The Danchenko trial is over, the defendant (predictably) walked, and Special Counsel John Durham is presumably working on the final draft of his report on the Russia Hoax. But there’s one facet of the trial that deserves a closer look before the book is closed.
Sergei Millian, the Russian national who was essentially framed as a Russian spy by Glenn Simpson and others connected to the hoax, has said he chose not to come to the U.S. to testify about the FBI due to fears for his family’s safety. As long as he stayed out of the country, he was out of reach of a subpoena and decided to take advantage of that. But Durham, without being able to put him on the stand to testify there was no phone call with “dossier” source Danchenko, had no way of proving Danchenko had lied to the FBI about the call. Danchenko’s legal counsel argued that just because there was no phone record didn’t mean the call hadn’t taken place over a secure phone app. (Hey, prove it DIDN’T.) Danchenko was acquitted.
Most write-ups on the trial have not focused on this matter of “the missing witness” and, especially, WHY he was missing. So we went back to Paul Sperry’s reporting from last year, right after Danchenko was indicted for lying, to get some perspective. According to the indictment, event though Danchenko had apparently made up the whole phone call, the FBI still used his fake source’s claims of “a well-developed conspiracy of cooperation” between Russia and Trump to convince a secret federal court, the FISA Court, to allow investigators to electronically monitor at least one low-level Trump advisor, Carter Page. It really is just sickening now to look back on all this, knowing it was made up out of whole cloth yet dominated the news for Trump’s entire term of office.
As Sperry reported last year, “Agents swore in court documents reviewed by REALCLEAR INVESTIGATIONS that Danchenko was ‘truthful and cooperative’ even after discovering he misled them regarding his allegedly well-placed source.”
Sperry made it clear that Millian had strongly denied having had that phone call with Danchenko. In case you missed the report, which we linked to after the verdict came in, here it is.
Note that a year ago, Sperry was reporting that Page had sued the FBI and ‘Justice’ Department for $75 million in damages for turning his life upside down. Fast-forward to October 2022, and that suit has been recently dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich, over what seems to us non-lawyers to be a ridiculous technicality.
We would think that when Durham indicted Danchenko, he assumed he would have Millian as a witness, and quite a strong one. But it was not to be. Here’s what Andrerw C. McCarthy wrote on October 11, right after jury selection but before witnesses were called: “The defense team knows that Durham’s team will have trouble with the four false-statement counts related to Millian because Millian is overseas, beyond subpoena power, and has refused to appear as a witness.” McCarthy’s analysis explains the challenge Durham faced in trying to prove, without Millian’s testimony, that the call didn’t take place. He essentially had to prove a negative.
McCarthy rightly predicted that Danchenko himself almost certainly would not testify. (Danchenko was the only other person besides Millian who could have testified to direct knowledge of the call.) As it turned out, his attorneys didn’t even put on a defense.
But McCarthy didn’t go into WHY Millian wouldn’t come to the U.S. and testify, and this, to us, is major. Jerry Dunleavy at the WASHINGTON EXAMINER, writing a few weeks before the trial, did mention the reason he’d given: “Sergei Millian, an American citizen born in Belarus, has told Durham he fears for his [and his family’s] safety if he were to return to the United States to testify in October and he is worried the FBI would arrest him.”
It apparently is as we thought --- that Millian, an enthusiastic Trump supporter, WANTED to testify about what the FBI had done to him with their fake story about dossiers and Russian spies. In September he tweeted, “If they bring the rogue Christopher STEELE, crazy Simpson & co., Maremont to the trial, approve my lawyer, US Marshal’s and my military friends’ protection instead of FBI and bring my family to USA under a federal program, I will just do it for all of America, folks.” We don't recognize the “Maremont” reference but gather that his conditions of being under U.S. Marshals Service and/or military (as opposed to FBI) protection were subsequently not met, and he remained out of the country to protect himself and his family.
Is this what happened? Does anyone see something wrong with this picture? Millian was needed on the stand for Durham to make his case against Danchenko and, by extension, the FBI, but his witness wouldn’t testify out of fear of...the FBI?
Speaking of being afraid of the FBI, you know if you read yesterday’s newsletter that award-winning investigative journalist James Gordon Meek has been missing without a trace –- not even a tweet –- since April 27, when heavily armed FBI agents raided his penthouse apartment in Arlington, Virginia. Again, he’s been missing since APRIL. Why has no one even spoken about this until ROLLING STONE finally did an article? Does he have no family? Has no one reported him missing? Is he even alive?
Here’s a summary that includes many of the details we reported yesterday, with one new piece of information about the book for Simon & Schuster he’s no longer writing with retired Green Beret Lt. Col. Scott Mann. It shows how his name has been eerily erased, Orwellian-style, from that project:
“Interestingly, a previous account of the book comprised a line on Meek being contacted by a Special Forces operator overseas. ‘In April, ABC News correspondent James Gordon Meek got an urgent call from a Special Forces operator serving overseas,’ it read. However, the promotional text for the book has been updated, with no mention of his name, ‘In April, an urgent call was placed from a Special Forces operator serving overseas,’ as per the report.”
This transcript of Glenn Beck’s radio show from Thursday reflects what any normal, thinking person would be wondering about Meek’s disappearance. How does somebody –- especially a huge man standing 6-foot-7 –- “fall off the face of the Earth,” as one colleague put it to ROLLING STONE, without sparking a massive manhunt? What was he working on? Is he being held somewhere? Why would the FBI be raiding a journalist’s home, when doing so is supposed to require special permission from deputy AG (and Obama attorney) Lisa Monaco? Meek vanished six months ago; even if he’s a loner with no family or close friends looking for him, his co-workers are journalists working at ABC NEWS, for crying out loud. Aren’t they even...curious? Why wouldn’t his disappearance be all over the news?
Here’s the original ROLLING STONE article about Meek’s disappearance.