FBI paid Danchenko, Russian sub-source for Trump dossier, more than $200,000 to be confidential asset

The man who acted as the main sub-source for the thoroughly debunked Christopher Steele dossier used against former President Donald Trump, Russian national Igor Danchenko, was reportedly paid more than $200,000 by the FBI to act as a confidential human source from 2017 to late 2020.

The explosive news comes courtesy of testimony from Special Agent Kevin Helson on day three of the trial of Danchenko, who, as BizPack Review reported, was taken into custody by federal agents in November 2021 and charged with five counts of lying to the FBI.

The arrest stemmed from Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation into the FBI’s now infamous Russia investigation.

In an op-ed from the time, Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett, author of “Witch Hunt: The Story of the Greatest Mass Delusion in American Political History,” described Danchenko’s involvement in the Russia narrative.

“Danchenko was not some mysterious Russian agent operating in the bowels of the Kremlin,” Jarrett wrote. “He is a Ukrainian-born resident of the United States who worked as a senior research analyst for the Washington, D.C. liberal think tank, Brookings Institution. When the dossier was concocted in 2016, the president of Brookings was Strobe Talbott, a longtime friend and ally of Hillary Clinton. This was hardly a coincidence.”

“It was Clinton and her confederates who invented the Russia hoax to frame her opponent with the most noxious offense in America: a treasonous conspiracy with the Kremlin to steal a presidential election,” he continued. “The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) financed their illicit scheme by secretly funneling money to Steele, who hired Danchenko as his primary source for the dossier,” Jarrett added.

According to Helson’s Thursday testimony, the FBI forked more than $200,000 over to Danchenko, whom they considered to be a valuable human source, Fox News reports. At times, he received as much as $3,0000 just to show up for a single FBI meeting.

Helson himself requested a separate $346,000 payment for Danchenko upon completion of his service as an FBI informant, the request was denied. Had it been approved, he’d have scored more than a half-a-million from the FBI for what Jarret called “bogus information.”

It’s a stark contrast to Helson’s assessment of Danchenko’s value as an asset.

Helson testified that, during his run with the FBI, the information Danchenko provided at risk of “potential threat to him and his family” was used in roughly 25 FBI investigations. To hear Helson tell it, the source network Danchenko brought to the table impressed him more than any other informant in his 20 years at the bureau and losing him as an informant hurt the national security of the United States.

Because of Danchenko’s contributions, the FBI “stood up a new unit” to deal with potential threats, Helson revealed under cross-examination by defense attorney Stuart Sears.

As Fox News reported in 2020, the FBI launched a counterintelligence investigation into Danchenko that lasted from 2009 to 2o11 for allegedly attempting to arrange payments for classified information and his contacts with suspected Russian intelligence officers.

Under questioning from Durham, Helson dismissed the case, which resulted in no charges, as “hearsay at best.”

Though the agent who brought that case was for nearly 20 years, according to Durham, an Army counterintelligence officer in Europe, Helson insisted her experience didn’t necessarily make her an expert in Russia’s surveillance within the U.S. and noted that she had falsely implied that Danchenko was an active Russian intelligence agent. That claim, said Helson, “simply wasn’t true.”

Durham did, however, get Helson to admit that Danchenko was never given a polygraph to ensure his motivations were on the up and up.

As the primary sub source for Steele’s dossier — which was commissioned by Fusion GPS (an opposition research firm) and paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee — Danchenko’s information helped to secure and renew a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant against Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

“DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz in 2019 said the dossier was used to justify the initial FISA warrant and its three subsequent renewals,” Fox News reports. “Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee first said the dossier served as the basis for those warrants and surveillance of Page.”

But in 2020, the Justice Department was forced to admit that, when the bad FBI info was discarded, the FISA warrants failed to meet the required legal threshold and shouldn’t have been issued in the first place.

The news of Danchenko’s payout follows shocking testimony from earlier this week in which it was revealed that, in 2017,  the FBI was willing to pay Christopher Steele a cool million dollars if he could corroborate the claims he made in his dossier.

Spoiler: Steele couldn’t do it.


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