On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga ruled that the case against Igor Danchenko must be weighed by a jury. This means his trial is still on for next month. Trenga called it “an extremely close call” on whether or not to dismiss the case.
Danchenko was a key source for the 2016 “Steele dossier”, which is the source for the allegations about Donald Trump’s “ties” to Russia. Danchenko has been charged with lying to the FBI about the information he supported his claims with.
John Durham will now have to convince jurors of Danchenko’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Previously Durham had charged Michael Sussmann, a Hillary Clinton lawyer, with lying to the FBI. Sussman however was acquitted by a D.C. Jury in federal court in Alexandria Virginia.
Danchenko has pled not guilty, his statements that he made to the FBI in 2017 will be weighed by the jury. They will decide if Danchenko made the statements with intended willful deception that would have affected the FBI’s efforts to verify the claims in the dossier.
Christopher Steele was hired to produce the reports by the research firm Fusion GPS, which was hired by a law firm that represented Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.
His defense team requested the indictment be dismissed claiming earlier this month. Claiming Danchenko made “equivocal and speculative statements” to the FBI about “subjective” beliefs. That the case was “a case of extraordinary government overreach.”
It looks like it will now be in the hands of a jury to decide Danchenko’s fate.
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