Durham Reveals Clinton Lawyer’s One Mistake

In his recent filing, special counsel John Durham argues that if just one thing had been different regarding the FBI’s counterintelligence probe into the 2016 Trump campaign – the so-called “Russiagate” investigation – history would have turned out very differently.

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If the lawyer who worked on the campaign of Donald Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, was truthful with the FBI, John Solomon noted in a column published earlier this week for Just the News.

In his column, Solomon writes, “It was an allegation that dogged Donald Trump for three years: a claim the Republican nominee-turned-president had a secret backdoor communications channel with the Kremlin. Repeated endlessly by the liberal media, the allegation was never true.”

He continued:

Now, Special Counsel John Durham is raising the tantalizing specter the FBI might never have investigated the claim during the height of the 2016 presidential election if the man who brought it to the bureau — Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann — had told the truth about its origins.

In his latest court filing this weekend, Durham gave his most sweeping assessment yet about the consequences of Sussmann hiding the fact that he brought the allegation to the FBI on behalf of the Clinton campaign and a computer executive aligned with the campaign.

“Had the defendant truthfully informed the FBI General Counsel that he was providing the information on behalf of one or more clients, as opposed to merely acting as a ‘good citizen,’ the FBI General Counsel and other FBI personnel might have asked a multitude of additional questions material to the case initiation process,” a memo that Durham filed Friday informed the court.

“Given the temporal proximity to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the FBI also might have taken any number of different steps in initiating, delaying, or declining the initiation of this matter had it known at the time that the defendant was providing information on behalf of the Clinton campaign and a technology executive at a private company,” Durham continued.

Durham has charged Sussmann with making a false statement to federal investigators regarding the origins of the ‘Russiagate’ investigation. Specifically, Sussmann claimed that he wasn’t representing any client when he informed FBI General Counsel James Baker that Trump had a secret computer connection to the Russians.

In a filing last month, attorneys for Sussmann argued that the allegation is not material to the case and that Sussmann’s speech is protected by the First Amendment.

Durham reacted to the filing strongly, focusing particularly on Sussmann’s claim that lying to a federal agent is protected speech.

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“Far from finding himself in the vulnerable position of an ordinary person whose speech is likely to be chilled, the defendant – a sophisticated and well-connected lawyer – chose to bring politically-charged allegations to the FBI’s chief legal officer at the height of an election season,” Durham’s filing stated.

“He then chose to lie about the clients who were behind those allegations,” Durham continued. “Using such rare access to the halls of power for the purposes of political deceit is hardly the type of speech that the Founders intended to protect. The Court should therefore reject defendant’s invitation to expand the scope of the First Amendment to protect such conduct.”

Durham added that he plans to bring testimony at trial from a number of FBI and government witnesses that Sussmann’s falsehoods were both relevant and material, and that likely influenced the outcome of the ‘Russiagate’ case.

“The expected testimony of multiple government witnesses will refute the defendant’s argument that the defendant’s false statement was immaterial. As noted above, the government expects that current and former FBI employees will testify at trial that understanding the origins of data and information is relevant to the FBI in multiple ways, including to assess the reliability and motivations of the source.

“None of this is novel. An evaluation of a source can (and often does) influence the FBI’s decisions regarding its initial opening decisions and subsequent investigative steps. That alone is sufficient to establish materiality,” Durham’s filing added.

Durham was appointed in 2019 to study the origins of the FBI’s investigation of possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Specifically, it explores the FBI’s investigation of Sussmann’s giving the FBI data showing apparently suspicious traffic between Trump Organization computers and a Russian bank in September 2016.

To Durham’s knowledge, Sussmann claimed to be acting for himself and the Clinton campaign, not for anyone else.

However, the FBI concluded there was no evidence of wrongdoing with the data.

Lawyers for Sussman contended that Sussman’s affiliations were irrelevant.

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‘At the end of the day, Hillary Clinton herself could have publicly handed over the Russian Bank-1 Information and the FBI would still have investigated it,’ his lawyers stated in a February filing.

In Durham’s view, however, the FBI might have assessed the allegations more accurately if they had better understood their source.

In the court filing, Durham raised fresh allegations about Sussmann – which Trump and his allies falsely claimed proved that the former president’s opponents had spied on him.