Explosive New Emails Blow Durham Probe Wide Open

Pentagon officials deny any involvement in attributing the 2016 hack of the DNC to Russia after an email indicating that the special counsel’s team asked a computer expert who researched the Trump-Russia collusion claim about it.

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Democrat Michael Sussmann was indicted last year for allegedly concealing his clients from the FBI when he pushed debunked claims that the Trump Organization had a secret backchannel with Russia’s Alfa Bank.

Durham said in February that he has evidence that Sussmann’s other client, Rodney Joffe, a former Neustar executive, was involved in “exploiting” domain name system traffic at Trump Tower, former President Donald Trump’s Central Park West apartment building, and “the Executive Office of the President.”

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‘Researcher-1′, Manos Antonakakis, a professor at Georgia Tech, described in an email from July 2021 that Durham prosecutor Andrew DeFilippis asked him about a hack-and-leak operation against the Democratic National Committee in 2016 that involved an online persona called Guccifer 2.0, which U.S. intelligence officials believed was created by Russian intelligence.

Despite the email from Antonakakis, DARPA denied to reporters that it was involved in the determination assessment that Russian intelligence was behind the hack, despite years of speculation about the motives behind the attack.

“During one of my interviews with the Special Counsel prosecutor, I was asked point blank by Mr. DeFilippis, ‘Do you believe that DARPA should be instructing you to investigate the origins of a hacker (Guccifer 2.0) that hacked a political entity (DNC)?’ Let that sync for a moment, folks,” Anthony wrote last year. “Someone hacked a political party (DNC, in this case), in the middle of an election year (2016), and the lead investigator of DOJ’s special council [sic] would question whether U.S. researchers working for DARPA should conduct investigations in this matter is ‘acceptable’!”

Antonakakis continued: “While I was tempted to say back to him, ‘What if this hacker hacked GOP? Would you want me to investigate him then?’, I kept my cool and told him this is a question for DARPA’s director, and not for me to answer.”

Ling-Ling Nie, Georgia Tech’s general counsel, and two other institute officials received the email in July 2021.

“DARPA was not involved in efforts to attribute the DNC hack. Dr. Antonakakis worked on DARPA’s Enhanced Attribution program, which did not involve analysis of the DNC hack,” DARPA communications chief Jared Adams told reporters. “Further, DARPA was not involved in efforts to attribute the Guccifer 2.0 persona, nor any involvement in efforts to attribute the origin of leaked emails provided to Wikileaks.”

During Adams’ talk, he also mentioned a meeting between Durham and DARPA.

“The meeting between DARPA and special counsel Durham was to provide a high-level overview of the Enhanced Attribution program. During the course of that meeting, DARPA did not discuss matters related to the DNC hack, Guccifer 2.0, or leaked DNC emails provided to Wikileaks.”

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Adams went on, “to the best our knowledge, no DARPA-funded researchers investigated” the DNC hack, and he went on to say that the agency did not assist the FBI or Mueller with their investigations.

Georgia Tech lists Antonakakis as an associate professor and faculty member. He allegedly runs the Astrolavos Lab, which studies “attack attribution” and “data mining.” He has not been charged with a crime. No comment was given by his lawyer.

Durham’s documents refer to Georgia Tech’s “Agency-1 [DARPA] contract.” The indictment of Durham states that if the FBI knew the true origin of Alfa Bank claims, it might have discovered Joffe “had enlisted, and was continuing to enlist, the assistance of researchers at a U.S.-based university who were receiving and analyzing Internet data in connection with a pending federal government cybersecurity research contract” under DARPA.

“Enhanced Attribution, a four-year research effort, did not start until November of 2016,” DARPA’s spokesman explained. “The research associated with the Sussmann allegation, as detailed in the Durham indictment, occurred before then and was not at all affiliated with DARPA nor the EA program.”

Sussmann’s indictment says Joffe asked Antonakakis to “search broadly through Internet data” for links between Trump and Russia. Durham says an email by Antonakakis from August 2016 expressed “continued doubt” about Alfa Bank claims and “raises concerns about the researchers’ bias.”

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“Jofee exploited his access to non-public and/or proprietary Internet data” and tasked others with mining internet data to establish “an inference” and “narrative” tying then-candidate Trump to Russia. Durham claimed Joffe was doing this to please certain “VIPs” within the Clinton campaign.

An analysis by CrowdStrike, a U.S. cybersecurity firm, concluded that Russian state actors were responsible for the cyberattacks on the DNC. The DNC did not grant the FBI entry to its servers, but CrowdStrike did provide forensic copies to the bureau.

Durham filed a motion on February 11th stating that lawyers for the Clinton campaign agreed to pay a technology company to breach servers owned by Trump Tower and later the White House in order to establish an “inference” and “narrative” that would link Donald Trump to Russia.