Durham Investigation Intrigue: Sergei Millian, an FBI Plant?

The recent indictment by Special Counsel John Durham of Igor Danchenko raises potentially explosive possibilities, so far overlooked by public reporting. They all stem from a central question: who was behind the maneuverings of the mysterious Sergei Millian

Until the Danchenko indictment, it had been the prevailing wisdom for years that a key damning allegation—that there was a “well-developed conspiracy” of Trump-Russian electoral collusion—came from Millian, the president of the grandly-named Russian-American Chamber of Commerce, a sketchy, dime-store organization headquartered in Millian’s Queens apartment. 

Christopher Steele, author of the now-infamous dossier, himself revealed Millian’s role to the FBI in early October 2016, while defensively labeling him as a “boaster” and “embellisher,” seemingly seeking distance from a potential liar. 

But, to the surprise of most, Durham’s recent indictment states that the story Danchenko attributed to Millian (alternately, Source D and Source E in the Steele dossier) did not come from Millian. Rather, the story came from the long-time Clinton supporter, PR executive Charles Dolan, himself tied to the Russian Federation from past years representing the country. At the same time Dolan was sourcing these claims to Danchenko, he was closely consulting with Russian “diplomats,” another word for “intelligence agents.” 

So, yes, this is a jaw-dropping revelation, because it shows direct collaboration between the Clinton campaign and the Russian government in fomenting a baseless charge. In other words, Clinton forces can no longer blame the anti-Trump smear campaign on a shady British ex-spy.

But this seeming blockbuster is dwarfed by the implications of Millian’s nonengagement in Steele’s lies. Millian was not a dishonest Danchenko crony, as astute observers had assumed. Rather, the evidence suggests he was working for . . . the FBI! If that is so, then the FBI was not just acting incompetently by vetting the partisan falsehoods of the dossier. Rather, it was, chillingly and actively fabricating them.  

On January 20, 2017, after the Trump victory, lowly Trump aide George Papadopoulos met with Millian and his “good-time-Charlie” friend, who blurted out, “Sergei works for the FBI.” An embarrassed Millian looked up at the ceiling, denying nothing. Days after this, FBI agents questioned Papadopoulos about Millian, questions confirming ongoing talks with Millian. But we may ask, so what? 

Let’s go back further in time. Before the 2016 election, around October 7, Millian had offered Papadopoulos employment for $30,000 per month, to be paid by a former Russian energy minister (read: Kremlin agent), on the condition that Papadopoulos must also be working for an elected Trump. Papadopoulos suspected Millian was wearing a wire, because he wore a scarf in a warm room. The day of this conversation, October 7, 2016, is key, because at that time the FBI was desperately scrambling for any illegality by a Trump agent to strengthen its weak FISA application. Without an illegal act, the FISA warrant for Carter Page as a suspected Russian agent was doomed. 

Failing on Papadopoulos, Steele soon fabricated a huge payoff to Page by Rosneft, a Russian oil company, for supposed Republican platform concessions on Russia. But had Papadopoulos actually bitten on Millian’s offer, this later fabrication would have been unnecessary. So, we can infer that the unsuccessful outreach by Millian to Papadopoulos had been meant to entrap Papadopoulos to support the FISA application.

Going back further, Millian’s attempt to cultivate and entrap Papadopoulos had begun in July and August 2016, when Millian emailed Papadopoulos out of the blue, claiming he had “disruptive technology” to assist in the election, again weaving a web of collusion.

Earlier yet, in March 2016, someone connected with Western intelligence had sent in another asset to entrap Papadopoulos: the “Russian-connected” professor Joseph Mifsud who, in turn, absurdly presented Papadopoulos with an attractive Russian female student introduced as Vladimir Putin’s supposed niece. Mifsud then began talking about Russia having Hillary Clinton emails. 

Following Mifsud’s meeting, Papadopoulos was approached by Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, whose relay of Mifsud’s comment opened the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation. This was followed by FBI spy Stefan Halper accompanied by an attractive FBI undercover investigator going by the name of “Azra Turk,” who plied Papadopoulos for information.

Years later, during the Mueller investigation, on June 8, 2018, the shady Israeli businessman Charles Tawil, for no good reason, gave Papadopoulos $10,000 in cash while the two were in Israel—seemingly so that Papadopoulos would fail to declare the money when the FBI braced Papadopoulos on his return flight to America. Instead, Papadopoulos wisely left the money behind.

We can see that Millian was but one of a parade of FBI assets sent toward Papadopoulos, but perhaps the most potentially compromising. That Millian was working for the FBI would explain why he would not be a source for Steele, from whom the FBI wanted distance for the sake of deniability. Thus, Dolan conveniently became the real source, while the seemingly Russia-connected Millian was the false front for the dossier.

To show corroboration of a reverse nature, let’s look at the FBI inspector general’s report on FISA abuse. Oddly, every key description of Millian is redacted. We are told in the report about “Source 2” and “Source 3,” the “Confidential Human Sources” who weaseled into Trumpland. But who is another mysterious, unnumbered Source, one discussed, again, with great redaction? Now, with the Danchenko indictment, we may have a good idea.

If we are correct, the FBI was entrapping the Trump campaign, falsely giving information to the FISA court and Congress, compromising the media, and lying to the American people. Yes, Clinton, through Steele, was lying to the FBI. But the FBI itself, to this day, has been lying about Sergei Millian, concealing the FBI’s role in a sickening takedown of a presidential campaign and later a president. 

It seems the forces weakening our country, to the delight of Vladimir Putin, come to a head in one Sergei Millian. But don’t hold your breath waiting for an apology from any of James Comey’s FBI leadership team, or the media they falsely fed.

About John D. O'Connor

John D. O’Connor is a former federal prosecutor and the San Francisco attorney who represented W. Mark Felt during his revelation as Deep Throat in 2005. O’Connor is the author of Postgate: How the Washington Post Betrayed Deep Throat, Covered Up Watergate, and Began Today’s Partisan Advocacy Journalism.

Photo: George Papadopoulos, 2019, Galai/Getty Images

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