Igor Danchenko, a Russian analyst arrested Thursday as part of Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation, was released without electronic monitoring after attempting to plead not guilty.
Danchenko’s lawyer, Christopher Schafbuch, attempted to enter a not guilty plea for his client but was told by a federal judge that the hearing was “not an arraignment.” Instead, Danchenko was released with no electronic monitoring and had his next appearance scheduled for Nov. 10.
Prosecutors were not asking for Danchenko to be detained, though they did want him to be subjected to electronic monitoring. But no electronic monitoring equipment was available for 24 hours, so they agreed that he could be released on his own recognizance until the equipment was available.
John H. Duhram
“Well then, you can’t be very concerned about it. In that case I’ll waive the electronic monitoring,” Federal Judge Theresa Buchanan replied.
Federal agents arrested Danchenko earlier Thursday, accusing him of being the primary sub-source in the anti-Trump “Steele Dossier.” The dossier, compiled by British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, was the basis for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against Trump campaign aide Carter Page. It was later revealed that the dossier was funded by both the Democratic National Committee and a law firm linked to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Danchenko’s arrest is part of the Durham investigation into the origins of the probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. Danchenko, a Russian citizen, is charged with five counts of making false statements to the FBI.
The indictment was unsealed Thursday. It says that in March, May, June, October and November of 2017, Danchenko lied to FBI agents about the sources of information that were included in the report, which he gave to a U.K.-based investigative firm and which was eventually passed to the FBI.
The March, May, October and November counts revolve around statements Danchenko made to FBI agents regarding information he “purportedly had received from an anonymous caller who he believed to be a particular individual, when in truth and in fact he knew that was untrue.”
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
“The information purportedly conveyed by the anonymous caller included the allegation that there were communications ongoing between the Trump campaign and Russian officials and that the caller had indicated the Kremlin might be of help in getting Trump elected,” Durham’s office said. “The Special Counsel’s investigation is ongoing.”
Fox News’ Jake Gibson contributed to this report.