Igor Danchenko Had an Immunity Agreement and Other Takeaways From Day 1 of His Trial

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ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The primary source for the anti-Donald Trump dossier struck an immunity agreement with the government that he breached by not fully disclosing information, special counsel John Durham said on Oct. 11.

Igor Danchenko, who fed information to dossier author Christopher Steelewas employed by the FBI for years, Durham previously revealed. During that time, Danchenko had an immunity agreement, Durham said during the first day of Danchenko’s trial in federal court in Virginia.

Prosecutors introduced “an immunity agreement that was entered into by the defendant with the government in which he was told specifically that he agreed to make full and complete disclosure of information,” Durham said.

The agreement was presented to Danchenko in January 2017, when the FBI interviewed him about his role in the dossier.

“The only requirements of that agreement, the only requirements [were] that the defendant provide complete and truthful information, that he not withhold any information, and that he not attempt to protect any person through false information or omission,” Michael Keilty, an assistant special counsel, told jurors.

Danny Onorato, a lawyer representing Danchenko, later pointed at Durham and told the jury that the prosecution was lying about the agreement.

Durham objected, noting that the agreement has been entered as an exhibit.

“So for the defense counsel to stand here and tell this jury that the government lied is highly inappropriate,” he said.

U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga, a George W. Bush appointee overseeing the case, struck Onorato’s comments from the record.

Danchenko is charged with five counts of lying to the FBI. He’s accused of falsely saying that he didn’t source information he later provided to Steele from Dolan, a longtime Clinton family associate. Hillary Clinton helped pay for the dossier. Danchenko also lied when he said he thought he spoke with Sergei Millian, a pro-Trump businessman, and that he had plans to meet with Millian in New York, according to prosecutors.

Danchenko has pleaded not guilty, and the defense says he told the truth in interviews, blaming FBI agents for not asking follow-up questions.

Here are other takeaways from day one of the trial.

By John Haughey and Zachary Stieber

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