Chris Lange, FISM News
Special counsel John Durham has issued trial subpoenas for members of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee in the case against Clinton attorney Michael Sussman and cybersecurity expert Rodney Joffe.
As first reported by The Washington Examiner, Durham seeks to unseal multiple emails exchanged among the parties involved in the case, which they have refused to hand over. The Clinton campaign, opposition research firm Fusion GPS, the DNC, and the Perkins Coie law firm are fighting the subpoenas, citing attorney-client privilege. Durham subpoena is an effort to obtain further proof that the named groups met on multiple occasions to coordinate a false Trump-Russia-collusion narrative in an effort to smear the 45th president’s chances in the election.
“Meeting to agree on the express goal of a joint venture is precisely what happened here, on more than one occasion,” the special counsel wrote.
According to court documents reviewed by the Washington Examiner, Rodney Joffe, who was referred to as “Tech Executive-1” in previous court filings, and other researchers on behalf of the Clinton campaign had discussed “searching for and collecting derogatory internet data about the online activities of Donald Trump and his associates” in June 2016. The following month, Durham said April Lorenzen of the information services firm Zetalytics had “assembled and shared initial purported data” with Joffe, who then allegedly passed the information along to Sussman. Sussman then brought the data, which included alleged proof of Trump’s ties to a Russian bank, to the FBI.
Durham said Joffe instructed employees from several internet companies, as well as a university working under a pending national security contract, to extract “internet metadata” to support the Russian-collusion narrative against then-candidate Trump. He then cites three specific dates during which Joffe, Sussman, and Elias discussed their ongoing efforts to fuel the smear campaign against Trump, for which all three billed their time to the Clinton campaign.
Durham determined that Joffe “exploited sensitive internet data that researchers were provided to guard against cybersecurity threats,” for use in mining data that could be used against Trump. He further said that Joffe “made clear his desire to ensure that the “VIPs” (Perkins and the Clinton campaign) would be “happy” with the information they gleaned.
Sussman’s attorneys said Durham is guilty of overreach in his issuance of the subpoenas.
“The Special Counsel this week took the astonishing and legally inappropriate step of subpoenaing witnesses for the express purpose of having them testify to the invocation of the attorney-client privilege in front of the jury,” Sussmann’s lawyers contended in a Friday filing, asserting that Durham “seeks to prove conduct that is utterly irrelevant to the one discrete crime [Durham] has charged.”
Durham, however, said, “The goal of the joint venture could not have been more clear: it was to gather and disseminate derogatory non-public information regarding the internet activities of a political candidate and his associates,” adding, “And that venture was far from collateral to the charged crime. Indeed, the above-described joint venture was the very project that led Tech Executive-1 to rely upon the defendant’s services; the very project that gave rise to the Russian Bank-1 allegations; the very project that prompted agents of the Clinton Campaign to meet with Tech Executive-1; and the very project that caused the defendant to meet with the FBI General Counsel and lie to him about the clients who were behind all of this work.”
Durham has previously called on the Clinton campaign and the DNC to provide more details to back their attorney-client privilege assertions in the case.
Sussman was indicted in February on charges of lying to the FBI when he claimed he was not working on behalf of anyone when he turned over information on Trump. Records and Sussman’s own testimony indicate that he was working directly for the Clinton campaign.