Danchenko trial begins, charged with allegedly lying to FBI re: Trump-Russian collusion

The following is an excerpt from Just The News.

Opening arguments began Tuesday in the trial for Russian information analyst Igor Danchenko, with federal prosecutors attempting to make the case the defendant fabricated and concealed sources in talking to the FBI in connection with the Trump campaign-Russia collusion matters.   

Danchenko, who supplied information to the now-discredited Steele dossier, is on trial for allegedly lying to the FBI.

Prosecutors laid out five counts against Danchencko, with the first focusing on whether he talked to Democrat operative Charles Dolan about the dossier, which sought to smear and discredit Trump amid his 2016 presidential bid. 

The defense team in its open arguments dispute the prosecution’s account about the nature and matter of the conversations. 

The sides on Tuesday also disputed the facts about an alleged call Danchenko suggested he received from Belarusian-born businessman named Sergei Millian, who at the time was served as president of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce and whether information in the dossier was indeed from Millian.

“Danchenko never received such a phone call or such information from any person he believed to be” Millian, according to the indictment. “Rather, Danchenko fabricated these facts regarding” Millian.

The indictment also claims Danchenko “never spoke to” Millian at all, which would support Millian’s longstanding contention that he was not the source of any material in the dossier, according to ABC News.

The prosecution, led by prosecutor Mike Keilty, on Tuesday again argued no such call was made, or at least no record of such a call exists.

The defense team said the call was made on an untraceable phone app. 

The trial is being held in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division. 

This is the second trial for Special Counsel John Durham’s probe into the origins of the Trump-Russia collusion investigation. 

The first trial in May was for former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann, who was found not guilty this summer by a jury in Washington, D.C. of lying to the FBI.

Danchenko has pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

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