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John Durham, the special counsel appointed by then-Attorney General William Barr to investigate the origins of the so-called ‘Russiagate’ counterintelligence probe into then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, is finding evidence of an “incestuous relationship,” a former House Republican claimed on Sunday.
Jason Chaffetz, who was the guest host of Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” discussed the latest developments in Durham’s probe with current members of Congress, with an emphasis on Democrat cybersecurity attorney Michael Sussmann:
…Sussmann was representing the Clinton campaign when in 2016 he passed along information to an FBI counsel. His lawyers say the documents “raised national security concerns” while prosecutors describe them as purportedly detailing a covert channel between a Russian bank and the business of Donald Trump, Clinton’s rival at the time.
Sussmann was charged with lying to the FBI because he falsely told the counsel he was not providing the allegations to the FBI on behalf of any client despite presenting the information on behalf of the Clinton campaign, prosecutors say.
“Special Counsel John Durham asserted in a court filing Friday that the CIA concluded data from Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann alleging coordination between Donald Trump and Russia was ‘not technically plausible’ and was ‘user-created,'” Fox News reported.
“In the filing, Durham responded to objections from Sussmann’s defense regarding what evidence could be admissible at Sussmann’s trial, which is scheduled to begin next month. Sussmann is accused of lying to the FBI by saying he was not attending a meeting on behalf of a particular client when he was actually presenting the information on behalf of the Hillary Clinton campaign and a technology executive with whom he worked,” the report added.
The Fox report added:
Durham in February first revealed that the government would establish during trial that among the data “exploited” was domain name system (DNS) internet traffic pertaining to “a particular healthcare provider, Trump Tower, Donald Trump’s Central Park West apartment building, and the Executive Office of the President of the United States (EOP).”
In February, Durham said data was exploited “by mining the EOP’s DNS traffic and other data for the purpose of gathering derogatory information about Donald Trump,” adding the data was used to establish “an inference” and “narrative” tying Trump to Russia.
In addition, Sussmann was also representing a person known in Durham’s court filings as “Tech Executive-1,” now known to be former Neustar executive Rodney Joffe. He is accused of concealing them from then-FBI general counsel James Baker in September 2016 when he presented internet data that suggested a now-debunked Trump-Russia link, the Washington Examiner reports.
“The allegation here is that Michael Sussmann got in with a meeting with the general counsel there at the Federal Bureau of Investigation by representing that he wasn’t representing anybody,” Chaffetz, a former GOP representative from Utah, said during an interview with Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.).
“But there’s other documentation and flow of money and logs and whatnot,” he added. “That’s why this is a case that is important because these people had this incestuous relationship to be able to actually go in and access things that other people that are on the receiving end of these — of these types of prosecutions don’t get to do.”
The Examiner notes further:
After the judge presiding over the case denied Sussmann’s attempt to dismiss, Durham revealed in a court filing late Friday that a government agency, identified in media reports as the CIA, found data from Sussmann indicating that coordination between Trump and Russia was “not technically plausible” and “user created.” Durham also said “the Special Counsel’s Office has not reached a definitive conclusion in this regard.”
Beyond the correspondence with the FBI, Durham said in a prior filing that Sussmann later “provided an updated set of allegations — including the Russian Bank-1 data and additional allegations relating to Trump” to the agency believed to be the CIA. The Russian bank is Alfa Bank. The government expects to “adduce evidence at trial” that will reflect the FBI and the CIA “concluded that the Russian Bank 1 allegations were untrue and unsupported,” Durham said on Friday.
Chaffetz asked Biggs to share any information he had regarding the ongoing case.
“I’m hearing that there are some emails that Durham has found that, again, show that they’re — that Sussmann lied to the FBI and that he also lied and misrepresented regarding the connection of all of this with DNC, which is the Democratic National Committee, and the Clinton campaign, and who paid for his bogus information that he was throwing out there,” Biggs said.
“So, it’s pretty interesting to see. And I’m not sure that the Clinton campaign folks or the Democratic Party wants to see this go to trial and air their dirty laundry even further,” he added.
Durham is currently conducting a pair of active prosecutions including a case against the primary source for ex-British spy Christopher Steele’s largely debunked ‘dossier’ on Trump as well as the Sussmann case, the latter of whom is scheduled to go to trial May 16.
“Some allies of Trump suspect Durham is building a conspiracy case that will envelop people in and around Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign,” the Examiner reports.
“Clinton has denounced what she dubbed a ‘fake scandal’ stemming from Durham’s investigation, though she herself was vocal about the Alfa Bank allegations when they began to emerge publicly in the closing weeks of the 2016 election,” the report continued.