The Danchenko case went to the jury, a 12-member panel at the federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, on Monday after Special Counsel John Durham offered closing arguments blasting the FBI. No, it’s not technically the FBI that’s on trial here, but Durham made it clear that their mishandling of the case doesn’t let Danchenko off the hook for lying to them. (We’d say just the opposite: Danchenko’s false statements helped enable the FBI maintain their own false narrative.)
Durham called the FBI’s multiple failures “the elephant in the room,” and proceeded to discuss it. He’d already determined through his questioning that neither they nor any other U.S. intelligence agency had obtained any corroborating evidence for the Steele dossier.
You know the background of that dossier; there’s no need to go through that again. In short: all roads lead back to Hillary.
Part of what the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that Danchenko lied when he said he’d had a phone call with Sergei Millian, a former head of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce. Phone records show Danchenko did not receive a call at the time Danchenko said it came in. But in his closing arguments, Danchenko’s attorney Stuart Sears said the prosecution hadn’t proved there was no phone call, because there still could have been one made through a phone app, which would not have shown up in the records.
As you definitely know if you read yesterday’s newsletter, the judge has already dropped one of the five charges Danchenko faced for lying to the FBI, on an outrageous technicality. That charge was for denying he “talked” to dossier source Charles Dolan, a Democrat operative and longtime Clinton ally; the judge agreed with Danchenko’s legal team that he was not technically lying because their communication was by email, not actual talking.
(Incidentally, it took a poisonous eel like Andrew Weissmann to exploit such ridiculous legal hair-splitting, when he tweeted: “Judge dismisses on day 3 of trial one of the charges. This is more than just embarrassing for Durham; it shows a complete lack of objectivity and judgment. How do you charge someone with a crime of making a false statement that is literally true. Answer: you don’t.”)
As for Danchenko’s claim of a phone call with Millian, FOX NEWS reports that “Due to the possibility of Danchenko’s call with Millian taking place over a phone app versus a traditional phone line, Sears said Durham’s team has a ‘giant hole in their case and they can’t fill it with conjecture and argument.”
What the FOX NEWS story doesn’t mention is that the reason they have this “giant hole” is that Sergei Millian, who is not in this country and therefore out of reach of a subpoena, refused to come to the U.S. and testify at this trial. If he were here, he could’ve clarified for the jury whether he and Danchenko had a phone conversation. He told the FBI he’d not had a phone call with Danchenko, but he is not available now to tell that to the jury. If Danchenko walks, it might simply be because of this, so you see what the special counsel is up against.
In case you missed this detail, it was also revealed that the FBI paid Danchenko more than $200,000 to be a confidential human source for the Bureau during the Trump-Russia investigation. This appears to have been done to keep Danchenko’s activities “classified” and out of the reach of investigators. Your tax dollars at work!
So the jury is still out, literally, until at least sometime Tuesday. It may be that Danchenko walks, and that’s likely for the reason above. It’s frustrating, but in the larger scheme of things, it’s small potatoes.
As JUST THE NEWS reports, while Durham was criticizing the FBI during his summation to the jury, the presiding judge, U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga. told him to wrap it up.
Nick Arama in REDSTATE has another revelation from the trial that, not surprisingly, has received minimal coverage. Two people who worked on Robert Mueller’s team, supervisory Special Agent Amy Anderson and former FBI Intelligence Analyst Brittany Hertzog –- both specifically tasked with scrutinizing the allegations in the Trump dossier –- both testified on Friday that they thought the FBI should review and further investigate Charles Dolan, partly due to his business connections to Danchenko. (By this time, Danchenko, a Russian national, had been made a paid FBI informant.)
They were also concerned about Dolan’s links to Danchenko’s friend Olga Galkina, a self-described “big fan” of Hillary who had also been listed as a sub-source by Danchenko for the dossier, though she denies being one. Danchenko introduced Galkina and Dolan in 2016. Dolan apparently had a history of working closely with Russian officials, most notably Dmitri Peskov, press secretary to Vladimir Putin (!). The two agents tried for weeks to get an investigation started, they said, as they were concerned about a possible national security threat, but Supervisory Special Agent Joe Nelson told them the FBI wasn’t going to pursue it.
After being instructed not to take any action on the Dolan-Danchenko link, Agent Hertzog serialized her report on Dolan’s connections with Galkina in three separate case files to try to get it reviewed by 1) the Washington Field Office, 2) FBI Headquarters, and/or 3) the DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General, which would be Michael Horowitz.
We learn from this that while Hillary was trying mightily to link then-candidate Donald Trump to Putin, it was her own longtime friend and dossier source Charles Dolan who had the close Putin ties. The FBI has to use a fictional report to justify an investigation of Trump and his associates, but give them REAL concerns of a REAL Clinton associate with REAL Russian ties, and they won’t touch it.
My team had really wanted to hear more about Dolan, and Durham did not disappoint last week. According to the special counsel, this Hillary ally “interacted with senior Russian Federation leadership whose names would later appear in the dossier, and also ‘maintained relationships with’ Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. and the head of the Russian Embassy’s Economic Section in Washington, DC, ‘both of whom would also later appear by name’ in the dossier.” Dolan spent years doing business in Russia and with the Russian government, including in 2016. If our own government were truly concerned with the existential threat posed by “Russia Russia Russia!!!,” wouldn’t they have clamored to look into this?
And as long as we’re talking about the FBI’s extreme reluctance to look into the Russian ties of powerful Democrats, Arama has another story on that theme, this time involving Hunter Biden. While we wait for the Danchenko verdict, I hope you’ll read about the $40 million investment paid to Hunter’s company Rosemont Realty by Yelena Baturina, a close Putin ally who was the widow of a corrupt former Moscow mayor, and her brother Viktor Baturin.
It’s not clear if the DOJ is even looking into these deals of Hunter’s. What do you think?
According to Miranda Devine and Emily Crane at the NEW YORK POST, this $40 million is just for one deal. Their sources say the total “investment” in Rosemont Realty was over $100 million. The wire transfers from Baturina were apparently among those flagged for suspicious activity but –- surprise! –- received no follow-up from the FBI.
John Solomon has uncovered another example of the Biden family’s grift from China, saying the FBI has the evidence. Five years ago, Biden’s clan got a zero-interest, forgivable $5 million loan from Chinese energy company CEFC. The email discussion of this is stunning.
Finally, the Laugh Of The Day: Peter Strzok on MSNBC talking about how unbiased and “professional” his FBI team were during RussiaGate. Unintentionally hilarious.