Attorneys for the 2016 presidential campaign of former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton paid a technology company to “infiltrate” servers that were in Trump Tower, and after the election in the White House, in order to create an “inference” and “narrative” to link former President Donald Trump to Russia, a filing from Special Counsel John Durham said.
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Durham filed a motion on Feb. 11 focused on potential conflicts of interest related to the representation of former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussman, who has been charged with making a false statement to a federal agent. Sussman has 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 doing work “for any client” when he requested and held a meeting in which he presented “purported data and ‘white papers’ that allegedly demonstrated a covert communications channel” between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, which has ties to the Kremlin.
In the Feb. 11 filing under a section titled “Factual Background,” Durham said that Sussman “had assembled and conveyed the allegations to the FBI on behalf of at least two specific clients, including a technology executive (Tech Executive 1) at a U.S.-based internet company (Internet Company 1) and the Clinton campaign.”
The filing noted that Sussman’s “billing records reflect” that he “repeatedly billed the Clinton Campaign for his work on the Russian Bank-1 allegations.”
It also showed that Tech Executive 1 and Sussman met and talked to another law partner, who was serving as General Counsel to the Clinton campaign. That attorney, sources said, is Marc Elias, who worked at the law firm Perkins Coie.
Durham’s filing states that in July 2016, the tech executive worked with Sussman, a U.S. investigative firm retained by Law Firm 1 on behalf of the Clinton campaign, numerous cyber researchers and employees at multiple internet companies to “assemble the purported data and white papers.”
“In connection with these efforts, Tech Executive-1 exploited his access to non-public and/or proprietary Internet data,” the filing said. “Tech Executive-1 also enlisted the assistance of researchers at a U.S.-based university who were receiving and analyzing large amounts of Internet data in connection with a pending federal government cybersecurity research contract.”
“Tech Executive-1 tasked these researchers to mine Internet data to establish ‘an inference’ and ‘narrative’ tying then-candidate Trump to Russia,” Durham said. “In doing so, Tech Executive-1 indicated that he was seeking to please certain ‘VIPs,’ referring to individuals at Law Firm-1 and the Clinton campaign.”
Former President Donald Trump responded to the filing.
“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,” Trump said in a statement.
“This is a scandal far greater in scope and magnitude than Watergate and those who were involved in and knew about this spying operation should be subject to criminal prosecution. In a stronger period of time in our country, this crime would have been punishable by death. In addition, reparations should be paid to those in our country who have been damaged by this,” he added.