piece Lisa Page was helping Strzok edit the 302 forms to make it look as if Flynn had been deceptive in his answers when both Strzok and Pientka had reported to their superiors that Flynn didn’t appear to be lying to them.
Now here in another related SpyGate case, all of a sudden the Durham Special Counsel’s Office is revealing that the FBI was secretly recording some of it’s interviews with Danchenko without his awareness or permission.
Several times in the Danchenko indictment, the FBI reveals it was making recordings of some of Danchenko’s interviews with it’s agents **without Danchenko being aware of this**:
Note that because of the recordings of some of these interviews, there are detailed transcripts of what was said.
Sussmann’s defense team may have found wiggle room arguing about handwritten notes and witnesses recollection of discussions from years gone by. Danchenko’s lawyers are going to have a much tougher go of it.
So one key thing that will make the Danchenko trial markedly different from the Sussmann trial is that in Sussmann’s case, a lot of time was spent arguing over handwritten notes jotted down following the key meeting in the case. Much of the testimony in the former Perkins Coie lawyer’s trial involved people trying to recall details of meetings from over five years ago.
As it so happens, Durham isn’t relying on handwritten notes scribbled down after the fact, and he won’t need to rely on much if any testimony where witnesses attempt to recall events from five or six years ago. Durham has recordings and transcripts to work with.
What Does Durham’s Indictment Actually Claim?
You can read the Special Counsel’s indictment of Igor Dahncheko here.
Here’s how Durham explained Danchenko’s alleged crimes in that indictment.
First, the Special Counsel sets the stage by explaining how a completely innocent American citizen, Carter Page, ended up being accused by the FBI of being a foreign agent working for Russia while he was part of the Donald Trump presidential campaign:
Have set the stage, Durham then introduces Danchenko as the main source for the allegations that were used by the FBI to get that FISA warrant on Carter Page and by extension, on the Trump campaign itself.
The lies Danchenko told the agents interviewing him can be divided into two main categories: lies told to shield actual dossier sources from the FBI and lies told to offer a fake dossier source to the agents.
The First Several Lies -Trying To Hide The Dossier’s Real Sources From The FBI
And Durham relates how when the FBI began questioning Danchenko about the sources he claimed he used to compile the Trump/Russia collusion allegations that ended up the Carter W. Page FISA warrant, the native Russian began trying to desperately steer the FBI away from one key source: a longtime Clinton family political associate named Chuck Dolan.
So the first big series of lies the FBI caught Danchenko telling to them in these series of interviews involved Danchenko’s attempts to hide Dolan’s involvement as a dossier source:
The Next Several Lies - Proffering A Fake Source To The FBI
After having tried to steer the FBI away from actual Dossier sources, Danchenko then proceeded to tell his second series of lies when he proffered a fake Dossier source to the agents: Sergei Millian.
Danchenko attempted to convince the FBI that Millian was the source of some of the Steele Dossier’s most outlandish claims [such as that there was a ‘well developed conspiracy of cooperation’ between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, as well as the infamous ‘pee tape’ story], and that Millian had related these key allegations to him in a phone call in July of 2016.
In it’s subsequent investigation, the FBI determined two things: first, that Millian had never spoken to Danchenko and second, that Danchenko was hiding the real source of the stories that supposedly came to him via this phone call that never happened.
So by September of 2017, even as the agency finally let the 3rd and final renewal of the Carter Page FISA warrant expire for good, the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane team and the Mueller Special Counsel were well aware that this suspected Russian spy who had provided all the key allegations in that warrant was simultaneously hiding real dossier sources and offering fake ones.
They’d known all of this since at least July of 2017 and not only renewed the warrant a third time, they’d made the decision to pursue General Flynn and prosecute him for an invented crime.
Durham will prove all of this in court. He has the evidence. And it’s looking increasingly like he intends to present it to the jury himself.
Danchenko is not the only one who’ll end up in legal jeopardy due to these FBI recordings.
And you can quote me on that.
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