Igor Danchenko, a Russian national, received more than $200,000 from the FBI between 2017 and late 2020 for acting as a confidential human source.
On the third day of Igor Danchenko’s trial, FBI Special Agent Kevin Helson gave testimony. Danchenko is a Russian national who was the main sub-source for former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele’s anti-Trump dossier.
Danchenko was accused on five counts by Special Counsel John Durham of lying to the FBI. To all accusations, Danchenko has entered a not guilty plea.
FBI OFFERED CHRISTOPHER STEELE $1,000,000 FOR CORROBORATING TRUMP ALLEGATIONS IN DOSSIER AS PART OF THE DURHAM PROBE
In a document filed last month, Durham disclosed that from January 2017 to October 2020, the FBI paid Danchenko to serve as a trusted source.
Igor Danchenko, a citizen of Russia
Danchenko received more than $200,000 from the FBI for his efforts over the three and a half years he was an FBI informant, according to Helson’s testimony on Thursday.
Helson said that the FBI occasionally paid Danchenko up to $3,000 for hosting only one meeting.
When Danchenko’s status as an FBI source was terminated, Helson said that he submitted a request for an additional $346,000 payment, but that the request was denied.
The FBI would have paid Danchenko more than $500,000 if the final lump sum had been granted.
Helson, though, supported Danchenko and his work for the FBI, claiming that he was a significant human source and that losing him as an informant would be detrimental to American national security.
GRASSLEY AND JOHNSON DEMAND ANSWERS TO THE QUESTION OF WHY THE FBI PAID IGOR DANCHENKO AS A SOURCE DURING THE TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE
Helson said that Danchenkos source network was the most outstanding he had ever seen in 20 years of working for the FBI.
Helson’s testimony, between 2017 and 2020, Danchenkos’ information aided about 25 FBI investigations that were potentially dangerous to “him and his family.”
Stuart Sears, the defense attorney, questioned Danchenko on the cross-examination if he “re-shaped the way the U.S. government perceives threats.”
According to Helson’s testimony, the FBI “stood up a new unit” as a result of the lessons it learnt from dealing with Danchenko.
Danchenko was the focus of an FBI counterintelligence probe from 2009 to 2011, according to a 2020 Fox News story.
Danchenko’s interactions with alleged Russian intelligence personnel and his attempts to facilitate payments for secret material were the main subjects of that FBI investigation.
On Thursday, when Special Counsel John Durham questioned Helson about the issue, Helson retaliated by supporting Danchenko, calling the information “hearsay at best,” and emphasizing that there had been no charges filed.
Durham, however, disclosed that the agent who presented the case had spent nearly two decades in Europe as an Army counterintelligence officer.
In the IGOR DANCHENKO trial, Durham chastises the FBI for failing to cooperate with the Steele dossier used to obtain a FISA warrant.
In response, Helson said that the same agent claimed that Danchenko was a working Russian intelligence operative, “which just wasn’t accurate,” and that her experience in Europe wouldn’t necessarily make her an authority on Russian surveillance operations in the United States.
Durham questioned Helson about whether he had had Danchenko take a polygraph to determine his motivations, but Helson denied doing so.
Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer, used Danchenko as his main secondary source when compiling his anti-Trump dossier.
Through law firm Perkins Coie, the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid for the dossier, which was ordered by opposition research firm Fusion GPS.
A Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant and subsequent extensions on Carter Page, a member of the Trump campaign, were based on the dossier.
The dossier, according to
DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz in 2019, was used to support the initial FISA warrant and its three renewals. The dossier, according to Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, was the initial justification for the warrants and Page’s surveillance.
After accounting for the FBI’s false information, the Justice Department acknowledged in 2020 that the FISA warrants to monitor Page did not meet the requisite legal requirements and should have have been issued.
This week, it emerged via evidence that the FBI had contacted Steele in 2017 with an offer of $1 million for him to verify the details and claims in the dossier. Steele was unable to.