Trump appointee subpoenas think tank during investigation of salacious dossier
Official portrait.

On Monday, The New York Times reported that special counsel John Durham is launching subpoenas against a center-left think tank connected to the salacious Trump-Russia "Steele dossier".

"Mr. Durham has keyed in on the F.B.I.'s handling of a notorious dossier of political opposition research both before and after the bureau started using it to obtain court permission to wiretap a former Trump campaign adviser in 2016 and 2017 and questioned witnesses who may have insight into the matter," reported Charlie Savage and Adam Goldman. "In particular, Mr. Durham has obtained documents from the Brookings Institution related to Igor Danchenko, a Russia researcher who worked there a decade ago and later helped gather rumors about Mr. Trump and Russia for that research, known as the Steele dossier, according to people familiar with the request."

Durham was appointed by former Attorney General William Barr to investigate the origins of the Russia probe, which former President Donald Trump has long baselessly claimed was a "witch hunt" to force him out of office. Trump and his allies have long claimed that the dossier, which has been partially but not entirely corroborated, was the sole or primary origin of the investigation, which is not true.

"In February, several weeks before the Senate confirmed Mr. Garland, Mr. Durham obtained old personnel files and other documents related to Mr. Danchenko from the Brookings Institution, a prominent Washington think tank, using a subpoena. Mr. Danchenko had worked there from 2005 until 2010," said the report. "Mr. Danchenko traveled to Russia in 2016 and gathered rumors about Mr. Trump and his associates on behalf of Christopher Steele, who produced the dossier as a subcontractor for an investigative firm being indirectly paid by Democrats to look into any Trump-Russia ties."

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