The alleged main source for British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s discredited anti-Trump dossier was arrested on Thursday as part of special counsel John Durham’s criminal inquiry into the origins and conduct of the Trump-Russia investigation.
Igor Danchenko, a Russian-born lawyer who lives in the Washington, D.C., area, was taken into custody by federal law enforcement after being hit with charges in a newly-unsealed indictment obtained by Durham’s office.
The special counsel’s office said Danchenko had been charged “with five counts of making false statements to the FBI” that Durham for claims he made about the sources used in providing information to Steele for his “Company Reports,” which became the dossier. The indictment was returned on Wednesday, and Danchenko is slated to appear before a magistrate judge in the Eastern District of Virginia Thursday afternoon.
The indictment says Danchenko made false statements in March, May, June, October, and November of 2017.
“The June 15, 2017, false statement count alleges that Danchenko denied that he had spoken with a particular individual about material information contained in one of the Company Reports when he knew that was untrue,” Durham’s office said. “The March 16, 2017, May 18, 2017, Oct. 24, 2017, and Nov. 16, 2017, counts involve statements made by Danchenko on those dates to FBI agents regarding information he purportedly had received from an anonymous caller who he believed to be a particular individual, when in truth and in fact he knew that was untrue. The information purportedly conveyed by the anonymous caller included the allegation that there were communications ongoing between the Trump campaign and Russian officials and that the caller had indicated the Kremlin might be of help in getting Trump elected.”