John Durham, the special counsel appointed by former Attorney General Bill Barr to investigate the origins of the Russia probe, came up short in court once again on Tuesday, The New York Times reports.
A jury on Tuesday found Igor Danchenko, an analyst who provided much of the research in the infamous Steele Dossier, not guilty on charges of lying to the FBI.
Danchenko told the FBI that Steele had exaggerated his research and presented speculation as fact in his dossier.
Durham accused Danchenko of lying to the FBI when he denied that he “talked” to lobbyist Charles Dolan about the dossier material after finding an email in which Dolan conveyed a minor claim that later appeared in the dossier. An FBI agent testified that what Danchenko said was literally true because it was in an email.
He also accused Danchenko of lying about communications with a man he believed to be Sergei Millian, a former president of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce.
A jury found him not guilty.
“We respect the jury’s decision and thank them for their service,” Durham said in a statement on Tuesday.
But Danchenko attorney Stuart Sears said the prosecution had been a “nightmare.”
“We have known all along that Igor Danchenko was innocent and we are glad the American public knows that now too,” he said.
Sears accused Durham of ignoring evidence in the case.
“I submit to you that if this trial has proven anything, it’s that the special counsel’s investigation was focused on proving crimes at any cost as opposed to investigating whether any occurred,” he said.
The trial marked the end of the three-and-a-half-year Durham probe, though he is likely to submit a final report to the Justice Department later this year.
Durham failed to indict any high-level government officials.
His highest profile case was the prosecution of Democratic lawyer Michael Sussmann, who was charged with lying to the FBI when he shared a tip about possible links between Trump and Russia.
Sussmann was acquitted in May.