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Eli Lake

Was the FBI Manipulated by the Democratic Party?

The latest indictment in the investigation of the bureau’s Russia probe shows why the story is still relevant.

Signs of the times.

Signs of the times.

Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg

John Durham, the U.S. attorney appointed in 2019 by then Attorney General William Barr to investigate the origins of the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, has finally begun to show his hand. It doesn’t look good for either the FBI or the Democratic Party.

On Thursday he indicted a former Brookings Institution researcher named Igor Danchenko on five counts of lying to the FBI. Danchenko was the primary source for former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele’s infamous “dossier,” which alleged an elaborate conspiracy between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Kremlin. That document set the media and Democratic Party narrative for the first two and a half years of Trump’s presidency, and was crucial evidence the FBI submitted to the federal surveillance court in late 2016 to obtain a warrant to monitor a Trump campaign aide.