Special Counsel John Durham filed a motion in federal court in Washington, DC, on Friday that says Hillary Clinton’s political allies paid a contractor to spy on former President Donald Trump — both as a candidate and as president — using cell phone data.
Last year, Durham charged Democratic lawyer Michael Sussman, with one count of lying to the FBI. Sussman, a former federal prosecutor who represented the Democratic National Committee (DNC), pleaded not guilty to the charge, asserting it was politically motivated.
Durham accused Sussman of making a false statement by saying he was not representing a client in presenting information to the FBI, alleging a “secret communications channel” between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, a Russian bank.
In his latest brief, Durham raised the issue of spying in a request to the court to discover if there are potential conflicts of interest regarding a defense lawyer’s representation of the Sussman.
Conservative news outlets and the disgraced former president blew a gasket over the allegation that Democratic campaign lawyers paid a technology company to “infiltrate” servers at Trump Tower and the White House, in order to establish an “inference” and “narrative” linking Donald with Russia’s attempts to influence the election.
“The latest pleading from Special Counsel Robert Durham provides indisputable evidence that my campaign and presidency were spied on by operatives paid by the Hillary Clinton Campaign in an effort to develop a completely fabricated connection to Russia,” claimed Trump, who also said, “In a stronger period of time in our country, this crime would have been punishable by death.”
Durham was nominated as U.S. Attorney for Connecticut in 2017 and in October 2020, then-Attorney General William P. Barr designated him as special counsel to review the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe under an order that protected the independent investigation from a change in political leadership and required the submission of a final report that could be made public.
Durham alleges that Sussman was working on behalf of at least two clients, the Clinton campaign and a technology executive, when he conveyed the allegations to the FBI.
Sussmann has pleaded not guilty to the false statement charge and is due to go on trial in late spring this year.
The filing says that Sussmann was involved in an effort to mine data from a project run by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) at a U.S. university (identified in previous reports as Georgia Tech) to spy on Trump and his associates in order to support the collusion narrative that triggered investigations by the FBI and another special counsel.
The Department of Justice released a new version of the Mueller report Friday afternoon that reveals for the first time that former special counsel Robert Mueller considered charging Donald Trump Jr. with a misdemeanor “computer intrusion” crime for accessing an anti-Trump website using a password he obtained from WikiLeaks.
The new version of the report on Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election also said that Mueller declined, citing insufficient evidence, to charge the political operative Roger Stone with crimes related to the hacking of Democratic National Committee computers and email accounts.
The report “did not establish” that the Trump campaign’s then-director of national security, JD Gordon, was acting as an agent of Russia when he arranged for changes to the Republican platform during the 2016 convention.
Durham also charged Igor Danchenko, 43, a Russian citizen residing in Virginia, with five counts of making false statements to the FBI regarding the sources of certain information that he provided to a U.K. investigative firm that was then included in the Steele Dossier.
The dossier, leaked by BuzzFeed News in January 2017 without its author’s permission, is a controversial unfinished 35-page compilation of raw intelligence gathered for a political opposition research project by Christopher Steele, a former head of the Russia Desk for British intelligence (MI6).
The dossier’s 17 reports contain allegations of misconduct, conspiracy, and cooperation between Trump’s presidential campaign and the government of Russia prior to the 2016 election.
It was initially funded by Republican billionaire Paul Singer, a supporter of Marco Rubio in the 2016 Republican primary campaign, but the contractor—Fusion GPS—obtained indirect funding from the DNC and the Clinton campaign, working through attorney Marc Elias of Perkins Coie.
Sussmann was a partner at the Perkins Coie law firm.
Durham’s investigation cost U.S. taxpayers about $3.8 million from mid-October 2020 through December 2021.