NYT, Politico, and HuffPo are all reporting that the jury has acquitted Igor Danchenko on all four remaining charges against them.
Shortly before they did so, the jury had asked for a report that had been used to refresh Danchenko handling agent’s memory about why Danchenko had not corrected Christopher Steele’s incorrect memories about their conflicting Millian stories in 2017. There was an extended exchange before Danchenko’s lawyers noted — having won a fight to exclude Christopher Steele’s testimony pre-trial — that this was hearsay.
Q. If you take a look at Government’s Exhibit 103 and see if that refresh your recollection as to whether or not there was yet another occasion that you raised or asked questions of Mr. Danchenko relating to these matters?
Q. And when was it that you met with Mr. Danchenko and Millian came up again?
A. I’m looking at the wrong —
Do you have Government’s Exhibit 103 there?
A. I have one — oh, here we go, yes.
A. So it’s November the 2nd.
Q. Okay. So why don’t you just take a moment and look at that and see if that refreshes your recollection as to the date which you met with Mr. Danchenko and the Millian matter came up yet again?
Q. And what was the date?
A. November the 2nd, 2017.
Q. All right. And on November 2nd, 2017, was that some kind of telephone connection or was that a face-to-face meeting?
A. That was a face-to-face.
Q. So you are with him? He’s not like — no interference in the phone or anything, right?
Q. Do you recall, sir, why it was that you had occasion to go back to, yet again, ask about this Millian piece in November of 2017?
A. There had been — this, I think, goes to the fact that Brian was still saying there was inconsistency in what Mr. Danchenko was saying as opposed to what Mr. Steele was saying with respect to Millian’s — his connection or his contact with Millian.
Q. And so tell the ladies and gentlemen of the jury on November 2nd now, of 2017 — on October 24th, he now says that there were a couple of calls. Now, on November 2nd, you’re confronting him now about what he told Steele regarding him actually meeting with Millian, correct?
Q. And with respect to what you were asking Mr. Danchenko on November 2nd, what is it that Mr. Danchenko told you regarding Steele and what he had told Steele or not told Steele about meeting with Millian?
A. He said that Steele had the idea — that Steele believes that Mr. Danchenko had met in person and he never corrected Mr. Steele’s thought in that, is that he was pretty much tired of talking about it. He — Steele was pressuring him to answer questions that Steele — that Millian could potentially answer. So the pressure was get with Millian, get a report, and Igor was — I let him have what I — I told him what I know and he still believed that I was in — it was an in-person meeting and I never corrected him because I was tired of talking about it.
MR. SEARS: Your Honor, I apologize to interrupt, but to the extent Mr. Steele’s comments are coming in, my understanding is that they would not be for the truth of the matter asserted —
THE COURT: Correct.
MR. SEARS: — just because the agent heard —
THE COURT: Right.
MR. SEARS: It might be appropriate to inform the jury.
And then minutes later they came back with an acquittal on all charges.
Here’s a comparison about Durham’s work compared to Mueller’s:
WaPo has this from a juror:
The jury in Danchenko’s case deliberated for about nine hours over two days. Juror Joel Greene said in an interview that there were no holdouts in the deliberations and that the decision was “pretty unanimous.”
“We looked at everything really closely,” said Greene, who declined to comment on the politics of the case. “The conclusion we reached was the conclusion we all were able to reach.”
And from Danchenko:
After the verdict was announced, Danchenko choked up and embraced his defense attorneys, Stuart A. Sears and Danny C. Onorato. Danchenko declined to comment, but Sears said outside the courthouse “we’ve known all along that Mr. Danchenko is innocent.”
“We’re happy now that the American public knows that as well,” he said.
Politico’s Kyle Cheney caught Durham making the same canned comment after this face-planting loss as he did after the Sussmann acquittal.
emptywheel coverage of the Danchenko case