Senator Lindsey Graham calls it the “most stunning and damning revelation” yet in investigating Crossfire Hurricane. In 2010, the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation on and considered obtaining a warrant to wiretap, Igor Danchenko, who years later became the primary source for Christopher Steele’s dossier.
A bombshell FBI memo released Thursday stated investigators had pursued a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant against Danchenko in 2010, “years before the bureau relied heavily on information that he had provided Steele, a former British spy, to obtain FISA’s against Carter Page” reported the Daily Caller.
A FISA warrant was pursued because Danchenko had contact with suspected Russian intelligence officers in Washington D.C. in 2005 and 2006. “The document says that the FBI had an investigation into Danchenko open from May 2009 to March 2011, based on an interaction he allegedly had with three employees of an American think tank” reported The Daily Caller News Foundation.
A Russian analyst for the liberal foreign policy think tank the Brookings Institution, an employee inferred Danchenko told colleagues if they got jobs in the government and secured classified security clearances, he “might put them in touch with people so they could ‘make a little extra money.”
The FBI memo specifically states, “the coworker did express suspicion of the employee and had questioned the possibility that the employee might actually be a Russian spy.” The FBI interviewed several of Danchenko’s associates. One said he often presented pro-Russian viewpoints but did not believe he was anti-American.
Two others interviewed noted Danchenko “persistently” asked them about their knowledge of a U.S. military vessel. “The memo says that an FBI field office initiated the process for applying for a FISA on Danchenko in July 2010. The bureau dropped the issue after Danchenko left the country September 2010.” An investigation into Danchenko was never reopened, even when he returned to the U.S.
According to the document, the FBI was also aware of information about Danchenko by December 2016. Nevertheless, Danchenko was Steele’s source, a former M16 officer hired by the Clinton campaign and DNC to investigate the Trump campaign. Additionally, “A Justice Department inspector general’s report released Dec. 9 said that the FBI received evidence in January and February 2017 that Russian intelligence officers may have fed false information into Steele’s network of sources.” Amongst Steele’s network of sources, was Igor Danchenko.