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The trial of Igor Danchenko, the sub-source for the discredited Steele Dossier, was acquitted on four charges of lying to the FBI. Andrew McCarthy at National Review writes that the verdict is a blow to Russiagate special counsel John Durham, but it’s of secondary importance:

From a public-interest standpoint, far more consequential was the prosecution’s proof of egregious misconduct on the part of the FBI in “Crossfire Hurricane” (the bureau’s codename for the Trump-Russia investigation). I discussed that in more detail here and here.

Clearly, Durham’s four-year investigation has concluded that the claim that Trump colluded with the Kremlin was a political smear concocted by the Hillary Clinton campaign, and that the FBI was a willing collaborator in peddling it, including to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) in four sworn applications — between October 2016 and June 2017 — that were predicated in substantial part on the “dossier” compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, with Danchenko’s assistance.

Steele’s work was sponsored by the Clinton campaign through two intermediaries — Clinton’s lawyer Marc Elias hired the information firm Fusion GPS, which in turn retained Steele, who recruited Danchenko. The FBI knew that Steele was virulently anti-Trump, and that his faux intelligence reports were unverified political-opposition research. Bombshell evidence in the trial established that the bureau offered to pay Steele $1 million if he could prove his outlandish anti-Trump allegations, but he could not. Nevertheless, the FBI relied on Steele’s claims in applying under oath for surveillance warrants from the FISC.

Durham is expected to produce a final report within the next 6 months or so.

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