ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A federal choose dominated Tuesday that prosecutors can not current proof to a jury about essentially the most salacious components of a flawed file alleging connections between former President Donald Trump and Russia at an upcoming trial of an analyst who served as a main supply for that report.
Igor Danchenko is scheduled to go on trial subsequent week in U.S. District Court in Alexandria on prices of mendacity to the FBI. Special Counsel John Durham says Danchenko was a main supply of data in a file about Trump ready by British spy Christopher Steele on the request of Democrats through the 2016 presidential marketing campaign.
The indictment alleges that Danchenko’s main supply of data was truly a Democratic operative named Charles Dolan, a public relations government who volunteered for Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton. Prosecutors say the FBI would have been in a position to choose the veracity of the file extra precisely if Danchenko had admitted his main supply was a Clinton supporter.
The file most famously consists of allegations that Trump engaged in salacious sexual exercise with prostitutes at a Moscow lodge that was purportedly bugged by Russian intelligence — elevating the chance that Russians had data they may use to blackmail Trump. Trump had known as the file faux information and proof of a political witch hunt in opposition to him.
The 5 particular counts within the indictment don’t cost Danchenko with mendacity about his sourcing for the intercourse allegations. Still, prosecutors needed to current testimony at trial that they mentioned would have proven that Danchenko lied about his sourcing for these allegations simply as he lied about different points of his sourcing,
Danchenko’s legal professionals objected. They say the testimony could be extremely prejudicial and would confuse the jury.
In a ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga agreed with the protection. Specifically, he mentioned the testimony that the federal government deliberate to introduce wouldn’t truly show Danchenko lied.
“Given the low probative value of these allegations, they are not admissible … as they are substantially outweighed by the danger of confusion and unfair prejudice,” Trenga wrote.
The ruling is one other setback for Durham’s case. At a listening to final week, Trenga rejected a movement from Danchenko’s legal professionals to toss out the case completely. But in doing so, he mentioned it was “an extremely close call” and mentioned jurors could be persuaded by Danchenko’s protection.
Danchenko’s legal professionals have known as the case an instance of prosecutorial overreach and have mentioned that the solutions Danchenko gave to the FBI have been all technically true, even when they weren’t significantly illuminating.
Also in Tuesday’s ruling, Trenga denied — at the least for now — a request from the federal government that Danchenko be barred from arguing to jurors or presenting proof that the prosecution is politically motivated.