Igor Danchenko was taken into custody on Thursday by US federal agents

On Thursday, US federal agents took Igor Danchenko into custody

An important source who provided information to Christopher Steele, ex-spy in Britain, regarding his ‘dirty file’ of allegations against Donald Trump was arrested in the United States. 

According to the Justice Department, Igor Danchenko was a Russian-born analyst who was living in the United States. He was arrested by federal agents from John H. Durham’s special counsel inquiry into origins of the Trump Russia investigation. 

Five counts of lying to FBI agents regarding the sources he used to collect information for Steele are against him. The indictment names him only as ‘UK Person-1. 

Steele’s dossier alleged that Trump’s 2016 presidential election conspired with Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton. Steele’s primary researcher was a Russian political analyst. Steele also claimed Russia had salacious video evidence that could be used against Trump.

Many of the claims made in the dossier remain unproven, or have been debunked. However, the FBI did cite the document in a secret warrant request to spy on a Trump campaign official.

Indictment claims that Danchenko lied about his contact with an American executive at a public relations firm based in the USA. He claimed that he had never had contact with him, despite having long-standing ties to Democratic Party.

According to the indictment Danchenko did indeed communicate with the unnamed PR exec and used him for one or two of the Steele allegations. 

Danchenko is the third and second person to be charged in Durham’s probe.  

Igor Danchenko, a Russian-born analyst living in the United States, was arrested on Thursday by federal agents assigned to John H. Durham's special counsel inquiry

Igor Danchenko was a Russian-born analyst who is currently in the United States. He was arrested by federal agents working for John H. Durham’s special counsel inquiry

Special Counsel John H. Durham is investigating whether the FBI's Trump-Russia probe, code-named 'Crossfire Hurricane,' was opened and conducted legally

John H. Durham, Special Counsel, is investigating whether the FBI’s Trump Russia probe, code-named “Crossfire Hurricane”, was legally opened and conducted.

Danchenko was being represented by an attorney and could not be reached by DailyMail.com at the earliest on Thursday morning. 

A Justice Department spokesman confirmed Danchenko’s arrest, which was first reported by The New York Times. 

Trump has long denied any illegal conspiration with Russia during his 2016 campaign. Instead, he insists that the allegations were fabricated by his political enemies. Democrats claim Durham’s investigation is a political hatchet job.

In October 2020, Trump administration Attorney General Bill Barr appointed Durham to be the special counsel. Durham was tasked with investigating if the FBI’s Trump Russia probe (code-named Crossfire Hurricane’) was opened and legally conducted.

The role of Danchenko in the affair was discovered last year when he was identified as the primary researcher behind Steele’s explosive but dubious claims. The dossier was funded in part by the Democratic Party and Clinton’s campaigns.

FBI officials believe that the dossier was used by the FBI to investigate Trump’s presidential campaign. The FBI also cited the dossier in a FISA warrant application to spy on Carter Page, a Trump campaign advisor, who has never been charged criminally.

Durham previously signaled his interest in Danchenko and the Steele dossier by obtaining subpoenas in February for old personnel files and other documents related to Danchenko from the Brookings Institution, where he worked from 2005 until 2010.

Danchenko was the primary researcher for British ex-spy Christopher Steele's (above) dossier alleging that Trump's 2016 presidential campaign conspired with Russia in a covert operation

Danchenko was the primary researcher of Christopher Steele’s dossier (above), which claimed that Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign conspired to with Russia in a covert operation

Trump is seen at the 2013 Miss Universe competition in Moscow, on the trip that is at the center of the dossier's most salacious allegations

Trump is seen at Miss Universe 2013 in Moscow, during the trip that is at heart of the dossier’s most scandalous allegations

Trump’s allies include Senator Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, as well as Representative Devin Nunes who is the top Republican on House of Representatives Intelligence Committee. They made comments suggesting Danchenko is a Russian agent. 

Danchenko replied to the allegations by denying he was working as an agent of Russia’s spy. 

In an email, Danchenko stated to Reuters that he was merely an “experienced expert in Russian affairs who spent more than a ten years in business intelligence.”

Danchenko previously denied that he was working as a spy for Russia

Danchenko denied previously that he was working as an agent of Russia’s spy.

He said, “My academic and business intelligence work with Russia has always been for Western clients and never for Russia.”

Danchenko also told the Guardian that he didn’t back down from the dossier’s claim that the Russians’ may have held compromising information on Trump. “I stand by it.” He said, “I got it right.”

He also dismissed the most controversial claims in the dossier, which also claimed that the Russians had financial leverage over President Obama.

He stated that he had traveled to Russia and St. Petersburg to assist Steele with his reports.

He claimed that his work with Russian information sources was merely ‘hearsay and ‘jest.

During Senate look-backs on the Russia probe, information about Danchenko’s involvement in obtaining information for the 2016 dossier was revealed. 

In September, Durham indicted cybersecurity lawyer Michael Sussmann (above) accusing him of lying to the FBI about who he was working for in a tip-off about alleged Trump-Russia ties

In September, Durham charged Michael Sussmann, a cybersecurity lawyer (above), with lying to the FBI regarding who he was working for. This was in response to a tip-off concerning alleged Trump-Russia ties. 

Michael Sussman, a cybersecurity lawyer who worked for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, pleaded not guilty to lying to the FBI

FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty to altering an email in a warrant application

Sussman (left), and FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith are the only people being charged in Durham’s probe so far.

Since May 2019, when he started probing Crossfire Hurricane, Durham has been calm and methodical. First as a US attorney, then later as special counsel.

His office has not been the source for media leaks and has only issued a few terse statements. 

In recent weeks, however, the probe seems to have increased in intensity and tempo. 

In September, Durham indicted a cybersecurity lawyer, Michael Sussmann, accusing him of lying to the FBI during a September 2016 conversation in which he relayed concerns about potentially suspicious cyber contacts between a Trump Organization server and the server of a Russian bank. 

According to the indictment, Sussmann claimed that he did not bring the concerns to the FBI for any client, but he was actually representing Hillary Clinton’s campaign and a technology executive. 

Sussmann pleaded not guilty and his lawyers attacked the case as driven more by politics than facts. 

Durham’s first criminal charges were brought against Kevin Clinesmith, an FBI lawyer assigned to the Robert Mueller probe. He altered an email while acquiring a Page wiretap warrant renewal.

Clinesmith pleaded guilty, and was sentenced on probation.