Daisy-Chain: The FBI Appears to Have Asked Danchenko Whether Dolan Was a Source for Steele, Not Danchenko

You might be under the impression that John Durham has charged Igor Danchenko with multiple counts of lying regarding the role of Charles Dolan in the sourcing of the dossier. You might similarly be under the impression that, in the indictment, Durham alleges that Dolan was the source for the pee tape.

You’d be forgiven for believing those things. After all, the WaPo reported charges, plural, showed that “some of the material” in the Steele dossier came from Dolan.

The indictment also suggests Danchenko may have lied to Steele and others about where he was getting his information. Some of the material came from a Democratic Party operative with long-standing ties to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, according to the charges, rather than well-connected Russians with insight into the Kremlin.

The allegations cast new uncertainty on some past reporting on the dossier by news organizations, including The Washington Post.

Relying on that report, Jonathan Swan described charges, plural, that Dolan was, “one of the sources for the rumors about Trump.”

And Barry Meier, who so badly misunderstood the import of Oleg Deripaska in his book on private intelligence, also claimed there were charges, plural, relating to Dolan and insinuated that Durham had alleged the pee tape came from him.

In Durham’s indictment, however, Danchenko comes across more like the type of paid informant often found in the world of private spying — one who tells their employer what they want to hear.

According to those charges, he supposedly fed Steele some information that did not come from Kremlin-linked sources, as the dossier claims, but was gossip he picked up from an American public-relations executive with Democratic Party ties who did business in Moscow. In 2016, the indictment states, the manager of the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow gave that executive a tour of the the hotel’s presidential suite, and soon afterward, Danchenko took a selfie of himself and the executive at the hotel.

Reporting on Danchenko’s arraignment, WaPo went off at more length, not only failing to distinguish an uncharged accusation as such (one likely source of the belief that Durham charged multiple counts pertaining to Dolan), but stating as fact that Danchenko made up an entire conversation — one Danchenko has consistently attributed to a named Russian source — regarding the pee tape.

He is also accused of lying about revealing to sources that he was working for Steele.

Durham says Danchenko made up a conversation he claimed was the source of one of the dossier’s most salacious claims, that Trump paid prostitutes at a Moscow hotel room to urinate on a bed in which President Barack Obama had once slept. The dossier also suggested Russian intelligence agencies had secretly recorded that event as potential blackmail material. Trump has denied any such encounter.

The indictment suggests that story came from Dolan, who in June 2016 toured a suite at a hotel in Moscow that was once occupied by Trump.

There is a single charge related to Dolan in the Danchenko indictment. It claims that Danchenko, “denied to the FBI that he had spoken with [Dolan] about any material contained in the Company Reports.”

On or about June 15, 2017, within the Eastern District of Virginia, IGOR DANCHENKO, the defendant, did willfully and knowingly make a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement or representation in a matter before the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the Government of the United States, to wit, on or about June 15, 2017, the defendant denied to agents of the FBI that he had spoken with PR Executive-1 about any material contained in the Company Reports, when in truth and in fact, and as the defendant well knew, PR Executive-1 was the source for an allegation contained in a Company Report dated August 22, 2016 and was otherwise involved in the events and information described in the reports. [my emphasis]

But Durham only claims that Dolan was the source for one report in the dossier, a claim that Manafort was forced to resign not just because of the revelations of his Ukrainian corruption, but also because Corey Lewandowski had it in for him.

Close associate of TRUMP explains reasoning behind [Manafort’s] recent resignation. Ukraine revelations played part but others wanted [Manafort] out for various reasons, especially [Lewandowski] who remains influential


Speaking separately, also in late August 2016, an American political figure associated with Donald TRUMP and his campaign outlined the reasons behind [Manafort’s] recent demise. S/he said it was true that the Ukraine corruption revelations had played a part in this, but also, several senior players close to TRUMP had wanted [Manafort] out, primarily to loosen his control on strategy and policy formulation. Of particular importance in this regard was [Manafort’s] predecessor as campaign manager, [Lewandowski], who hated [Manafort] personally and remained close to TRUMP with whom he discussed the presidential campaign on a regular basis.

This may be the most provably accurate claim in the dossier. And for good reason: that’s because, as Dolan told the FBI, he didn’t get it from a friend of his, but instead from public news sources.

PR Executive-1 later acknowledged to the FBI that he never met with a “GOP friend” in relation to this information that he passed to DANCHENKO, but, rather, fabricated the fact of the meeting in his communications with DANCHENKO. PR Executive-1 instead obtained the information about Campaign Manager-1 from public news sources. According to PR Executive-1, he (PR Executive-1) was not aware at the time of the specifics of DANCHENKO’s “project against Trump,” or that DANCHENKO’s reporting would be provided to the FBI.

Durham makes no claim that Danchenko knew that Dolan had a make-believe GOP friend. And, as noted, Dolan told the FBI (it’s unclear whether this was Durham’s team or Mueller’s, which is actually critical to the viability of this charge) that at this point in August 2016, two months after the pee tape report, he did not know the specifics of the dossier project.

I don’t doubt that Dolan was the source for the (accurate) Lewandowski claim. And if Durham can also prove that Danchenko considered himself the source for this report (Danchenko seems not to have recognized some reports that Christopher Steele based on his reporting) and that he remembered this particular report when he was asked this question, then Durham might well make this charge stick.

As for the pee tape, Durham insinuates that Dolan had some role in it (and, given Durham’s focus on Dolan’s Democratic ties, suggests it was willful) based on the accusation that Danchenko denied that Dolan, “was otherwise involved in the events and information described in the reports,” which is so vague it’s not clear whether Durham actually knows what actually happened with this and the other allegation relating to Dolan in question. Indeed, given that both Danchenko and Steele injected inaccuracies into the process and neither has records of what occurred between them, it would be hard to know for sure.

In his explanation for that report in his first interviews, Danchenko definitely seems to have either borrowed the events Dolan participated in at the Ritz Hotel (Dolan was there in June 2016 to plan a conference that took place in October 2016, and Danchenko visited at the hotel during his own June 2016 trip to Moscow) or independently asked questions of staffers while he was visiting Dolan. That’s because Danchenko’s description suggests “he had a meeting with the managers” in June 2016 that Durham notes, he didn’t attend.

[H]e had a meeting with the managers [redacted]. During a free minute, he asked about “this stuff about Trump at the hotel.” His interlocutors laughed it off, stating that “all kinds of things happen at the hotel” and with celebrities, “one never knows what they’re doing.” [Danchenko] said that it wasn’t a denial. And asking the hotel staff who were assisting with the [redacted] arrangements, one girl commented that “anything goes at the hotel, and added that, “officially, we don’t have prostitutes.”

I’m agnostic; Danchenko might have been deliberately lying here or forgetful — he definitely corrected misimpressions between his first and second day of interviews without prompting from FBI. But he cleaned this claim up in one of his later interviews (Durham does not describe how long it took FBI to clarify this, and it actually matters to several aspects of his case).

During the Interviews in or about 201 7 in which he was asked about this Company Report, DANCHENKO initially claimed to have stayed at the Moscow Hotel in June 2016. DANCHENKO later acknowledged in a subsequent interview, however, that he did not stay at the Moscow Hotel until the October Conference.

He also, in a March 2017 interview, claimed the staff member of the hotel had not confirmed the pee tape allegation, only that there was chatter about such claims (though this claim, too, may have involved Danchenko borrowing the experience of Dolan to claim he had met with a hotel staffer).

he/she spoke with at least one staff member at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Moscow who said that there were stories concerning Trump’s alleged sexual activities, not that the activities themselves had been confirmed by the staff member

If Danchenko knowingly lied, it seems to have involved borrowing details from the events Dolan attended to make his own account sound more credible, effectively to explain away why he had such ready access to Ritz staffers. That would require no involvement from Dolan aside from sharing details of his own itinerary with Danchenko at lunch and having them unknowingly used to lend credibility to rumors Danchenko was already sharing. Yet the WaPo nevertheless reported as fact that, “The indictment suggests that story came from Dolan.”

I’m not saying Danchenko didn’t either lie or shade his testimony or simply work from memory because he, by design, had almost no records of his work. But that doesn’t mean the charge — to say nothing of Durham’s gratuitous effort to link it to Hillary — is sound.

That’s because the FBI appears to have asked Danchenko not whether Dolan had been a source of Danchenko’s, but instead whether Dolan had been a source for Steele.

Here are the transcript excerpts Durham includes from the June 15, 2017 interview which — as a declassified footnote from the DOJ IG Report has made clear, occurred almost immediately after FBI obtained materials under Section 702 that would have revealed Danchenko’s role in introducing Dolan to Olga Galkina and the extensive follow-up communications between Galkina and Dolan.

FBI AGENT-1: Um, because obviously I don’t think you’re the only …


FBI AGENT-1: Person that has been contributing. You may have said one – and this is the other thing we are trying to figure out.

[ … ]

FBI AGENT-1: Do you know a [PR Executive-1]?

DANCHENKO: Do I know [PR Executive-1]? Yeah.

FBI AGENT-1: How long have you known him? [laughing] [pause]

DANCHENKO: I’ve known [PR-Executive-1] for [pause] I don’t know, a couple years maybe.

FBI AGENT-1: Couple years?

DANCHENKO: But but but but but but but I’ve known of him for like 12 years.

[ … ]

DANCHENKO: Yeah. Yeah he likes Russia. I don’t think he is, uh, – would be any way be involved. But-but-uh-b-but he’s uh [UI] what I would think would be easily played. Maybe. Uh, he’s a bit naive in his, um liking of Russia.

FBI AGENT-1: Okay, so you’ve had … was there any … but you had never talked to [PR Executive-1] about anything that showed up in the dossier [Company Reports] right?


FBI AGENT-1: You don’t think so?

DANCHENKO: No. We talked about, you know, related issues perhaps but no, no, no, nothing specific. [emphasis Durham’s]

The exchange starts with the FBI Agent saying, “I don’t think you’re the only … person that has been contributing,” presumably to the dossier. This is consistent with Steele’s (weak) claims to have had other  reporting sources besides Danchenko. And it’s consistent with repeated comments from Danchenko that he didn’t know whether or not he was the only subsource collecting for Steele.

Of particular note, on January 25, 2017, Danchenko said this about one of the three reports that Durham insinuates came second-hand from Dolan, one describing the replacement of a staffer at the Russian Embassy in DC.

Looking at Report 2016/111, [Danchenko] was asked about the report’s use of the descriptor, “a trusted compatriot.” — as in paragraph one, “Speaking in confidence to a trusted compatriot in mid-September 2016…” [Danchenko] said that it might be him, but that it could also be others. [Danchenko’s] attorney then jumped in, stating that the “literary device” used by Steele in the dossier was not consistent and not clear, so he wanted to be careful about matching that descriptor to his client. [Danchenko said that, to the best of his knowledge, he is not sure if he was the only one working on this issue for Orbis [and therefore he is not clear if he is always the “trusted compatriot” mentioned in the document.]

Interviewers drew [Danchenko’s] attention to paragraph 5 of the same report, where Mikhail Kalugin [written as Kulagin] is mentioned. [Danchenko] is not clear how this paragraph was put together. [Danchenko] indicated that no MFA official told him [redacted] because of the election issue. About [redacted], [Danchenko] knows that [redacted]. Danchenko knows that [redacted] [Danchenko] that [redacted] was his replacement [redacted] Kalugin had described Bondarev as “a bright young guy.” Danchenko has no idea where the language in this paragraph regarding [redacted] being “clean in this regard” (with respect to knowledge and involvement in US election matters [redacted]).

Danchenko had offered up the explanation that Durham now claims was him taking credit for the report as part of a rambling explanation for why he had the business card for the Russian source in question (the FBI analyst put it under a heading with the report number, but by description that’s not how it was first broached).

Whether Steele had other reporting sources in addition to Danchenko or not, the FBI Agent started this line of questioning based on the assumption Steele did, stating that he was trying to figure out who else was “contributing” to the dossier in the same way Danchenko was. Given the messages between Galkina and Dolan that FBI would have just obtained via Section 702, it would be unsurprising if the FBI suspected Dolan was a source for Steele, not least because he had better personal access than Danchenko did, he and Galkina were talking about things that showed up in the dossier, and Steele and Dolan had been in touch since the spring.

Depending on how quickly after that question the FBI raised Dolan (note the ellipsis), then, Danchenko may well have fairly understood this entire line of questioning to pertain to whether Dolan was not his own, Danchenko’s, source, but Steele’s. If so, then the question of whether Danchenko spoke to Dolan about stuff that showed up in the dossier might be viewed in a variety of different ways, including whether Dolan admitted he was a source for Steele. And while Danchenko’s denial that he and Dolan ever spoke of anything specific that showed up in the dossier would be a clearly knowing lie if, when he was asked it, he understood himself to be the source of the Paul Manafort report, remembered the report, and hadn’t gotten a second source for the claim, Danchenko did not deny outright that he and Dolan spoke about matters “related” to the dossier, just “nothing specific.”

That’s all the more true given something else Danchenko said in his first interviews, describing how he worked. “He used his existing contacts and daisy-chained from them to try to identify others with relevant information.” If, for example, Danchenko got the names of the Ritz personnel from Dolan, “daisy-chaining” from his existing contact (Dolan) to people Dolan met with at the hotel, either to talk with them directly or to fluff up the report to Steele, he might regard those as “related” to the subject of the report, but not the specific detail — the pee tape allegation — in it.

He may well have answered inaccurately to an FBI question or outright lied, but it’s not clear that the FBI was asking him the question that Durham now treats the answer as. And there’s no evidence that, in the remainder of the June 2017 interview or the two later interviews with Danchenko in 2017 (both of which took place after Steele was interviewed) the FBI ever asked about the three specific reports that Durham now believes have some tie to Dolan, which is what it would take to have a solid false statements charge. By comparison, George Papadopoulos wrote the FBI claiming to have checked his record on timing of his contacts with Joseph Mifsud and reiterated his false timeline with the FBI and FBI Agents repeatedly cued Mike Flynn with language he used in his conversations with Sergei Kislyak to make sure he was really lying.

The crazier thing about all this comes from Durham’s materiality claim.

PR Executive-1’s role as a contributor of information to the Company Reports was highly relevant and material to the FBI’s evaluation of those reports because (a) PR Executive-1 maintained pre-existing and ongoing relationships with numerous persons named or described in the Company Reports, including one of DANCHENKO’s Russian sub-sources ( detailed below), (b) PR Executive-1 maintained historical and ongoing involvement in Democratic politics, which bore upon PR Executive-1’s reliability, motivations, and potential bias as a source of information for the Company Reports, and (c) DANCHENKO gathered some of the information contained in the Company Reports at events in Moscow organized by PR Executive-1 and others that DANCHENKO attended at PR Executive-1 ‘s invitation. Indeed, and as alleged below, certain allegations that DANCHENKO provided to U.K. Person-1, and which appeared in the Company

Danchenko revealed the import of the Dolan-organized events in the first interviews — that’s literally part of the “proof” Durham offers that Danchenko lied about it. FBI learned of Dolan’s close ties to Galkina via Section 702 collection before this alleged lie, and when Danchenko was asked in that same June 2017 interview, he explained the key details, effectively confirming what FBI would have learned from its FISA collection (and thereby seemingly passing one test of his candor).

In a later part of the conversation, DANCHENKO stated, in substance and in part, that PR Executive-1 had traveled on the October “delegation” to Moscow; that PR Executive-1 conducted business with Business-1 and Russian Sub-source-1; and that PR Executive-1 had a professional relationship with Russian Press Secretary-1.

That leaves, for the question of materiality, Dolan’s “historical and ongoing involvement in Democratic politics, which bore upon PR Executive-1’s reliability, motivations, and potential bias as a source of information for the Company Reports.”

Again, the Paul Manafort report may be the most provably correct report in the entire dossier. Claiming (correctly) that Manafort was ousted not just because of his corrupt ties in Ukraine — a claim that Republicans have spent five years claiming was just a propaganda campaign launched by Democrats — but also because others wanted him out actually undercuts the story that has always claimed to be the most useful to Democrats. The report on Embassy staff changes was, Durham suggests, based directly off quotes Dolan got from the staffer in question; indeed, Durham points to the accuracy of those quotations to prove the report came from Dolan. There was a flourish added — that the person in question was untainted by involvement with the Russian election operation — which Danchenko disclaims, but there’s no evidence the flourish comes from Dolan (or even Danchenko — it’s the kind of thing Steele seems to have added). In other words, assuming Dolan was the source for the things Durham claims he was, Dolan seems to have been the most accurate source for the dossier.

There was an unbelievable amount of shit in the dossier and it would be useful if there were an accounting of how that happened (which Durham is not doing here). The Danchenko-to-Steele reporting process (which, contrary to Durham’s claims, Danchenko candidly laid out in his first interviews with the FBI) was one source of the problems with the dossier. But at least as much of the shit seems to come from Danchenko’s sources, several of whom had ties to Russian intelligence and who may have been deliberately injecting disinformation into the process. Instead of focusing on that — on Russians who may have been deliberately feeding lies into the process — Durham instead focuses on Dolan, not because Durham claims he wittingly shared bad information to harm Trump (his one lie served to boost an accurate story that went against the grain of the Democrats’ preferred narrative), but because as a Democrat he — not Russian spies — is being treated by Durham as an adversary.

Danchenko posts

The Igor Danchenko Indictment: Structure

John Durham May Have Made Igor Danchenko “Aggrieved” Under FISA

“Yes and No:” John Durham Confuses Networking with Intelligence Collection

Daisy-Chain: The FBI Appears to Have Asked Danchenko Whether Dolan Was a Source for Steele, Not Danchenko

Source 6A: John Durham’s Twitter Charges

John Durham: Destroying the Purported Victims to Save Them

John Durham’s Cut-and-Paste Failures — and Other Indices of Unreliability

Aleksej Gubarev Drops Lawsuit after DOJ Confirms Steele Dossier Report Naming Gubarev’s Company Came from His Employee

In Story Purporting to “Reckon” with Steele’s Baseless Insinuations, CNN Spreads Durham’s Unsubstantiated Insinuations

On CIPA and Sequestration: Durham’s Discovery Deadends

The Disinformation that Got Told: Michael Cohen Was, in Fact, Hiding Secret Communications with the Kremlin

49 replies
  1. Zirc says:

    I’m trying to follow this flow with regard to Durham’s state of mind. Is he a lying hack twisting all evidence to arrive at a plausible charge against those he’s been hired to damage? Is he a true believer who seizes at any evidence he finds to construct a case that, as far as he’s sincerely concerned, makes perfect sense?


    • Dopey-o says:

      A third possible explanation is that Durham sees his mission as protecting the DOJ / FBI, who were hamstrung by all the lies and skull-duggery of Hillary & Co.

      I mean, the most powerful investigative body in America was baffled and disarmed by a slim volume of opposition research.

      IIRC, Durham’s charter was to uncover FBI malfeasance regarding Trump / Russia. Years in, I think he has revealed none. Curious outcome.

        • Dopey-o says:

          Sorry, snark tag malfunction. I was using a yet-unknown rhetorical device to suggest a third possible explanation for Durham’s actions: bad faith.
          Occam’s Razor….
          The FBI is not baffled or ham-strung. Hillary & Co are not diabolically clever operators.
          Durham is creating distractions. “Just say it was corrupt and let me and the R congressmen do the rest.”

          • Tom Marney says:

            ‘…a yet-unknown rhetorical device” *laughs good-naturedly*

            After the initial wtf, I understood and appreciated your comment. And a lot of these people do actually believe that Hillary Clinton is some kind of supervillain.

            Skullduggery is one word, though. :)

      • Yargelsnogger says:

        Oh, please iterate what those lies & skulldudgery by Hillary & Co were?

        And why do you think the FBI was baffled/disarmed by Steele’s oppo research? it seems to me that they took a look at it and disposed of the salacious/unverifiable elements of it pretty effectively and maintained a focus where there was some there there; Manafort, Stone, and to a lesser degree Papadopolous.

        • Zirc says:

          In fairness to Dopey-o, he couches the comment as what “Durham sees.” Unless, he replies and says I’m wrong, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.


    • Tim Tuttle says:

      I would add that Durham isn’t just in Barr’s legal posse, he is also in Bill’s tight knit Theo-fascist community (a right wing hard core Catholic government). It’s no joke. Rather serious in fact. Ask why Alito, Gorsuch and Kavs, Bennett got railroaded in by Leo and the Fed Society? These are Barr’s circle. Who funds the Fed Society? Dunno but I’d love to hear the USCCB deny involvement. McConnell sure takes orders from someone. Durham is big time believer in the Church (is he Opus Dei? Dunno). He’s on the Barr theocracy wheel for certain.

      • Dopey-o says:

        Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (RI-D) has written extensively about the dark money behind judicial appointments. You may find some answers by reading him.
        Jeff Sharlet’s “The Family” lays out the history and structure of the Christianist project.
        Hat tip for the neologism “Theo-fascists.”

        • Greg Hunter says:

          The Family was fascinating as the two Congressman from Dayton were featured and I had a front row seat at the passage of the District from Tony Hall to Mike Turner in 2002.

          Tony Hall was made Ambassador to the UN for Food and Agriculture by George Bush, when the Ohio 3rd was gerrymandered Republican. Monsanto had a research arm in Dayton and he was tasked to sell GMO to the Pope so it would be accepted in Africa.

          While Hall is Catholic, Turner is aligned with the evangelicals and is owned by the MIIC, but both have the same goal – a “godly” America.

          The Founders never envisioned that the prevalent Abrahamic Religions in America would stop bickering and get on the same page, but in my lifetime it happened.

          Theo Fascists with the SCOTUS and the US Military (note that the Air Force Academy is a hot bed of evangelicals) is one powerful force for evil in the world.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Thanks, subtropolis. I would like to know that too. Not saying it’s impossible–just that he kept it well-hidden from those of us who observed his career in CT.

  2. Silly but True says:

    The lynchpin for Danchenko, of course, was he lying or just merely forgetful about events taking place 6 mos. to a year earlier? That’s a problem which Danchenko shares with a whole lot of currently incarcerated federal inmates.

    Danchenko was given a huge windfall by Mueller in 2017; he was allowed to proffer without any prosecutorial sword hanging over his head. There is no allegation Danchenko did anything wrong prior to being investigated by FBI in 2017; his five indictments are all alleged lies to FBI in 2017, not anything Danchenko did with any “dossier” in 2016.

    If he lied, he blew his get-out-of-jail chance with Mueller. If he was forgetful, then he’s yet another example in the zealousness of FBI and/or their dirty tricks.

    If he lied, then it’s important to find out why. If he was forgetful, Congress needs to take up his case to reform how FBI interviews investigation subjects, because that’s a problem with a long history and long in need of a solution.

  3. Theodora30 says:

    I was aware that Steele had explicitly said from the start his dossier was raw intelligence based on chatter, rumors not proven facts. That is how spying works — you gather this kind of information then follow up to see if any of it is true. That is also how opposition research works — researchers report on rumors to follow up on. The fact that there was so much talk about the connections between Trump’s campaign and Putin allies was serious enough to pass that info on to the Feds. It was the responsible thing to do and those rumors turned out to be true.

    My understanding has always been that the dossier did not say Trump paid for the prostitutes but that the Russians provided them for free. We know from the testimony of Trump’s bodyguard Kurt Schiller that in fact Trump was offered to have 5 prostitutes sent to his room the night in question but claims he turned them down because Trump doesn’t do things like that. (Of course we now know that Trump does do things very similar much like that as his sex with porn star episode proved.) Schiller says he walked Trump to his room and stood outside his door for awhile but has no idea if anything happened after that.
    We also know for sure Trump lied when he claimed he didn’t even spend that night in Moscow. The only way we will ever know if there really is a tape would be if Trump decided to go against Putin’s wishes but we all know that is very unlikely to happen.

    • Silly but True says:

      There’s a prime opportunity for this shady grift industry: “Spying University”; a for-profit commercial self-regulating business organization supported by the Steeles of the world to set the reasonable standards for dirty trickery. It’s not a private investigation licensing program per se as much as it is another revenue stream for the Orbises of the world. This way, the next dirty tricks can at least claim to meet ethical standards of conduct.

  4. Rita says:

    I don’t know who comes off looking the worst: Durham, Steele, or the FBI.

    The Steele Dossier was oppo research, consisting of raw intelligence when presented to the FBI. Shouldn’t the FBI already have suspected that there would be a partisan bias? Should it be a surprise that an oppo researcher for a Democratic candidate uses people with Democratic connections to get introductions to people like Dolan? Didn’t agents know before interviewing people like Dolan of their Democratic connections?

    Steele looks like what he did was collect gossip from sources without much vetting of the sources. What is the likelihood that Galinka, Danchenko, and/or, Dolan were witting or unwitting conduits for Russian disinformation? Did Steele even consider this possibility?

    People interviewed by the FBI should be honest and forthcoming. And if someone lies about a material matter, they should face legal consequences. But Durham’s clumsy attempt to paint the FBI as victims of a Democratic conspiracy to impugn the Republican candidate makes the FBI look incompetent, from top to bottom.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Durham seems on a quest to criminalize oppo research when produced for use against Trump. (I was going to say GOP candidates, but it’s unclear to me whether either Durham or Barr cared about that.) Marcy notes the gratuitous mention of Hillary Clinton, as if Hillary had personally tasked Danchenko with lying about Trump’s Russia ties. Durham never showed this shoddy side in his work for Connecticut; he may have been a bit perfunctory, but never unhinged, as he seems here. He must know the quest is both doomed and dooming him, all he had built dwindling to an asterisk in future histories of a quixotic nightmare.

    • Tim Tuttle says:

      1. Steele was MI6 station chief in Moscow for the Brits. I’m sure he considered everything.

      Paul Singer- right wing Hedgefund owner & funder of the Washington Free Beacon- hired Fusion GPS to do oppo research on trump for use by Rubio and Cruz (back when the Mercers were “anybody but Trump”). The Dems didn’t initiate it. For what it’s worth…

  5. klynn says:

    Is there a way to compose a list of who had access to all the interview content from FBI and Mueller interviews prior to Durham’s investigation? Is there a list of who is working with Durham?

    I ask because there are days, as I read updates on Durham, that his efforts appear to be more like a propaganda campaign and less like the work of the justice department. So I find myself asking if there is someone behind the initial investigation looking for opportunities to reframe content and context in the hopes the media bails on critical thinking and repeats the reframing?

    • Silly but True says:

      As a general observation, Durham’s team is stacked with veteran investigators. There are some expected assignments, but also some very interesting team members, who may be eye-opening for their past focus areas or cases.

      Nora Dannehy was early team member and was already working under Durham; she was lead in 2006 investigation on Bush firing of US Att’y’s.

      Another CT. assignment is Nereej Patel, experienced in sex trafficking cases, but again probably most for existing work relationship with Durham.

      A name on the indictments is Andrew DeFilippis, an assistant U.S. attorney in Manhattan. The longtime prosecutor is known for securing convictions in several high-profile terrorism prosecutions.

      Timothy Fuhrman, spent 29 years as a special agent at the FBI, with high-profile investigations at offices in Utah and Alabama, he was involved with 2006’s successful hunt for the FBI’s Most Wanted List fugitive, polygamist, and child sex predator Warren Jeffs.

      Like Dannehy, Jack Eckenrode is experienced on politically-fraught cases. Eckenrode assisted Patrick Fitzgerald, the U.S. attorney in Chicago, in Fitzpatrick’s special counsel investigation related to CIA leaks and the Valerie Plame controversy. He also has worked with Durham.

      • emptywheel says:

        I think Eckenrode, even at the time, had some issues.

        And DeFillippis was involved in a case with serious Brady issues. This case is going to be almost impossible to provide discovery properly on. I wouldn’t want that hanging in my background if my boss made me take this dogshit case.

  6. SR says:

    “From golden showers in a sex club in Vegas, to tax fraud, to deals with corrupt officials from the former Soviet Union, to catch and kill conspiracies to silence Trump’s clandestine lovers, I wasn’t just a witness to the president’s rise – I was an active and eager participant,” Cohen wrote in his book. Is there a reason he would have lied too?

    • Rayne says:

      Sure, Cohen could have lied. But let’s ask the lawyers in the community what are the potential outcomes to an attorney who lies, particularly one who lies in statements to the FBI and under oath to members of Congress. Do they think the payback from lying would adequately offset the repercussions?

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Scooter Libby suggests that it is, but he was in the elite on many levels and fell on his sword for a man and a political movement. I’d like to see how people like Toensing, Rudy G, and Eastman fare in that regard. Opponents of the PTB, OTOH, like Mikey Cohen, will never see wingnut welfare commensurate with disbarment and prison time, the sort of ostracism and public punishment that corporate and political titans seem to avoid.

    • Silly but True says:

      Cohen is selling books; you can find it for less than $2.99 at bargain book stores, and at that price it may not be a value. With 434 pages, you’d probably be paying $0.50 per truth that appears in the book.

  7. Rapier says:

    One thing is that John Durham’s shoddy work guarantees him a job for several more years, two at least, in a legal morass. It’s a pretty nice gig come to think of it. He’s probably not the type to retire anyway and he gets be boss who nobody can touch. What’s not to like.

  8. greenbird says:

    PR.1 –
    CP.1 = Dolan

    #1. 2017 Jun 15 = denied speaking with PR.1 re any material despite 2016 Aug 22 Company Report allegation

    #2. 2017 Mar 16 – “believed” 2016 Jul phone call “probably” from CP.1
    #3. 2017 May 18 – “under the impression” 2016 Jul phone call was from CP.1
    #1. 2017 Jun 15 = denied speaking with PR.1 re any material despite 2016 Aug 22 Company Report allegation
    #4. 2017 Oct 24 – “believed” CP.1 more than once on telephone
    #5. 2017 Nov 16 – “believed” CP.1 on the telephone

    yuck. i gotta get some sleep.

  9. harpie says:


    I’m continuing from here:

    8:06 AM SECRET SERVICE alert says roughly 10,000 people were waiting to go through magnetometers at rally, and some were “wearing ballistic helmets, body armor and carrying radio equipment and military-grade backpacks.”
    XX:XX AM Per USCP an individual at the Hyatt Regency, wearing fatigues, was overheard saying “we are going to storm the FBI at 2PM.”
    8:17 AM TRUMP tweets:

    States want to correct their votes, which they now know were based on irregularities and fraud, plus corrupt process never received legislative approval. All Mike Pence has to do is send them back to the States, AND WE WIN. Do it Mike, this is a time for extreme courage!

    8:44 AM ROSEN calls [blank] [Washington DC] [9m]
    8:54 AM MORAN calls [toll-free] 877-465-7975 [37m]
    9:00 AM PENCE reviews the letter SHORT, HODGSON, counsel Greg JACOB and O’MALLEY had drafted for Pence to send to members of Congress notifying them of his intention to oversee the certification of the electoral college results.
    9:00 AM Employees from D.C.’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency teams near the WHITE HOUSE report hundreds of backpacks piled up
    9:00 AM At the WASHINGTON Monument, a mob of Trump supporters overrun Park Police
    9:02 AM DONOGHUE call from [blank] [1m]
    9:16 AM RALLY BEGINS with Mo BROOKS speaking
    THAT MORNING TRUMP and PENCE speak by phone. PENCE explains that he will not do what TRUMP wants him to. TRUMP replies: “You don’t have the courage to make a hard decision.”
    XX:XX AM POWELL files emergency stay application with ALITO in GOEHMERT v. PENCE [EASTMAN’s argument]
    LATER THAT MORNING Trump is with family members and aides at the WH, monitoring the crowd size and reviewing the speech with Stephen MILLER GUILFOYLE: [The growing crowd is] “just reflecting the will of the people. This is the will of the people.”
    9:46 AM At the LINCOLN Memorial, Park Police report 500 to 800 people gathered
    Park Police at WASHINGTON Monument report white male “with a pitchfork”
    Park Police are instructed to “monitor only. Let it happen unless we have major, major issues.”
    10:15 AM Eric TRUMP begins speaking
    10:19 AM GUILFOYLE begins speaking
    10:22 AM Donald TRUMP, JR. begins speaking
    10:20 AM MORAN call from RAIMONDI [4m]
    10:42 AM GUILIANI and EASTMAN arrive at the RALLY [from the WILLARD]
    10:46 AM ROSEN calls HERSCHMANN [2m]
    10:47 AM DONOGHUE call from John DURHAM [Vm Deposit] [1m]
    10:48 AM DONOGHUE call from [blank] 0 [2m]
    10:48 AM GIULIANI begins speaking
    10:50 AM TRUMP’s plan is to leave WH at this time; he does NOT leave until 11:39 AM
    10:55 AM EASTMAN begins speaking
    10:55 AM ROSEN calls CIPOLLONE [1m]
    10:57 – 10:59 AM Fascist TRUMP film at RALLY
    10:58 AM Police recover two firearms from an unattended vehicle north of the Mall
    11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Approximately 1 hour LULL at RALLY before TRUMP begins speaking. [TRUMP planned to leave WH at 10:50 AM, but did not leave until 11:39 AM]
    11:01 AM ROSEN call from CIPOLLONE [1m]
    11:04 AM MORAN call from Jarad HODES [2m]
    11:11 AM Police find a vehicle near L’Enfant Plaza with a rifle and scope in plain view, and also two handguns
    11:15 AM ROSEN calls Christopher MICHEL [11m]
    11:15 AM Approximately 300 Proud Boys are reported on Capitol Complex grounds.
    Group of Oath Keepers reported near the Washington Monument
    11:25 AM Proud Boys meet up on EAST SIDE of Capitol
    11:39 AM TRUMP leaves WHITE HOUSE [He had planned to leave at 10:50 AM]
    11:45 AM -12:00 PM D.C. police respond to reports of a man with a rifle nearby at 15th Street and Constitution Avenue
    11:51 AM MORAN call from Christopher GREICO GRIECO [1m]

    • harpie says:

      12:03 PM ROSEN call from CIPOLLONE [1m]
      12:00 PM Ranting about the media
      12:02 PM Ranting about the radical-left Democrats and the media
      12:06 PM Comparing USA to third world countries
      12:11 PM Bashing weak Republicans [McConnell]
      12:12 PM Ranting about the election
      12:13 PM Bashing weak Republicans [Romney]
      12:13 PM Bashing weak Republicans [Pence]
      12:13 PM ROSEN calls [blank] [Morristown, NJ] [2m]
      12:16 PM TRUMP:

      Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong. (cheering) We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated.

      12:17 PM ROSEN call from [blank] [2m]
      12:22 PM Ranting about Hillary Clinton
      12:29 PM Bashing weak Republicans [Kemp]
      Ranting about Stacey Abrams and Michelle and Barack Obama
      Bashing weak Republicans [Supreme Court, Kavanaugh]
      Bashing weak Republicans [Barr]
      12:35 PM HAWLEY fist pump photo taken [EAST side]
      12:36 PM PENCE arrives at the Capitol with his wife and daughter
      PENCE’s office releases the letter to Congress they had drafted
      12:38 PM Ranting about Hunter Biden
      12:40 PM Ranting about Twitter, etc , shadow banning and Section 230
      12:40 PM BOMB reported at the RNC CAPITOL HILL CLUB [CP, FBI and ATF respond]
      12:40 PM ROSEN [h-w] “Tried SHERWIN at ellipse”
      12:45 PM Bashing weak Republicans [“the Liz Cheney’s of the world”]
      12:46 PM Bashing weak Republicans [Brad Raffensperger]
      12:49 PM Bashing weak Republicans [Pence] [“I’m not hearing good stories.”]
      12:52 PM BIGGS says something to Ryan SAMSEL, who then kicks off the assault on a series of barricades, giving a police officer a brain injury in the process
      12:53 PM MORAN calls Gene HAMILTON [11m]
      12:53 PM Ranting about the election
      1:00 PM TRUMP: The WHOLE election was fraudulent and
      When you catch somebody in a fraud, you’re allowed to go by very different rules.

      1:02 PM PENCE tweets letter to CONGRESS:
      1:06 PM PENCE gavels in JOINT SESSION
      1:09 PM ROSEN [h-w] “Tried SHERWIN at ellipse”
      1:10 PM TRUMP’s speech ends

      So we’re going to, we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue. I love Pennsylvania Avenue. And we’re going to the Capitol […] Let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue and give the weak Republicans] the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.

      1:14 PM TRUMP and family/guests leaving tent getting into cars.
      1:15 PM BOMB reported found near DNC
      1:17 PM ROSEN call from SHERWIN [7m]
      1:19 PM TRUMP is back at the WH

      • Rayne says:

        Timer on the first IED found behind Capitol Hill Club near RNC was a manual device set to 20 minutes. I wonder if Trump’s delayed speech was related to the IEDs not being triggered, if they were intended to go off in the middle of his speech so he could make some declaration from the podium while Secret Service swarmed him and crowd.

        I note the Rosen phone calls are oddly coincident.

    • harpie says:

      1:48 PM Lower NW Steps breached
      1:49 PM SUND requests URGENT aid from WALKER
      1:50 PM WALKER informs ARMY SENIOR LEADERSHP of SUND’s request
      1:50 PM DC police commander declares a RIOT at the Capitol
      1:57 PM NE Barricades are breached
      2:00 PM Mob reaches police line at the Central East Steps
      2:01 PM ROSEN [h-w] “DOD/SecDef”[MILLER]
      [There was confusion about whether DOJ or DOD would be the lead agency for response]
      2:03 PM Upper NW Steps breached
      2:06 PM Central East Steps breached
      2:12 PM NW Window and Door breached – first access to Capitol Interior
      2:13 PM Secret Service move PENCE /family to his office nearby
      2:14 PM 1] House Chamber: Paul Gosar (R-AZ) begins a speech objecting to the Arizona electoral vote
      2] People open the NW door from the inside. Joe Biggs enters the Capitol with a videographer
      3] On Senate side, the first intruders from the NW breach confront Officer Goodman at foot of stairs
      2:15 PM CP “call of last resort” alerts that officers are in trouble at the ROTUNDA
      2:19 PM PROUDBOY “Boots on the Ground” channel member posts: “We just stormed the capitol.”
      2:19 PM CP emails an urgent bulletin to all congressional staff
      2:20 PM PELOSI is removed from House Chamber
      2:24 PM TRUMP tweets:

      Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!
      [Twitter: This claim about election fraud is disputed]

      2:24 PM Secret Service is scrambling to keep PENCE safe
      2:25 PM Partial breach of Central East Doors
      2:26 PM TRUMP calls TUBERVILLE to delay certification
      2:26 PM [approx.] EASTMAN [from the WILLARD] emails PENCE Counsel JACOB, [hiding with PENCE] accusing PENCE of

      “causing the violence by refusing to block certification of Biden’s victory” “The ‘siege’ is because YOU and your boss did not do what was necessary to allow this to be aired in a public way so that the American people can see for themselves what happened.”

      • harpie says:

        2:28 PM Attacking the House Chamber doors
        2:28 PM West Plaza fully breached
        2:29 PM Visitor Center security doors adjacent Crypt blocked & breached
        2:29 PM ROSEN calls [blank] [1m]
        2:29 PM DONOGHUE call from Acting Chief, CTS (NSD) [2m]
        2:30 PM House is called into recess and advised to find their gas masks
        2:30 PM – 2:33 PM JAMES and MINUTA Grand Theft Golf Cart from WILLARD to CAPITOL
        2:30 PM Discussions ongoing at the PENTAGON
        2:30 PM ROSEN call from SHERWIN [Vm Deposit] [1m]
        2:33 PM ROSEN call from SHERWIN [3m]
        2:33 PM Rioters break into and begin looting the House SPEAKER’s office
        2:35 PM West Door breached
        2:36 PM MORAN call from MICHEL [2m]
        2:38 PM DONOGHUE call from Christopher Michel [2m]
        2:38 PM DONOGHUE call from Acting Chief, CTS (NSD) [1m]
        2:38 PM UNKNOWN to LEADERS; Signal “QRF standing by at hotel. Just say the word…”
        2:39 PM MORAN calls ROSEN [3m]
        2:39 PM Central East Doors fully breached
        2:40 PM RHODES to LEADERS; Signal “Trump better do his damn duty”
        2:40 PM UNKNOWN to LEADERS; Signal “SWAAT should stand down and abide by their oath”
        2:40 PM UNKNOWN to LEADERS; Signal “Hopefully anyone inside the capitol is barricading themselves in and continually reinforce their positions for the long haul”
        2:41 PM NW Side Door breached in NW Courtyard
        2:41 PM Assault on the Tunnel Entrance in the Lower West Terrace begins
        2:44 PM Attempted Breach at Speaker’s Lobby. Ashli BABBITT is shot.
        2:44 PM Senate Chamber breached
        2:44 PM MORAN call from MICHEL [4m]
        2:45 PM DONOGHUE call from [blank] [1m]
        xx:xx PM McCarthy calls TRUMP to ask him to tell the rioters to leave the Capitol

        TRUMP: “You know what I see, Kevin? I see people who are more upset about the election than you are. They like Trump more than you do,”
        “Kevin, they’re not my people.”

        2:47 PM MORAN calls DONOGHUE [1m]
        2:47 PM DONOGHUE call from MORAN [1m]

      • harpie says:

        This SHOULD HAVE BEEN at the very top of this section:

        1:38 PM Stewart RHODES writes on
        OATH KEEPER Signal chat “DC OP: Jan 6 21”:

        All I see Trump doing is complaining. I see no intent by him to do anything. So the patriots are taking it into their own hands. They’ve had enough.

  10. P J Evans says:

    8:54am – that phone number seems to be used a lot for webinars, particularly ones associated with government.

    • Rayne says:

      Yep, that number is associated with WebEx conference calling service. Need to know what webinar — or meeting — Moran had scheduled to attend at 9:00 a.m. on January 6.

      • harpie says:

        Hi Rayne, can you let me know if you can find the comment that begins with:

        THANK YOU!

        [Just searched from backend using “TRUMP SPEECH BEGINS” and then tried “11:57 AM” but did not come up with a matching comment for either search criteria, sorry. /~Rayne 11:28 pm ET Never mind, I see two in the trash bin, no idea what kicked them there. Must be something in them which triggers auto-mod. ?? Will restore the 11:08 p.m. version in a moment. /~Rayne]

        • harpie says:

          OHHH! That’s amazing! I had a couple of formatting errors to edit and maybe that caused the problem.
          The one you posted is the final one! YAY! THANK YOU! :-)

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