Grassley and Johnson demand answers on why the FBI paid Igor Danchenko as a source during the Trump-Russia investigation
NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
EXCLUSIVE: Republican senators are demanding answers on why the Russian national who served as a sub-source for the debunked anti-Trump dossier was hired by the FBI as a confidential human source and paid with US taxpayers’ money while throughout the bureau’s initial investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.
The senses. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., In letter obtained exclusively by Fox News Digital and sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland, search for all FBI and Justice Department records related to government payments to Igor Danchenko, as well as the counterintelligence concerns he raised and the bureau’s decision to rely on him as a source.
Danchenko was the primary source for the salacious anti-Trump dossier written by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. The dossier was commissioned by opposition research firm Fusion GPS and funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee through the law firm Perkins Coie.
DURHAM PROBE: TRUMP TEAM SAYS AMERICANS SHOULD ‘WAIT FOR THE NEXT SHOE TO FALL OFF’ BEFORE DANCHENKO TRIAL
But Grassley and Johnson’s questions come after special counsel John Durham, in an unsealed filing earlier this month, revealed that the FBI had paid Danchenko to be a confidential human source for the FBI of January 2017 to October 2020.
Durham charged Danchenko last year with five counts of making false statements to the FBI. The charges stem from statements made by Danchenko regarding the sources he used to provide information to an investigative company in the UK.
Although the FBI paid Danchenko to serve as a confidential human source during the Trump administration – and during Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the presidential election from 2016 – Danchenko was the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation. from 2009 to 2011.
This FBI investigation of Danchenko focused on his contacts with suspected Russian intelligence agents and reported attempts to facilitate payment for classified information.
“The FBI, even in light of the extensive derogatory information attached to Danchenko, proceeded to pay him as a confidential human source three months later, from March 2017 to October 2020, as part of Crossfire Hurricane,” Grassley wrote. and Johnson at Garland. « Therefore, while we investigated Justice Department and FBI misconduct regarding Crossfire Hurricane, you kept him on the government payroll. »
DURHAM AGREES TO ADMIT EVIDENCE IN DANCHENKO TRIAL THAT COULD DISCREDIT TRUMP RITZ-CARLTON MOSCOW ALLEGATIONS
They added: « This extraordinary pattern of facts requires additional information from the Department of Justice and the FBI regarding why Danchenko was put on the payroll and paid by the taxpayer to assist in the government’s flawed investigation. federal on President Trump. »
Grassley and Johnson demanded all documents related to government payments made to Danchenko, the counterintelligence investigation of him, and his subsequent hiring by the FBI on October 22.
The DOJ did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on the letter.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department’s inspector general revealed in 2019 that the case served as the basis for warrants obtained against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
FLASHBACK: SOURCE OF STEELE FILE INVESTIGATED BY FBI FOR RUSSIAN CONTACTS
The Justice Department admitted in 2020 that the FISA warrants to surveil Page, once stripped of FBI misinformation, did not meet the necessary legal threshold and should never have been issued.
Durham charged three people as part of its investigation: Danchenko in November 2021, Michael Sussmann in September 2021 and Kevin Clinesmith in August 2020.
Sussmann was found not guilty in June. Clinesmith pleaded guilty to altering an email about Carter Page to say he was « not a source » for another government agency, even though Page said he was a source for the CIA.
DESPITE ACQUITMENT, SUSSMANN’S DURHAM TRIAL ADDED TO EVIDENCE OF CLINTON’S CAMPAIGN PLOTTED TO LINK TRUMP TO RUSSIA
The Justice Department relied on Clinesmith’s claim when it submitted its third and final renewal application in 2017 to listen to Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Clinesmith pleaded guilty and in 2021 was sentenced to 12 months probation and 400 hours of community service.
Sources told Fox News that Durham’s investigation is ongoing.