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What did the FBI have on Danchenko?
Deciphering a curious FBI question
I discussed the Igor Danchenko indictment here, laying out some of the more eye-raising parts of the facts and charges against Christopher Steele’s primary sub-source.
Taking a closer look at the Danchenko indictment, there is a curious question presented by the FBI to Danchenko in June 2017. A question that indicates the FBI might have known more about the true sources to the Steele Dossiers sooner than they have let on.
FBI Questions about Danchenko source Charles Dolan
On June 15, 2017, the FBI interviewed Danchenko regarding the Dossiers (labeled “Company Reports” in the indictment). Here’s the line of questioning from the indictment:
These FBI questions – asking Danchenko specific questions about Dolan and his interactions with Dolan – are significant for a number of reasons:
It indicates the FBI had specific information linking Dolan to Danchenko. It is quite possible the FBI knew on June 15, 2017 that Dolan was a source for Danchenko.
The suspicion that Dolan was a source is explained by the FBI Agent stating that he thinks there are other Dossier sources, immediately followed by a question about Dolan.
If that is the case, then the FBI would have known that Danchenko lied about his communications with Dolan.
This information may have come from surveillance on Danchenko source Olga Galkina. As observed by Chuck Ross: “The IG report indicates that the FBI had Section 702 coverage on Galkina, which would have allowed the agency to surveil her communications.”
If the FBI had Section 702 coverage on Galkina, it would have swept-up the communications of Dolan and Danchenko - providing them with knowledge that a Hillary Clinton supporter was a source for the Dossiers.
Again, the dates are important. The Danchenko interview where he was questioned about Dolan took place on June 15, 2017, before the 4th FISA warrant on Carter Page, which was submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on June 29, 2017.
Let us assume for a moment the FBI questioned Danchenko about Dolan based on information from the Galkina surveillance (the 702). What types of information might they have had? Looking at the Danchenko indictment, they might have possessed:
Dolan e-mails referencing Danchenko.
Communications between Dolan and Olga Galkina (Russian Sub-Source 1), including social media messages, e-mails, and likely messaging apps.
Communications from Olga Galkina to her associates.
Reporting suggests the FBI had this information by June 2017 – by the time of the Danchenko interview. If that is the case, the FBI would likely have had their hands on this e-mail from Galkina to Dolan, stating that she was feeding him information on former USSR/UIC countries – and indicating her suspicion that Danchenko had informed Dolan of this.
It also means that the FBI likely possessed this information that Danchenko’s source was a huge Hillary Clinton fan and hoping for a job in the Clinton State Department.
Back to the FISA Court. This Court operates in secret, with no chance for the accused to present their defense or the public to review warrant applications. With this in mind, the Court demands honesty from the government.
Under the FISA Court’s local rule 13, the FBI/DOJ had a duty to inform the Court of the new information, as they were material facts relevant to the Carter Page applications: (1) that Danchenko was a liar; (2) that Danchenko’s real “source” was a Hillary Clinton ally with deep ties to the Clintons; and (3) that Danchenko’s purported Russian source (Galkina) was expecting benefits (employment) based on her support of Clinton:
And the FBI/DOJ saw to it that this information stayed hidden from the FISA Court (and from the public, until just a few days ago).
However, the DOJ did send a July 2018 letter to the FISA Court, reassuring them that the FBI found Danchenko “to be truthful and cooperative.”
The DOJ communicated this FBI assessment to the FISA Court, and thus adopted it for themselves, despite Danchenko’s obvious lies in his January 2017 interview (about his contacts with Russian intelligence) and the FBI’s recognition, in February 2017, that Danchenko wasn’t being truthful:
This leads to an obvious question: Why cover for Danchenko?
Because in covering for Danchenko, the FBI and DOJ were covering for themselves, hiding their own misconduct and lies and violations of Constitutional rights – and, at the same time, keeping the Trump/Russia investigation alive.