“On Friday, Special Counsel John Durham finished presenting evidence in the Igor Danchenko trial.
The most damning part of the day, if not the trial? Testimony that FBI supervisors within the Mueller Special Counsel refused requests to interview a source for the Steele Dossier: longtime Democrat activist Charles Dolan.
But first we start with the redirect examination of a witness from Thursday afternoon – FBI Special Agent Kevin Helson – who handled Danchenko when he was a confidential human source. (Our prior article discussed Helson’s investigative failures at length.)
Durham questioned Helson about efforts to determine the Danchenko-Dolan connection in the summer of 2017. By that time, the Mueller Special Counsel had been ongoing since May 2017 and had, on its own, taken part in the last Carter Page FISA renewal. And if you recall from our last articles, Danchenko had been an FBI CHS since March 2017. Once Mueller was appointed, Helson was the go-between, asking Danchenko questions posed by the then-Special Counsel’s team.
By June 2017, the Mueller Special Counsel had developed information that Democrat Charles Dolan may have been a source of the Steele Dossier. They passed questions about Dolan to Agent Helson:
Q Who did those [Dolan] questions come from?
A It came from the Mueller investigative team, particularly Ms. [Amy] Anderson.
Durham also cleaned-up Helson’s sloppiness. The previous day, Helson testified that Danchenko didn’t know the Steele Dossier was going to the FBI. Helson admitted he didn’t have any evidence to support his own conclusion.
Q You were asked a question yesterday that you adopted — you were asked a question about, well, the defendant didn’t know that Steele’s reports were going to the FBI, and you said yes. Do you have any independent knowledge of that?
Q That’s just what the defendant told you, right?
Q So when you told the jury that he, Mr. Danchenko, didn’t know that they were going to the FBI, you don’t know that to be the case?
A I had no other knowledge that suggested that, no.
Q Right. There’s no independent evidence of any sort, correct?
A Yes, correct.
Helson was also asked about Danchenko’s lack of complete honesty with respect to his interactions with Charles Dolan and his travels to Moscow. As you’ll see, Helson’s answers also implicate his own failure to fully investigate his source.
Q Did Mr. Danchenko tell you about his having been in Moscow in June of 2016?
A No, he did not tell me that.
Q Did he tell you anything about his having met with or seen Mr. Dolan in Moscow in June of 2016?
A No, sir.
Q Do you recall, sir, whether or not you ever learned the dates on which Mr. Danchenko was in Moscow in June of 2016?
A I learned of it later.
Q And do you remember: When you learned at a later point in time he had been in Moscow in June of 2016, did you talk to him about that?
Danchenko’s June 2016 Moscow trip, where he met with Dolan, has significant timing because Danchenko flew from Moscow to London to give “a report”. Who was in London? Christopher Steele.
Durham also inquired about Helson’s October 24, 2017 interview of Danchenko. Helson described the purposes of that meeting:
“This meeting was — in part, it was a direction from the Mueller investigative team bringing up the discrepancies in the Sergei Millian matter, and they wanted me to go back specifically to ask the questions and get his response.”
Just so we’re clear – by October 24, 2017, the Mueller Team knew there were issues with Danchenko’s allegations about Sergei Millian. At a minimum, they were aware of the discrepancies in Danchenko’s claims about Millian. And how did Danchenko respond? By changing his story.
The importance is two-fold. First, it confirms to the Mueller Special Counsel that there are even more problems with Danchenko’s story. Second, it catches Danchenko in a lie that would, 4+ years later, be part of his own indictment. (Read more: Techno Fog/The Reactionary, 10/15/2022) (Archive)