An explosive court filing by Department of Justice Special Counsel John Durham that was unsealed on Tuesday revealed a crucial fact about the Crossfire Hurricane operation that shocks only in that it shocks.
Igor Danchenko, the primary “source” for Christopher Steele’s nonsense “dossier” positing political coordination between the Russian government and the Donald Trump campaign, went on the FBI’s payroll for almost the entirety of the Trump presidency.
“In March 2017, the FBI signed the defendant up as a paid confidential human source of the FBI,” the filing states. “The FBI terminated its source relationship with the defendant in October 2020. As alleged in further detail below, the defendant lied to FBI agents during several of these interviews.”
The lies alleged by Durham primarily involve Danchenko’s supposed “sub-sources.” The special counsel offers evidence buttressing the notion that the Russian national did work closely with a Democratic Party operative on the dirt-gathering when he denied doing so to the FBI and that he did not glean intelligence from several people when he claimed to the FBI that he did just that.
The direct evidence presented in the court filing appears fairly damning if complex. One piece of indirect evidence, however, purports to show Danchenko’s modus operandi more simply and clearly. An email presented to the court shows that after reviewing a 2016 report by former employer Sidar Global, he advised the group’s head, Cenk Sidar, to fabricate sources.
“Emphasize sources,” he wrote. “Make them bold or CAPITALISED. The more sources the better. If you lack them, use oneself as a source (‘Istanbul-Washington-based businessman’ or whatever) to save the situation and make it look a bit better.”
Circular reasoning, in a nutshell, tells the story of this fake story. The FBI’s presenting journalistic reporting based entirely on Steele leaking to reporters information from his “dossier” as proof of the veracity of Steele’s information to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court comes as one example of this. Danchenko allegedly using Danchenko as a source serves as another.
Consider that after Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign paid Perkins Coie LLP to pay Fusion GPS to pay Christopher Steele to pay Igor Danchenko to lie to him, the FBI paid Danchenko to lie to them. The lies continued as the paying parties went to great lengths to conceal financial involvement. They wished to promote the lies but hide their subsidy of them.
The fact that a special counsel, 66 months after the paid arrangement began, goes after Danchenko for the alleged lies he told the FBI and the FBI in all that time never legally pursued him, suggests that the bureau found the noble lies pleasing.
At a certain point, the shocked rates blame more than the shocker for the reaction. We become not shocked in a Sixth Sense way but shocked, shocked in a Casablanca way.
Forgiveness seems in order to one, for instance, who felt duped learning that information marketed by the media and to some degree the FBI as an intelligence dossier really came from the campaign of Donald Trump’s political opponent. And perhaps one shocked by this belated news that the FBI put the man Christopher Steele acknowledged as his primary source on its payroll rates absolution, too. All the propaganda programs portraying the FBI heroically in primetime on CBS cannot help but shape opinions, after all. But FBI malfeasance revealed from this point forward must meet an eyeroll and not a jawdrop. (READ MORE: The Ruling Class’s Gaslighting on the Durham Investigation)
And from this point forward, this story gets worse.
The filing notes that “the defendant was the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation from 2009 to 2011. In late 2008, while the defendant was employed by a prominent think tank in Washington, D.C., the defendant engaged two fellow employees about whether one of the employees might be willing or able in the future to provide classified information in exchange for money.”
The FBI, the organization currently pursuing the former president for retaining documents (perhaps, understandably, some regarding this skullduggery) from his administration, paid a man to shovel them information whom they had earlier made the subject of a documents-stealing espionage investigation.
A decade or so ago, the FBI dropped the investigation under the mistaken or pretended belief that Mr. Danchenko had left the country. Somehow, the Russian citizen continued to live in the United States and travel abroad and back without FBI molestation. And somehow, less than a decade later, the FBI trusted the Russian citizen accused of a classified-document-buying scheme enough to pay him as confidential source and use his information to take the unprecedented step of obtaining a warrant to surveil a U.S. presidential campaign.
And there lies the million-dollar irony in all this. One campaign did collude with Russians to influence the outcome of the 2016 election. It wasn’t Donald Trump’s.