Posted by on January 13, 2022 2:08 pm
Categories: News Washington Examiner

Judge sets trial date for Steele source represented by law firm linked to Clinton

Igor Danchenko leaves Albert V. Bryan United States Courthouse in Alexandria, Va., Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021. Danchenko, a Russian analyst who contributed to a dossier of Democratic-funded research into ties between Russia and Donald Trump, was arrested Thursday on charges of lying to the FBI about his sources of information, among them an associate of Hillary Clinton. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Judge sets trial date for Steele source represented by law firm linked to Clinton

Jerry Dunleavy January 13, 01:55 PMJanuary 13, 01:56 PM

The judge presiding over the case of Igor Danchenko set a trial date for October as he approved a waiver allowing the defendant to have the same lawyers as former Hillary Clinton campaign aides involved in a related inquiry.

Danchenko, a U.S.-based and Russian-born researcher and the main source for Christopher Steele’s anti-Trump dossier, signed a waiver last month agreeing to be defended by the same law firm representing members of Clinton’s presidential campaign. The waiver came despite conflict of interest concerns raised by special counsel John Durham.

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Judge Anthony Trenga of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia made the rulings on Wednesday.

Although Durham raised concerns, his team accepted Danchenko’s waiver. Trenga questioned Danchenko directly to ensure he understood the implications of the decision.

Durham told a federal court in December that he is scrutinizing members of Clinton’s 2016 campaign as part of his criminal inquiry into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation. A potential conflict arose because the same law firm could have access to important nonpublic information involving two parties with potentially divergent interests.

Kash Patel, the former chief of staff for acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller and a former top investigator for Republican Rep. Devin Nunes who helped with the Nunes FISA memo, last month told the Washington Examiner, “Now, the Clinton camp is nested in the Danchenko case, and the firm has access to all Durham discovery, including all information related to investigation of Clinton campaign conduct.”

The waiver signed by Danchenko stated, “I voluntarily waive any actual or potential conflicts of interest, and choose to continue with my current counsel of choice.”

Danchenko was charged last year with five counts of making false statements to the FBI. Durham’s indictment said Danchenko made these statements about the information he provided to Steele for his dossier, which the FBI relied upon when pursuing authority for the flawed secret surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Andrew McCarthy, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and a former federal prosecutor, told the Washington Examiner that the agreement indicates the Clinton operatives won’t face prosecution.

“This concession that the conflict is waivable is the ballgame,” McCarthy said. “This makes me feel even more comfortable in my prediction that Durham is not going to indict any Clinton campaign people — his intention almost certainly is to write a narrative report that [only] rebukes the Clinton campaign.”

Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded in December 2019 that the dossier Danchenko contributed to played a “central and essential” role in the FBI’s effort to wiretap associates of then-President Donald Trump. The DOJ watchdog determined the FBI’s investigation was filled with serious missteps and errors and concealed potentially exculpatory information from the FISA Court.

The judge set the trial date for Oct. 11, when the jury selection will begin. He also said Durham’s team must produce its classified discovery and hand it over to the defense by the end of March and set further deadlines for a number of filings from both sides ahead of the trial.

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Originally appeared at Washington Examiner

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