Special counsel John Durham on Tuesday blamed the FBI and other U.S. intelligence agencies for slow-walking document production in the case against Igor Danchenko, who is accused of lying to investigators about where and how he got information for the so-called Steele dossier.
In a court filing, Mr. Durham asked U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga to extend the deadline to turn over classified documents to Mr. Danchenko’s attorneys. He is seeking a one-month extension, which would push the deadline from May 13 to June 13.
Mr. Durham said the FBI and intelligence agencies have been slow to declassify some of the evidence because of “recent world events,” possibly referring to Russia’s war with Ukraine.
“Some of the officials preparing and reviewing the documents at the FBI and intelligence agencies continue to be heavily engaged in matters related to overseas activities,” Mr. Durham wrote. “Nevertheless, the government is continuing to press the relevant authorities to produce documents in classified discovery as quickly as possible and on a rolling basis, and no later than the proposed deadline set forth below.”
The government already has provided Mr. Danchenko‘s attorneys with 5,000 classified documents and 61,000 unclassified documents, according to the filing. Mr. Durham wrote that he’s turned over the bulk of the classified evidence.
Mr. Danchenko last fall was charged with repeatedly lying to the FBI about how he compiled information for British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s salacious and unverified dossier that was filled with now-debunked accusations tying former President Donald Trump to Russia.
A trial is scheduled for October.
Prosecutors say the information Mr. Danchenko gathered was built on exaggerations, rumors and outright lies. The indictment also suggests that Mr. Danchenko lied to Mr. Steele about how he was getting his information.
Mr. Danchenko is accused of intentionally misleading the FBI when he denied in a 2017 interview that his primary source for a section of the dossier was Charles H. Dolan Jr., a former aide to Hillary Clinton. Mrs. Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, lost the election to Mr. Trump.