Thursday, September 16, 2021

Russiagate Revived - Durham Stirs

 Rebecca Downs at Red State, Trump Finally Has His Answer on 'Where's Durham?'

The New York Times reported on Wednesday night that John Durham has informed the Department of Justice he will ask a grand jury to indict Michael Sussmann over his making a false statement to the FBI. The report cites "people familiar with the matter." Durham was assigned by then Attorney General Bill Barr in 2019 to investigate. Last December, Attorney General Barr elevated Durham's status to Special Counsel.

As the report noted about Sussmann:
Any indictment of the lawyer — Michael Sussmann, a former federal prosecutor and now a partner at the Perkins Coie law firm, and who represented the Democratic National Committee on issues related to Russia’s 2016 hacking of its servers — is likely to attract significant political attention.

Donald J. Trump and his supporters have long accused Democrats and Perkins Coie — whose political law group, a division separate from Mr. Sussmann’s, represented the party and the Hillary Clinton campaign — of seeking to stoke unfair suspicions about Mr. Trump’s purported ties to Russia.

The case against Mr. Sussmann centers on the question of who his client was when he conveyed certain suspicions about Mr. Trump and Russia to the F.B.I. in September 2016. Among other things, investigators have examined whether Mr. Sussmann was secretly working for the Clinton campaign — which he denies.
There's also an explanation about the incident in question:
The accusation against Mr. Sussmann focuses on a meeting he had on Sept. 19, 2016, with James A. Baker, who was the F.B.I.’s top lawyer at the time, according to the people familiar with the matter. They spoke on condition of anonymity.
At the meeting, Mr. Sussmann relayed data and analysis from cybersecurity researchers who thought that odd internet data might be evidence of a covert communications channel between computer servers associated with the Trump Organization and with Alfa Bank, a Kremlin-linked Russian financial institution.

The F.B.I. eventually decided those concerns had no merit. The special counsel who later took over the Russia investigation, Robert S. Mueller III, ignored the matter in his final report.

Mr. Sussmann’s lawyers have told the Justice Department that he sought the meeting because he and the cybersecurity researchers believed that The New York Times was on the verge of publishing an article about the Alfa Bank data and he wanted to give the F.B.I. a heads-up. (In fact, The Times was not ready to run that article, but published one mentioning Alfa Bank six weeks later.)

Mr. Durham has been using a grand jury to examine the Alfa Bank episode and appeared to be hunting for any evidence that the data had been cherry-picked or the analysis of it knowingly skewed, The New Yorker and other outlets have reported. To date, there has been no public sign that he has found any such evidence.

But Mr. Durham did apparently find an inconsistency: Mr. Baker, the former F.B.I. lawyer, is said to have told investigators that he recalled Mr. Sussmann saying that he was not meeting him on behalf of any client. But in a deposition before Congress in 2017, Mr. Sussmann testified that he sought the meeting on behalf of an unnamed client who was a cybersecurity expert and had helped analyze the data.

Moreover, internal billing records Mr. Durham is said to have obtained from Perkins Coie are said to show that when Mr. Sussmann logged certain hours as working on the Alfa Bank matter — though not the meeting with Mr. Baker — he billed the time to Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 campaign.

Another partner at Perkins Coie, Marc Elias, was then serving as the general counsel for the Clinton campaign. Mr. Elias, who did not respond to inquiries, left Perkins Coie last month.
What is particularly telling is that even Sussmann's lawyers, Sean M. Berkowitz and Michael S. Bosworth of Latham & Watkins acknowledged they expect him to be indicted, but deny he made any false statement:

It turns out Durham only has a few days left to charge this crime before the expiration of the statute of limitations.  More from Jerry Dunleavy at WaEx, Durham seeks indictment against lawyer at Steele dossier-linked law firm over Alfa Bank matter: Report. Bonchie at Red State, John Durham Reportedly Preparing a Surprise Indictment, Da Wire, Durham Expected To Indict Clinton-Connected Lawyer On Trump-Russia Matters, Report Says. Mark Wauk at Meaning in History, Breaking: Durham To Indict Michael Sussman? "Daniel Jones Also In Trouble?". Capt. Ed at Hot Hair, NYT: Durham will ask grand jury to indict prominent Dem-connected attorney. Althouse, "The case against [Michael] Sussmann centers on the question of who his client was when he conveyed certain suspicions about Mr. Trump and Russia to the F.B.I. in September 2016.". Ace, Durham is Coming? Maybe? Yeah, it's only been about 5 years. Justice delayed. . . 

I hope they're squeezing him for somebody bigger.

UPDATE: WaPoo reports Durham grand jury indicts lawyer whose firm represented Hillary Clinton’s campaign

Speaking of (in)justice, 'Adam Mill' at Am Great informs us Shocker! D.C. Bar Reinstates Russia Collusion Hoax Lawyer

On September 2, the District of Columbia Bar quietly converted the indefinite suspension of Kevin Clinesmith’s law license to a one-year suspension (retroactively). This will restore Clinesmith’s ability to practice law before the D.C. bar. To understand how shocking this development is, it’s important to review Clinesmith’s pivotal role in the Russian collusion hoax. . . .

Jerry Dunleavy and Dan Chaitin, Mueller investigated media involvement in conspiracy to steal Democratic emails. No word on who, but given the Mueller team, I'm just going to guess they weren't left wing. 

From the WaT, Ex-CIA analyst: Anti-Trump officials politicized intelligence, undermined U.S. security. No shit, Sherlock.

“Current and former U.S. intelligence officers in unprecedentedly large numbers politicized intelligence in their opposition to candidate and then President Donald Trump,” Mr. Gentry stated in an article in the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence.

Across da pond at Da Mail, Now Russia accuses US of election meddling: Kremlin summons ambassador amid fury at American tech giants' refusal to censor anti-Putin content. I wouldn't be shocked.

Lifezette, Chase Bank Goes Full Woke, Cancels Gen Flynn’s Credit Card Over “Reputational Risk” but then, Chase Bank apologizes for Michael Flynn credit card cancellation letter sent in 'error' (Yahoo!).

White Supremacy is so rare the FBI has to pay to get it produced. JTN, FBI suffers another black eye, admits it hid payments to informant in white supremacist case

The FBI, already under fire for its handling of FISA warrants and confidential informants, is enduring more scrutiny as the Justice Department admits agents failed to disclose to a court that they had paid — to the tune of six figures — a white supremacist publisher for years to be an investigative source.

The admission came in a series of court filings this month in the case of Kaleb Cole, a Washington state man accused of being a member of the white supremacist group Atomwaffen and participating in an intimidation campaign against Jewish Americans and minority journalists. Cole has pleaded innocent and awaits trial.

Cole's lawyers filed a motion to suppress evidence gathered against their client on the grounds that the FBI had failed to disclose in a search warrant application that a publisher of extremist literature had been paid about $144,000 over 16 years to be an informant, including $82,000 for work in the case against Cole. The confidential informant (CI) also had an earlier felony conviction that wasn't disclosed, court records show.

The filings don't identify the informant by name but describe him as a publisher who "owns and operates a publishing company that distributes white supremacist writings."

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