Durham’s latest indictment: more lines drawn on Clinton campaign
“To my good friend… a great democrat. These words written to a Russian personality in Moscow, inside a copy of a Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Defense & National Security – Washington Gathers for Colin Powell’s Funeral Son Pays Emotional Tribute to Colin Powell at Biden Service, Former Presidents Reunite for Colin Powell’s Funeral MORE autobiography, may be the defining line of special advocate John durhamJohn DurhamThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by ExxonMobil – House sprints for Build Back Better, infrastructure votes today.investigation. The message was reportedly written by Charles Dolan, a close advisor to Clinton and campaign regular, whom reports identify as the mysterious “PR-Executive 1” in Durham’s latest indictment, this time against Igor Danchenko.
Danchenko, 43, was a key figure in compiling the infamous Steele dossier that led to the now discredited investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government in the 2016 presidential race. But Danchenko, a Russian emigrant living in the United States, seems unlikely to be the main accused in the Durham investigation. In fact, Durham describes him at times as more of a con man than a spy, an “investigator” who was fed on what to report by Clinton agents like Dolan.
Durham is known as a methodical, apolitical and relentless prosecutor. So far, his work appears to betray a belief that the FBI has been played by the Clinton campaign to investigate Team Trump. The question is whether Durham really wants to charge only the figurative tail if he can get the whole dog – a question that can now weigh heavily on a number of Washington figures, just like she did after the indictment. of Durham in September from Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann. .
Danchenko’s indictment on five counts of lying to the FBI serves two obvious purposes. First, these charges – with a five-year prison sentence for each – are enough to focus the minds of any accused on the possibility of turning around for the charge. Second, to charge Danchenko “uplift the wretch” for potential targets to see and consider over there, but for the grace of God – and Durham – they will.
The substantive details of Durham’s three indictments so far have assembled an impressive list of “Great Democrats” who have directly or indirectly contributed to the creation of the collusion scandal in Russia. Indeed, the collusion case is increasingly taking on the appearance of “Murder on the Orient Express”, in which all suspects can be found guilty. While the statute of limitations may protect some, Durham has shown that he can use the crime of lying to federal investigators (18 USC 1001) as a practical alternative. Targets must admit previous misconduct or face a new charge.
Thus, Durham seems to clearly demonstrate meticulously that the Steele dossier was a political coup orchestrated by Clinton agents. His latest indictment connects Danchenko with several scheming figures and groups who, in turn, are linked to the Clinton campaign.
Former British spy Christopher Steele himself has been questioned at length by investigators over the years – a lengthy dossier which carries with it inherent risks of contradictions. Notably, Steele recently defended his case in a bizarre interview. While admitting that it could have been used by the Russian Secret Service for disinformation purposes, he stuck to accounts of its most sensational details, like Trump’s ‘golden shower tape’, despite the findings. opposites of Durham.
Dolan is the last direct link between the campaign and the infamous Steele case to surface in the Durham Inquiry. Dolan not only had close ties with the Clintons, but also with the Russians; he and the public relations firm where he worked had represented the Russian government and had registered as foreign agents for Russia.
Durham alleges that it was Dolan, and not Russian sources, who gave Danchenko key allegations to put on the Steele dossier, including some of his more salacious claims. Dolan is described as traveling to Moscow to meet with Russian officials who were paying for his business. The link is notable because the US Secret Service believed that the sources used in the case were, in fact, Russian agents and that the case may have been a vehicle for the Russian Secret Service to disseminate disinformation. However, Dolan allegedly admitted to having “fabricated” facts given to Danchenko. Dolan’s lawyer now describes him as a “witness” in the investigation.
Danchenko worked for several years at the Brookings Institution, a major liberal think tank in Washington, as an analyst on Russian and Eurasian affairs – and, therefore, Brookings figures prominently in this latest indictment. Around 2010, another Brookings employee introduced Danchenko to Steele, who then retained him as a contract investigator.
Steele testified in London in a 2019 libel lawsuit that he disclosed certain details of his case to Strobe Talbott, then chairman of Brookings. Talbott had his own long-standing connection to Clinton. Among these, he was the Goodwill Ambassador and Deputy Secretary of State under President Clinton; when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, Talbott was appointed chairman of the state department’s foreign affairs advisory board.
Then there is Hillary Clinton herself. Steele also testified that he understood that Clinton was aware of his work and the progress of the case. Yet during and long after the campaign, Clinton never admitted that his campaign funded the case, despite media and congressional inquiries into it. No less official than campaign president Jean PodestaJohn PodestaHuawei paid Tony Podesta 0K for White House lobbying What a Biden Sanders administration should look like to dominate Clinton’s aid: “There’s always room for Bernie 2016” MORE denied any connection in his testimony before Congress.
More importantly, before the Steele dossier was turned over to the FBI and the press, the then CIA director John brennanJohn Owen Brennan Latest NASA Chief Bill Nelson Suggested UFOs Have Otherworldly Origins The CIA’s Next Mission: Strategic Competition with China and Russia informed president obamaBarack Hussein ObamaTrucker topples longtime NJ Senate Speaker with next to nothing spending – here’s how Florida Republicans are outperforming Democrats in voter registration for the first time Chinese Xi Jinping won’t relinquish power anytime soon MORE on Clinton’s alleged “plan” to bind the candidate Donald trumpDonald Trump NASCAR seeks to distance himself from GOP rallying cry “Let’s go, Brandon” Jan. 6 panel weighs in contempt after brief statement with former Trump Justice Department official Clark Broken promises: health care for veterans replaced by the private sector MORE in Russia as “a way to distract the public from its use of a private mail server”.
Now, with Danchenko’s indictment, Dolan’s name has been added to a seemingly growing number of Clinton associates Durham referred to in the development of the collusion scandal in Russia.
Again, it is unclear whether Durham has any suspicion or evidence of criminal conduct against anyone other than Danchenko. But many other numbers are at least likely to largely figure in the findings of the special counsel’s final investigative report, if many details in the indictments to date are any indication.
One thing is clear, however: Too many “Great Democrats” continue to appear in the Durham Inquiry.
Jonathan Turley is Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates on Twitter @JonathanTurley.