On Thursday, US District Judge Anthony J. Trenga ruled that Danchenko’s case should be tried by a jury. way for his test next month. But it was “extremely close callTreng said from bench.
The decree is a victory, albeit a temporary one. one, for Durham – who asked former advocate general William P. Barr in 2019, during the Trump administration, to investigate the 2016 FBI investigation into Russia. The Durham investigation came to an end in most of on FBI use of the so-called Steele Dossier, a collection of statements about Trump by former British spy Christopher Steele.
But the judge’s remark that decision it was hard can be sinister signbecause Durham still has to convince the jury that Danchenko is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. special counselinvestigation failed in Maybe when another person charged with FBI-lied cybersecurity lawyer Michael Sussmann acquitted by jury in Federal Court of the District of Columbia. The trial of Danchenko is scheduled for begin October 11 in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. Durham personally argued the case at Thursday’s hearing.
The jury will be asked to weigh Danchenko’s statements, who pleaded not guilty, made during an FBI interview in 2017 about a longtime public relations officer in Washington DC. with Democrats, Charles Dolan Jr. and former the president of Russian American Chamber of Commerce, Sergei Millian.
Igor Danchenko arrested and charged with FBI lies about information in Steele’s dossier
The key point in the case is whether these statements by Danchenko to the FBI were a deliberate deception that had material effect on in government efforts to verify claims in dossier, and series of Steele’s reports based on information from Danchenko et al. Steele was hired to do the reporting research Fusion GPS, which was hired by Trump’s law firm. opponent Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.
Danchenko defense team asked the judge to dismiss the indictment on five counts in a legal memo filed on September 2 alleging that Danchenko made FBI “ambiguous and speculative statements” about “subjective” beliefs.
Danchenko’s accusation, they said, was “a case of extraordinary government exaggeration”.
“The law criminalizes only unambiguously false statements that material to a specific decision of in government”, Danchenko’s lawyers Stuart A. Sears and Danny Onorato wrote, adding that FBI questions in issue “were fundamentally ambiguous, Mr. Danchenko’s answers were literally unresponsive or ambiguous, and the statements were not material to a specific government decision”.
“If Rudy Giuliani says he believes the 2020 election was rigged, which doesn’t make it false statement,” Sears said. in court Thursday. “He believes in it.”
Durham team countered that the FBI questions were clear and what, in Any event dispute resolution over disputed facts – this is a job reserved for jury.
An FBI agent asked Danchenko a “decidedly direct” question about Dolan during an interview June 15, 2017, Durham team argued in the brief was submitted on 16 September.
“But you never talked to Chuck Dolan about anything that showed up in dossier, right? the agent asked, according to court documents.
“No,” Danchenko replied.
– Do not you think so? the agent asked.
“No. We talked about you know related matters, maybe, but no, no, no, nothing specific,” Danchenko said.
special counsel context said in what interview was place should have made clear what Danchenko was asked about the sources behind claims in Steele’s dossier. The prosecution claims that at least one accusation in Steele’s dossier “reflected information what Danchenko collected directly from Dolan – despite Danchenko’s denial that they discussed anything “specific” in It.
Danchenko asked Dolan via Paul Manafort’s resignation letter from Trump campaign chairman in 2016 and Dolan responded with information which closely matched what was in Steele’s report of 22 August, indictment says.
But Danchenko’s lawyers argued: “The most reasonable reading of the question is whether Mr. Danchenko and [Dolan] talked about the company’s reports themselves after they were published.
“Mr. Danchenko’s answer to this question was literally true because he never talked to [Dolan] on the specific allegations contained in the company reports themselves, but they spoke of matters “related” to the allegations later released in these reports,” Danchenko’s lawyers wrote.
They are added that the FBI agent’s question was worded imprecisely because the email exchange between Danchenko and Dolan is not the same as the “conversation” that the FBI agent used during the interview.
“Conversation refers to communication through spoken words, not in writing”, the lawyers say.
At Thursday’s hearing, Durham argued that “in in current In the everyday lexicon, the word “speak” has different meanings.
“He knew exactly what the FBI was looking for. for; he knew the context of what was asked of him,” Durham said, adding that Danchenko did not provide investigators with emails about Manafort when he contacted over Another materials. This was stated by Danchenko’s lawyers. in court’s statement that information in Steele’s dossier issue actually came from public news sources,” not Dolan.
lawyers Danchenko also claimed that his statements to the FBI in 2017 – that he “believed” that Millian achieved out him anonymously in telephone call and shared information about Trump and Russia were “literally true”and cannot be considered criminal False.
Durham said the email showed that Danchenko never spoke to Millian. of On August 8, 2016, Danchenko stated that the anonymous caller out him a few weeks before that date, prosecutors approve.
“He knows it didn’t happen, that it’s not Millian who called him,” Durham said.
special counseling team it had previously been reported that Millian had not been located. Danchenko’s lawyers spoke separately on Thursday that several emails from Millian to a Russian journalist that are related to Danchenko should do not accept as evidence in court, “without giving Mr. Danchenko the opportunity to cross-examine Millian.”