- Mueller Trump-Russia inquiry
Image source, Getty ImagesImage caption, The US Department of Justice has charged Igor Danchenko with repeatedly making false statements to the FBI
A Russian analyst who worked on a largely unsubstantiated dossier about ex-President Donald Trump's alleged links to Russia has been arrested.
Igor Danchenko was detained as part of an investigation into the origins of an inquiry into Mr Trump's 2016 election campaign.
The US Department of Justice has charged him with lying to the FBI.
A lawyer for the analyst did not immediately respond to requests for comment, Reuters news agency reports.
Mr Danchenko worked with ex-UK spy Christopher Steele on the so-called Steele Dossier.
Appearing after the 2016 US presidential election, the dossier made a number of unverified claims linking Donald Trump to the Kremlin – including that Russia had compromising material on the Republican candidate. Mr Trump has emphatically denied all the allegations.
Mr Steele was hired to conduct the research through a law firm on behalf of Mr Trump's political opponents, including the campaign of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate in the 2016 election. He has previously defended his work.
A statement released by the US Department of Justice says Mr Danchenko was charged with making false statements to the FBI five times in 2017, "regarding the sources of certain information that he provided to a UK investigative firm".
The 43-year-old Russian national is scheduled to appear before a judge on Thursday, it read.
Read the indictment here
As early as July 2016 US investigators began to examine links between Mr Trump and the Kremlin. This led the following year to a major investigation headed by special counsel Robert Mueller.
In 2019, Mr Mueller reported that the investigation had not established any criminal conspiracy between Moscow and the Trump campaign. However, it concluded that Russia had interfered in the election "in sweeping and systematic fashion", and outlined 10 times when Mr Trump possibly impeded the special counsel's investigation.
Following this, the Trump administration announced an investigation into the origins of the inquiry into Russian interference. Mr Trump had long called for such a probe, dismissing the Russia inquiry as a "witch hunt".
Then-Attorney General William Barr appointed John Durham, a US attorney in Connecticut, as the senior federal prosecutor.
This is the latest arrest under the investigation. In September officials under Mr Durham charged a prominent lawyer for allegedly making false statements to the FBI.
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