Analyst: As Steele Dossier Source Charged With Lying, All Roads Lead to Hillary Clinton Campaign
Igor Danchenko, a key source for British ex-spy Christopher Steele, was arrested on 4 November in Northern Virginia on an indictment by Special Counsel John Durham, who is looking into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation. Why did Durham pick Danchenko as his next target and who's next?
Danchenko is charged with making false statements to the FBI, just like Michael Sussmann, former counsel for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, who was indicted by a grand jury on 16 September.
While some observers suggest that Sussmann's indictment was largely triggered by an expiring statute of limitations on the crime, the timing of Danchenko's arrest – immediately after the Virginia gubernatorial elections – was apparently chosen to avoid suspicions of political interference, according to Charles Ortel, a Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist.
In addition to this, Danchenko, who is charged with a whopping five counts of lying to the FBI "seems a weak link in a potential chain of evidence that should lead to the actual co-conspirators", Ortel believes.
In his recent blog post, lawyer Jonathan Turley suggested
that Danchenko is "the type of defendant that prosecutors pressure to flip against those who retained him or used him in this effort". Turley believes that Danchenko can be used as "a building block to apex defendants ranging from Steele himself to Clinton general counsel Marc Elias to Clinton campaign officials".
14 October 2021, 17:52 GMT
Clinton Operative Chuck Dolan
However, one of the central figures of the latest indictment is PR Executive-1, who was swiftly identified by investigative reporters as Charles H. Dolan Jr., political strategist, Bill Clinton's former vice-chairman of the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy and adviser to Hillary Clinton presidential campaign in 2008, to name just a few of his roles. According to the indictment, Dolan "actively campaigned and participated in calls and events as a volunteer on behalf of Hillary Clinton" in 2016.
Within hours Dolan's Kglobal profile
and alleged Twitter page were removed. The New York Times' Adam Goldman later confirmed, citing Dolan lawyer Ralph D. Martin, that the longtime Clinton operative is indeed the PR executive named in the indictment and a new potential witness in John Durham's investigation.
Judging from the document
penned by Durham, Dolan could have played an important role in Danchenko's anti-Trump research. Apparently, Danchenko provided his colleague, Christopher Steele, with some information collected directly from the PR executive, the document alleges.
To illustrate his point, Durham cites an episode when Dolan quoted his "GOP friend" while briefing Danchenko about a reshuffle within Team Trump. The special counsel draws attention to the fact that Steele's report repeats all points of Dolan's answers to Danchenko and names the source as "American political figure associated with Donald Trump".
However, here's the rub: Dolan fabricated his meeting with a "GOP friend" (aka "American figure associated with Trump") as the PR executive later admitted in an interview with the FBI.
As a potential source for the Steele dossier, Dolan could hardly be deemed impartial when it comes to Donald Trump. Judging from some
of tweets believed to be belonging to his Twitter account Dolan had antipathy against the would-be president, which did not fade
after the latter's inauguration.
Yet another one of Danchenko's "sources," called in the indictment "Russian Sub-Source-1," wasn't unbiased either being a "big fan" of Hillary Clinton. What's more this "source" was expecting to be rewarded with a job in the Hillary Clinton State Department should she win.
Remarkably, similar job expectations were voiced by Tech Executive-1 (identified by some observers as Rodney Joffe) in Durham's indictment of Michael Sussmann
. Tech Executive-1, who orchestrated the now debunked Trump-Alfa Bank research, claimed that he had been offered a position in the Hillary Clinton administration in the event she won the presidency.
There is yet another similarity between the two indictments: in both cases Durham highlights the role of Clinton campaign operatives, who were apparently aware if not involved in Christopher Steele's research and Sussmann's effort to implicate Trump.
5 October 2021, 16:30 GMT
Why Durham Should Dig Deeper
While the apparent involvement of politically biased actors casts doubt on the anti-Trump research, it also triggers suspicions of possible "conspiracy" in order to get rid of an undesired presidential candidate who then became the president, according to Charles Ortel.
"Since 1992, the Clintons have manipulated the mainstream media to distract attention away from the harmful influence they have had advocating for unregulated globalism that has led to gargantuan job losses and misery caused by diverting aid money from 'leaky' charities," he says. "While it is true that right wing elements targeted the Clintons, it is certainly true that the main conspiracy that occurred in 2015 and 2016 was to get Hillary Clinton into the White House and then bury scandals lurking in her past. Thereafter, once Trump won, conspirators did and do all they can to hide the truth about corruption and unregulated globalism."
The Wall Street analyst believes that Durham should dig deeper to understand why Team Clinton was so busy with smearing Donald Trump. According to him, the major reason for this was a series of scandals haunting the Clintons and their entourage and involving alleged money laundering, charity fraud and pay-to-play schemes. For decades these scandals largely remained under the rug
with IRS, FBI and DOJ operatives seeming unwilling to chase the influential political dynasty.
"Centrally involved in the later years, Perkins Coie and lawyers including Marc Elias assisted Hillary Clinton in winning the Democratic nomination for President in 2015 and 2016, then in trying to defeat candidate Donald Trump," Ortel says. "Perkins Coie, Elias and Sussmann also seem centrally involved in orchestrating the FBI and Department of Justice to paint Trump as a Russian agent."
26 November 2019, 17:02 GMT
Who's Next? & Why Top Democrats Could be Interested in Ditching the Clintons
It's hard to say who will be the next target of John Durham, since it could be virtually anyone from a vast group of people involved in peddling and fabricating the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, says Ortel. He adds that "in this regard, we must remember that Joe Biden, as vice president, was a pivotal force in decisions to target Trump".
At the same time, it's unlikely that Durham could be stopped by Attorney General Merrick Garland no matter how damaging the special counsel's investigation could be for the Democratic Party ahead of the 2022 midterms, Ortel believes. It would amount to "political suicide" for Garland if he stops funding Durham or throws sand in his gears, according to the analyst.
On the other hand, the Wall Street analyst does not rule out that some forces within the Biden administration are interested in getting rid of their "scandalous" party comrades and could support Durham's effort
"I suspect that Barack Obama, Kamala Harris and others are exhausted by the behaviour over decades of the Clinton family, Terry McAuliffe and their allies that reeks of corruption on a massive scale," Ortel says. "I also am certain that Bernie Sanders should be furious at the Clintons and McAuliffe. It is also important to remember that a large slice of the electorate is independent and disgusted with both parties so momentum for real change is substantial and growing."