Russian National Pleads Not Guilty to Lying to FBI During 'Steele Dossier' Investigation

Igor Danchenko, a former analyst at the Brookings Institution and Russian national, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that he lied to the FBI about the legitimacy of his own sources when being used to help inform the so-called Steele Dossier.

Mark Schamel, Danchenko's lawyer, stated that Danchenko is being smeared with a purposely false narrative by people with an agenda, according to The Associated Press.

A judge has preliminarily set the trial for April 18, 2022, Fox News reported. Prosecutors told the judge they will be in the discovery phase now, and hope to soon share the information they find with the defense.

Danchenko was a primary source for the "Steele dossier," a report put together by former British spy Christopher Steele. The document was funded by Democrats who also included scandalous allegations about former President Donald Trump's conduct in Russia and about ties between the country and the Trump campaign.

The indictment stated that to get surveillance warrants for former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, the FBI used significant resources in trying to corroborate the dossier and depended on it heavily.

Additionally, the indictment stated that Danchenko was given information by Charles Dolan Jr., a Democratic donor and activist. Dolan is also a former executive director of the Democratic Governors Association who advised Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign and volunteered for her 2016 campaign. While Dolan isn't referenced by name, his lawyer confirmed that he is the person mentioned.

Trump said the dossier was full of lies and part of Democratic smear campaign for years, The Associated Press reported.

"For the past five years, those with an agenda have sought to expose Mr. Danchenko's identity and tarnish his reputation. ...We will expose how Mr. Danchenko has been unfairly maligned by these false allegations," Schamel said.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Igor Danchenko, Steele Dossier, Trial
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. He pleaded not guilty to charges of lying to the FBI about his sources for the "Steele dossier." Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo

The indictment says Danchenko lied to the FBI and denied that he'd ever discussed the allegations with Dolan. If the FBI had known the allegations came from a Democratic operative who had motive to make Trump look bad, the bureau might have assessed the dossier's credibility differently, according to the indictment.

Schamel, said in a statement that the 39-page indictment "presents a false narrative designed to humiliate and slander a renowned expert in business intelligence."

"Mr. Danchenko is a respected research analyst who uncovered and exposed Vladimir Putin's plagiarized Ph.D. thesis and whose work has been recognized all over the world for its intellectual rigor and accuracy," Schamel said.

Igor Danchenko, Trial, Steele Dossier
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. Danchenko's trial is set preliminarily April 18, 2022, after he pleaded not guilty to his charges. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo