In today’s news that shouldn’t be news to anyone, “dossier” source Igor Danchenko was acquitted Tuesday on all four counts of lying to the FBI by a jury in Alexandria, Virginia. (The fifth count had already been dropped by the judge over a ridiculous technicality.) The media are gleeful, of course, and are spinning this verdict hard to say Durham’s entire investigation is a flop. On the contrary, his work is proving invaluable beyond measure by showing us precisely what is wrong with our so-called system of justice. His loss yesterday just brings that home.
As we said yesterday, Durham was likely to lose this one, in part because prospective witness Sergei Millian, out of this country and beyond reach of a subpoena, wouldn't testify. When defense attorneys said Durham couldn’t prove with just phone records that a call between Danchenko and Millian hadn’t taken place because it could have been made through a phone app, Millian would have been the one to say on the stand what he’d already told the special counsel --- that there was no phone call. Danchenko had told the FBI there WAS a phone call. In other words, he lied. But he walked, just as fellow liar Michael Sussmann walked.
We’ve been looking for details on why such a key witness did not testify, and finally found in a piece by Margot Cleveland that Millian had chosen not to come to the United States out of “fear for his family’s safety.” (He might have had something there.) In case you missed her detailed summary of the case in advance of the attorneys’ closing statements, here it is.
It seems likely to us that when Durham filed his charges, he was thinking he’d have Millian as a witness, and judging from what Millian told investigative reporter Paul Sperry, he would have made this case. Durham needed him. Sperry wrote almost a year ago that he’d spoken with Millian in 2017, when reports of his being a dossier source first surfaced, and that he’d called those reports a “vicious lie.” News outlets were still reporting he was the source for the most explosive parts of the dossier, apparently taking the word of Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS over his, he said.
Millian is, ironically, a huge Trump supporter, exasperated that his own name would be used in this way, so one would think he’d WANT to testify, to set things straight. He told Sperry he hoped the Clinton operatives, especially Glenn Simpson, would be held accountable for the lies that turned his life upside down. “It was a very painful experience,” he told Sperry. “They derailed my career and destroyed my businesses.”
“Clearly I got nothing to do with any of this crazy dossier,” Millian said. “I denied it from the very beginning. It’s all fake from beginning to end.” He said that, in effect, Clinton operatives were trying to “frame” him in order to tar Trump as being compromised by Moscow. And that frame-up is sure what it looks like. Glenn Simpson, along with Bruce Ohr at the DOJ and wife Nellie Ohr at Fusion GPS, pushed the speculation that Millian was a Russian spy.
Read Sperry’s report, and you’ll have a much better understanding of how the Danchenko-Millian story fits into the overall Russia Hoax and why Durham might have focused on it. Very highly recommended.
The charge that was dropped last Friday had to do with Danchenko’s contact with Clinton operative Charles Dolan, who admitted to the FBI that he had lied to Danchenko, passing along what he had seen on cable news about Paul Manafort’s dismissal as rumors from a “GOP friend” –- this was a made-up person –- heard over drinks. (Note: that is the quality of information that ended up in the infamous “dossier,” the purported “Crown material.”)
Of course, you know this charge was dropped because Danchenko had told the FBI he didn’t “talk” to Dolan, which the judge agreed was technically true because their communication was through EMAIL. Good grief.
Apparently, Alexandria, Virginia, is just as blue as Washington DC, where Sussmann was acquitted. Durham knew all along that the deck was stacked against him, which leads us to believe that his real goal was to get the evidence out and “try” the FBI in an official record. To obtain deserved convictions in politically-charged trials, changes of venue are going to have to take place. As this bluntly-worded essay from ACE OF SPADES says, “First order of business in ‘24: the power of removal of politically-affected cases away from Washington DC to non-biased jurisdictions to get fair trials. Both prosecutors and defendants should be permitted to move trials this way. No more Home Court Advantage for Democrat Criminals.”
Margot Cleveland wrote similarly on Tuesday, while the jury was still deliberating. “No matter the eventual verdict,” she said, “...like Durham’s prosecution of former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann, the criminal case against Danchenko revealed extensive evidence of malfeasance by the Crossfire Hurricane team.” We still assume that was Durham’s goal all along --- to show it was really all just dirty politics at the DOJ, with very different treatment for the Trump-connected and the Hillary-connected.