“The judge presiding over the case against Igor Danchenko, a source for British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s discredited dossier on former President Donald Trump, ruled he won’t dismiss the indictment but expressed skepticism about some of the false statements charges brought by special counsel John Durham.
“The motion is denied,” the judge ruled during the Alexandria court hearing. However, the judge said he would revisit his ruling after Durham’s team had presented its full case during the October trial. Trenga, a George W. Bush appointee who has sat on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, added that “I think it’s an extremely close call, particularly with count one” related to longtime Hillary Clinton ally Chuck Dolan.”
The November 2021 indictment said Danchenko anonymously sourced a fabricated claim about Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort to Dolan, who spent years, including 2016, doing work in Russia. Danchenko also allegedly lied to the FBI about a phone call he claimed he received from Sergei Millian, who Danchenko claimed told him about a conspiracy of cooperation between Trump and the Russians.
The judge said he “has to conclude at this point” that he couldn’t say definitively that Danchenko’s statement related to Dolan was literally true, concluding that “there are sufficient arguments of context” to allow the trial to move forward.
Trenga also said that, regarding the Millian-related charges, he “can’t conclude that there is an undisputed fact that is not actionable” through criminal charges.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 9/29/2022) (Archive)