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Durham Filings and the Clinton Campaign

On 11 February 2022, Special Counsel John H. Durham filed a motion regarding spying operations on Donald Trump against former Clinton lawyer Michael A. Sussmann.

At 13 pages, it does not contain much detail and does not include exhibits. It should be noted that this is Case 1:21-cr-00582-CRC Document 35. To those who have been half paying attention, this is no surprise anyway. Paragraph 5 is arguably the key:

5. The Government’s evidence at trial will also establish that among the Internet data Tech Executive-1 and his associates exploited was domain name system (“DNS”) Internet traffic pertaining to (i) a particular healthcare provider, (ii) Trump Tower, (iii) Donald Trump’s Central Park West apartment building, and (iv) the Executive Office of the President of the United States (“EOP”). (Tech Executive-1’s employer, Internet Company-1, had come to access and maintain dedicated servers for the EOP as part of a sensitive arrangement whereby it provided DNS resolution services to the EOP. Tech Executive-1 and his associates exploited this arrangement by mining the EOP’s DNS traffic and other data for the purpose of gathering derogatory information about Donald Trump.)

As already mentioned, this file is Document 35. Durham had filed Document 1 on 16 September 2021, a “Making a False Statement” charge against Sussmann. More specifically, Sussmann went to the FBI claiming to have some secret communication between Trump and a Russian bank whilst also claiming not to be acting on behalf of a client (which he was).

3. The FBI had, in fact, initiated an investigation of these allegations in response to a meeting that MICHAEL A. SUSSMANN, the defendant herein – a lawyer at a major international law firm (“Law Firm-I”) – requested and held with the FBI General Counsel on or about September 19, 2016 at FBI Headquarters in the District of Columbia. SUSSMANN provided to the FBI General Counsel three “white papers” along with data files allegedly containing evidence supporting the existence of this purported secret communications channel.
4. During the meeting, SUSSMANN lied about the capacity in which he was providing the allegations to the FBI. Specifically, SUSSMANN stated falsely that he was not doing his work on the aforementioned allegations “for any client,” which led the FBI General Counsel to understand that SUSSMANN was acting as a good citizen merely passing along information, not as a paid advocate or political operative. In fact, and as alleged in further detail below, this statement was intentionally false and misleading because, in assembling and conveying these allegations, SUSSMANN acted on behalf of specific clients, namely, (i) a U.S. technology industry executive (“Tech Executive-I”) at a U.S. Internet company (“Internet Company-I”), and (ii) the Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign (the “Clinton Campaign”).

Also keep in mind the FBI’s conclusion:

7. The FBI’s investigation of these allegations nevertheless concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support the allegations of a secret communications channel with Russian Bank-1. In particular, and among other things, the FBI’s investigation revealed that the email server at issue was not owned or operated by the Trump Organization but, rather, had been administered by a mass marketing email company that sent advertisements for Trump hotels and hundreds of other clients.

The rest of the document contains points specifying Sussmann’s digging around and spreading fake news whilst billing his work to the Clinton Campaign. For example:

20. From in or about late July through in or about mid-August 2016, SUSSMANN, Tech Executive-I, and Campaign Lawyer-I coordinated and communicated about the Russian Bank-I allegations during telephone calls and meetings, which SUSSMANN billed to the Clinton Campaign (denoted in Law Firm-1’s billing records by its official corporate name, “HFACC, Inc.”).
24. Despite the aforementioned views that the Russian Bank Data and allegations were a “red herring” that should be “ignored,” SUSSMANN, Tech Executive-1, Originator-I, and the University-I researchers began to draft, review, and revise a “white paper’ summarizing the Russian Bank-I allegations that SUSSMANN would later provide to the FBI. SUSSMANN continued to bill time on these matters to the Clinton Campaign.

Can’t wait to see more.


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