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Igor Danchenko pleads not guilty to 'Steele Dossier' charges

Igor Danchenko pleads not guilty to 'Steele Dossier' charges
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Wellington, Ohio, on June 26, 2021. A Russian analyst believed to be the primary source of the "Steele Dossier" targeting Trump entered not guilty pleas on Wednesday to charges he gave false information to the FBI. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Igor Danchenko, a Russian foreign policy expert pleaded not guilty Wednesday to giving the FBI false information during its investigation of connections between Russia and former President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

Danchenko is believed to be the primary source of the so-called "Steele Dossier," information involved in the Democrats' investigation of ties between Trump and Moscow.

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The indictment charged him with five counts of lying to the FBI during interviews in 2017 about where he got information included in the dossier. Christopher Steele hired Danchenko to gather information on Trump from people he knew in Russia.

He entered not guilty pleas to the charges to U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga. Special Counsel John Durham brought the charges in his investigation into the origins of the FBI's Trump-Russia probe.

"For the past five years, those with an agenda have sought to expose Mr. Danchenko's identity and tarnish his reputation while undermining U.S. National Security," his attorney Mark Schamel said, according to Politico.

"From the moment he was inappropriately revealed, he has been the focus of unrelenting politically motivated attacks. This latest injustice will not stand. We will expose how Mr. Danchenko has been unfairly maligned by these false allegations."

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Durham said Danchenko made up a conversation he claimed from a source suggesting that Trump paid prostitutes at a Moscow hotel room to urinate on a bed in which President Barack Obama had once slept. The dossier claimed Russian intelligence agencies had secretly recorded that event as potential blackmail material.

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