Former President Donald Trump on Monday praised special counsel John Durham’s work, calling it “amazing” following the indictment last week of Igor Danchenko, who is believed to be a primary source of information contained in the infamous anti-Trump Steele dossier.
Wall Street Journal editorial board member Kimberly Strassel argued following Danchenko’s indictment that a more accurate description of that document should be the “Clinton dossier,” since it was Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign that, in part, funded it and people affiliated with the campaign allegedly fed false information used in it.
“It really has come out,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News. “In all fairness, while it has taken a long time, hats off to John Durham.”
“Hats off, because, it’s coming out, and it is coming out at a level — Durham has come out with things that are absolutely amazing,” the 45th president added.
“We all sort of knew that happened, and now we have facts, and I think they’re only going to get deeper and deeper — and it all leads back to the Democrats, Hillary and the dirty lawyers,” he said.
Trump said Clinton’s lawyers were always after him and the entire effort was a “disgrace.”
“What they did was so illegal, at a level that you’ve rarely seen before,” he said. “Now, in all fairness, it looks to me like this is just the early building blocks.”
Danchenko — a Russian national who worked at the liberal Brookings Institute in D.C. — was arrested on Thursday and charged with five counts of making false statements to the FBI regarding information he compiled and gave to former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, who used it in writing the dossier.
#Durham: 39-page indictment Igor Danchenko stands out because it makes the linkage between Clinton campaign/lawyer, opposition research known as “Steele Dossier” used by FBI to obtain surveillance warrants for Trump campaign aide @carterwpage + then Special Counsel Mueller probe. pic.twitter.com/XVGvUpfYnL
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) November 4, 2021
Steele had been hired by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which had been hired by the Washington, D.C.-based law firm Perkins Coie, paid directly by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
In September, Durham indicted attorney Michael Sussman for allegedly making false statements to the FBI. Sussman was a partner at Perkins Coie during the 2016 presidential race but resigned in September after the DOJ’s indictment.
In addition to Danchenko and Sussman, Durham charged former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith for changing the information on a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant application to surveil 2016 Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Clinesmith pleaded guilty in August 2020.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board contended the case Durham seems to be building is that the FBI was “duped” by the Steele dossier.
“The purpose was to present the FBI with oppo-research that masqueraded as ‘intelligence,’ and it worked. Mrs. Clinton lost the election, but the Russia tale sabotaged an incoming President with relentless media assaults and a special counsel investigation. The country spent years obsessing over the Trump conspiracy that didn’t exist—rather than the Clinton conspiracy that did,” it argued.
“The Durham indictments treat the FBI as the duped party, but the record shows former FBI director James Comey and his investigators knew from the summer of 2016 that Clinton campaign fingerprints were all over the dossier,” the board said.
“A transcript in the Danchenko indictment suggests that FBI officials knew Mr. Danchenko was lying in the 2017 interviews. But they did nothing to blow the whistle, nor to tell the public or Congress everything they had learned about the origins of the Russia collusion tale.”
Strassel, who carefully covered the DOJ’s Russia probe and its aftermath, contended on the Fox News program “The Journal Editorial Report” over the weekend that in light of Durham’s discoveries, former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report “is looking more and more like a coverup.”
She shares Trump’s assessment that Durham is laying the building blocks for further charges.
“From what has been laid out in these indictments so far,” Strassel said, “there is a big cast of characters and plenty to choose from. And given, again, the way these indictments have been written, it certainly leads one to believe that there is yet more to come.”
In a Saturday opinion piece for The Hill, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley suggested that the cast could go all the way up to Clinton herself.
“Steele also has testified that it was his understanding that Clinton was aware of his work and the development of the dossier,” Turley wrote. “Yet during the campaign and long afterward, Clinton never admitted that her campaign funded the dossier, despite media and congressional inquiries about that fact.”
…The question is whether Durham really wants to indict just the tail if he can get the whole dog — a question which now may weigh heavily on a number of Washington figures, just as it did following Durham’s indictment in September of Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann.
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) November 6, 2021
The professor also tweeted, “The question is whether Durham really wants to indict just the tail if he can get the whole dog — a question which now may weigh heavily on a number of Washington figures.”