The second day of the trial for Russia information specialist Igor Danchenko began Wednesday with Special Counsel John Durham having FBI intelligence analyst Brian Auten return to the witness stand. 

Auten on Tuesday provided bombshell testimony that the FBI offered former British spy Christopher Steele as much as $1 million to corroborate information in a Donald Trump opposition-research dossier he compiled for the agency – and to which Danchenko was a primary contributor.

The trial is being held in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division. 

Danchenko faces five counts in connection with allegedly having lied to the FBI about his involvement with the now-discredited so-called Steele dossier.

The FBI hired Steele to investigate Trump during his successful 2016 presidential election bid over allegations his campaign was colluding with Russia to win the race. 

Danchenko has pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

The trial began Tuesday with jury selection and opening arguments.

Durham was appointed in 2020 by then-Attorney General William Barr to look into the origins of the Trump-Russia collusion investigation, particularly the conduct of FBI agents who worked on the probe, known as Crossfire Hurricane.

The trial is expected to last about a week, with Auten the first of four scheduled witnesses.

Presiding over the trial will be Senior District Court Judge Anthony Trenga, appointed to the court by President George W. Bush.

This is the second trial in Durham’s probe.

The first jury trial in Washington, D.C., in May, found former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann found not guilty of lying to the FBI about information he had about alleged collusion.

In Durham’s investigation prior to Sussmann’s trial, former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty to falsifying a surveillance document during the Trump-Russia collusion investigation and received a sentence of 12 months of probation and 400 hours of community service.

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