FBI agent: Trump move on Steele dossier damaged national security
An FBI counterintelligence agent testified in the trial of Russian analyst Igor Danchenko on Thursday that the Trump administration’s release of a redacted report to the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2020 was “dangerous.”
Then-Attorney General William Barr ordered the FBI to declassify the report, which described the details of an interview with Danchenko that took place in 2017.
“The release of the document was dangerous,” said FBI agent Kevin Helson at the trial, according to The New York Times, adding that Danchenko became a political target following the move.
While the report did not name Danchenko, the public discovered his identity after reading the information shared from the 2017 interview that spanned three days.
Danchenko, who previously worked as a paid FBI informant, is on trial after being charged with lying to the bureau about the Steele dossier, a research report alleging ties between former President Trump and Russia.
The ex-informant is charged with five counts of making false statements to the FBI about the sources for claims in the dossier. The report has largely been dismissed due to unproven or false claims.
The Danchenko’s trial began on Tuesday, resulting from a probe by Justice Department Special Counsel John Durham into false information included in the Steele dossier.
Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith previously pleaded guilty in a trial resulting from the probe. He did not face jail time.