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First on Fox: Clinton campaign lawyers paid a tech company to ‘infiltrate’ servers belonging to the Trump Tower, then the White House, to establish an ‘inference’ and ‘narrative’ to bring to government agencies linking Donald Trump to Russia, Special Counsel John Durham’s brief says.
Durham filed a petition Feb. 11 focused on potential conflicts of interest related to representing former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussman, who was charged with making a false statement to a federal agent. Sussman pleaded not guilty.
The indictment against Sussman says he told then-FBI General Counsel James Baker in September 2016, less than two months before the 2016 presidential election, that he was not working “for no client” when he requested and held a meeting in which he presented “purported data and ‘white papers’ that allegedly demonstrated a secret communication channel” between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, which has ties to the Kremlin.
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But Durham’s Feb. 11 filing, in a section titled “Factal Background,” reveals that Sussman “collected and forwarded the allegations to the FBI on behalf of at least two specific clients, including a technology executive (Tech Executive 1) at a US-based internet company (Internet Company 1) and the Clinton campaign.”
Durham’s filing says Sussman’s “billing records reflect” that he “repeatedly billed the Clinton campaign for his work on the Russian Bank-1 allegations.”
The filing revealed that Sussman and the Tech Executive met and communicated with another legal partner, who served as general counsel for the Clinton campaign. Sources told Fox News that the lawyer is Marc Elias, who worked at the law firm Perkins Coie.
Durham’s filing indicates that in July 2016, the tech executive worked with Sussman, a US investigative firm retained by Law Firm 1 on behalf of the Clinton campaign, numerous cyber researchers and employees of several internet companies to “assemble the purported data and white papers”. “
“As part of these efforts, Tech Executive-1 leveraged its access to non-public and/or proprietary Internet data,” the filing states. “Tech Executive-1 also brought in researchers from a US university who were receiving and analyzing large amounts of internet data as part of an ongoing cybersecurity research contract with the federal government.”
“Tech Executive-1 commissioned these researchers to mine internet data to establish ‘inference’ and ‘narrative’ linking then-candidate Trump to Russia,” Durham says. “In doing so, Tech Executive-1 indicated that it was seeking to please certain ‘VIPs’, referring to individuals from Law Firm-1 and the Clinton campaign.”
Durham also writes that during Sussman’s trial, the government would establish that among the Internet Tech Executive-1 and associates exploited data was domain name system (DNS) Internet traffic relating to “(i) a health care provider particular health, (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).”
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Durham says the internet company Tech Executive-1 worked for “came in to access and maintain dedicated servers” for the president’s executive office as part of a “sensitive deal whereby it provided DNS resolution services to the ‘EOP’.
“Tech Executive-1 and its associates exploited this arrangement by mining EOP DNS traffic and other data for the purpose of gathering derogatory information about Donald Trump,” Durham says.
The filing also reveals that Sussman provided “an updated set of allegations,” including Russian banking data, and additional allegations regarding Trump “to a second US government agency” in 2017.
Durham says the allegations “were based, in part, on purported DNS traffic” that Tech Executive-1 and others “gathered relating to Trump Tower, Donald Trump’s apartment building in New York, EOP and the aforementioned health care provider”.
During Sussman’s meeting with the second US government agency, Durham said he “provided data which he believed reflected allegedly suspicious DNS lookups by these Internet Protocol (IP) address entities affiliated with a Russian cellphone provider,” and claimed that the research “demonstrated Trump and/or his associates were using supposedly rare Russian-made cordless phones near the White House and other locations.”
“The Office of Special Counsel identified no support for these allegations,” Durham wrote, adding that “research was far from sparse in the United States.”
“For example, the more comprehensive data that Tech Executive-1 and his associates collected – but did not provide to Agency 2 – shows that between approximately 2014 and 2017 there were a total of more than 3 million Russian phone lookups – Prover 1 IPs from US-based IPs,” Durham wrote. “Less than 1,000 of those searches came from IP addresses affiliated with Trump Tower.”
Durham added that data collected by Tech Executive-1 also revealed that research began as early as 2014, during the Obama administration and years before Trump took office, which he said is “another fact that the allegations omitted”.
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“During his meeting with Agency-2 employees, the defendant also made a materially similar misrepresentation to the one he made to the FBI’s General Counsel,” Durham wrote. “In particular, the defendant asserted that he did not represent any particular client in conveying the above allegations.”
“In truth and in fact, the defendant represented Tech Executive-1 – a fact that the defendant later admitted under oath during December 2017 testimony before Congress, without identifying the client by name,” wrote Durham.
Former President Trump reacted to the dossier on Saturday evening, saying the Durham dossier “provides indisputable evidence that my campaign and my presidency were spied on by agents paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign in an attempt to develop a completely fabricated connection. with Russia”.
‘This is a scandal of far greater scope and scale than Watergate and those who were involved in this spy operation and knew about it should be subject to criminal prosecution’ , Trump said. “In a stronger time in our country, this crime would have been punishable by death.”
Trump added, “Additionally, reparations should be paid to those in our country who have been damaged by this.”
Former Chief Investigator of the Trump-Russia Inquiry for the House Intelligence Committee under the former Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., Kash Patel, said the record “definitely shows that Hillary Clinton’s campaign directly funded and ordered her lawyers at Perkins Coie to orchestrate a criminal enterprise to fabricate a connection between the President Trump and Russia”.
“According to Durham, this arrangement was put in place in July 2016, which means that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and her lawyers orchestrated the most complex and coordinated plot against Trump when he was both candidate and later President of the United States while simultaneously perpetuating the fake Steele Dossier Hoax,” Patel told Fox News, adding that the attorneys worked to “infiltrate” the servers at Trump Tower and the White House.
The anti-Trump dossier, written by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, commissioned by opposition research firm Fusion GPS, was funded by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign through the Elia’s law firm, Perkins Coie.
Patel added that Sussman relayed the “false narrative” to US government agencies “in the hope that they would launch investigations into President Trump.”
Sussmann’s indictment is the second prosecution to emerge from Durham’s investigation.
In 2020, Durham accused former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith of making a false statement – the first criminal case to arise from his investigation. Clinesmith has been referred for potential prosecution by the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General, which conducted its own review of the Russia investigation.
Specifically, the inspector general accused Clinesmith, though not by name, of altering an email about Page to say he was “not a source” for another government agency. Page said he was a source for the CIA. The DOJ relied on that claim when it submitted a third and final renewal request in 2017 to listen to Trump campaign aide Carter Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). .
Former Attorney General Bill Barr appointed Durham, then a US attorney from Connecticut, in 2019 to investigate the origins of the original FBI Russia investigation, or Crossfire Hurricane, which began in July 2016, with the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller in May 2017 shortly. after Mueller completed his years-long investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded or coordinated with Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Mueller’s investigation found no evidence of illegal or criminal coordination between Trump or the Trump campaign and Russia in 2016.
Barr in December 2020, before leaving the Trump administration, hired Durham as special counsel to continue his investigation through the Biden administration.
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In the scope order, Barr said Durham “is authorized to investigate whether any federal official, employee or other person or entity has violated the law in connection with intelligence, counter -espionage or law enforcement directed against the 2016 Presidential Election campaigns, individuals associated with such campaigns, and individuals associated with the administration of President Donald J. Trump, including but not limited to , Crossfire Hurricane, and Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s Investigation, III.
Under the U.S. code, the special advocate would produce a “confidential report” and is required to “submit to the Attorney General a final report and such interim reports as he deems appropriate in a form that will permit public dissemination.”