WASHINGTON (AP) – The Russia analyst who provided information for the research dossier used in the Trump-Russia investigation was arrested by the US authorities as part of an ongoing investigation by the Special Adviser, the Justice Department said Thursday.
Igor Danchenko is the third person and second in two months to be charged with investigating Special Prosecutor John Durham about the origins of the Russian investigation.
Danchenko served as a source for Christopher Steele, a former British spy who was paid by Democrats to study ties between Russia and Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. The study was used by the FBI as it applied for and received surveillance warrants against a former Trump campaign assistant.
Both the dossier and the Durham investigation are politically motivated. Trump’s Justice Department appointed Durham as Trump claimed the investigation into electoral ties with Russia was a witch hunt, and pointed to dossiers, some of which remained unconfirmed or discredited, as evidence of an unfair investigation.
But the dossier had nothing to do with the start of the Trump-Russia investigation, and Special Adviser Robert Mueller ultimately uncovered a dubious link between the Trump campaign and Russia, but not enough evidence to open a criminal case. Democrats saw the Durham investigation as politically motivated, but the Biden administration did not stop it.
It was not immediately clear what charges Danchenko could bring. But it will be Durham’s third criminal case since September’s indictment against a cybersecurity lawyer accused of perjury to the FBI and a plea last year by an FBI lawyer who admitted the change to the email.
Justice Department spokesman Vin Hornbuckle confirmed Danchenko’s arrest, first reported by The New York Times. Danchenko’s lawyer did not comment.