The Department of Justice is set to release a “large volume” of classified materials and documents related to the ‘Russiagate’ case this week, involving the main source for former British spy Christopher Steele’s dossier, which attempted to derail then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s candidacy and subsequent presidency.
That’s according to special counsel John Durham, who revealed the information in a Tuesday filing in which he also asked a federal judge to extend a deadline for the production of classified discovery in order to comply with the Classified Information Procedures Act, a law that outlines how classified documents must be protected in criminal cases.
Durham stated that he requires extra time since agency members are now dealing with matters related to Russia’s continuing war in Ukraine. “The government has supplied over 60,000 documents in unclassified discovery to date.” “A portion of these papers were initially labelled ‘classified,’ and the government has worked with the necessary declassification authorities to release the materials in an unclassified manner,” Durham wrote in a submission to the federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia.
“However, current global events in Ukraine have slowed the generation of classified discoveries.” “The FBI and intelligence professionals drafting and evaluating the papers are actively involved in Ukraine-related things,” Durham noted. “However,” Durham wrote, “the government will release a considerable amount of classified discovery this week and will continue its efforts to produce documents in classified discovery on a rolling basis, no later than the suggested timelines set forth below.”
The case revolves around Igor Danchenko, a Russian researcher based in the United States, who was charged in November with five counts of making false statements to the FBI in 2017 about the information he provided to Steele for his discredited dossier during the 2016 election, according to the Washington Examiner.
Danchenko, who has pled not guilty, signed a waiver in December consenting to be represented by the same law firm that represents members of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, despite Durham’s worries about a conflict of interest.
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The case centers on Igor Danchenko, a Russian researcher based in the United States who was charged in November with five counts of making false statements to the FBI in 2017 about information he provided to Steele for his discredited dossier during the 2016 election, according to the Washington Examiner.
Despite Durham’s worries about a potential conflict of interest, Danchenko signed a waiver in December agreeing to be represented by the same law firm that represents members of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
When interrogated by the FBI, Danchenko allegedly relied on a network of Russian contacts, contradicted major Trump-Russia collusion charges, and had previously been probed as a possible national security danger owing to probable Russian intelligence links.
Durham’s false statements allegations allege that he anonymously provided a claim concerning Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort to longtime Clinton associate Chuck Dolan, who worked for Russian enterprises and the Russian government for many years, including 2016.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz of the Justice Department stated in a report issued in December 2019 that the Steele dossier had a “central and critical” role in the FBI’s decision to initiate a counterintelligence investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign.
The efforts to obtain wiretap orders against former Trump campaign associate Carter Page were eventually successful, but only after “serious missteps and errors,” according to the Washington Examiner, which included concealing “potentially exculpatory information from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.”
Horowitz also claimed that Danchenko refuted Steele’s unsubstantiated assertions of a “well-developed conspiracy” between Trump and Russia, despite the fact that Steele has continued to defend his now-discredited dossier as late as this month. He spoke at an Oxford Union talk last week, following an appearance on the BBC as a Russian commentator a few days before.