Hillary for America and Fusion GPS Make Desperate Move to Fend off John Durham

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

With the trial of Michael Sussmann, one of the Hillary Clinton operatives indicted in relation to the Trump-Russia hoax, less than a month out, the attempts to derail John Durham’s prosecution have heated up.

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Sussmann made a long-shot motion to outright dismiss the case, arguing that even if he lied, it would not have been material to the FBI’s investigation of Trump. That was eventually denied after Durham ripped it apart. More recently, another filing by the prosecution alleged that Sussmann had billed the Clinton campaign as part of a joint effort to spread falsehoods to the FBI targeting Trump.

Now, in a move that reeks of desperation, Hillary for America is trying to claim privilege over communications that Durham is seeking to use as evidence. Fusion GPS, allegedly retained on behalf of the Clinton campaign by Marc Elias, is also making the same argument.

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The claim that Fusion GPS, which spent years spearheading the research and media handling related to various Trump-Russia conspiracy theories, was actually just providing “legal services” is farcical. Everything we know about the operation says that’s not at all what they were doing. As the above excerpt points out, Elias has already admitted that he brought on Fusion GPS to conduct political research into Trump. For these various parties to now insist this was all about legal advice is brazen.

But it seems as if Hillary for America and Fusion GPS think they’ve found a loophole to keep Durham from entering the information in question as evidence. The question is whether the judge will buy the argument from Hillary’s henchmen. I’m highly skeptical this gambit will fly given how much headway Durham has made to this point, and you can bet he’ll have a well-formed, air-tight response to these filings.

Besides, isn’t this an admission that Sussmann was being paid by the Clinton campaign (via proxies)? If the information between Fusion GPS, Hillary for America, and Perkins Coie (Sussmann’s employer) is supposedly covered under attorney-client privilege, that would logically mean Sussmann was lying when he said he wasn’t working for any client at the time. Obviously, making that case in court is a fair bit more difficult than typing it out here, but still, it’s illuminating.

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We’ll have to wait and see what happens next, but I continue to believe that Durham would not have brought this indictment if he hadn’t covered all his bases. As a career prosecutor with a sterling record, he is nothing if he isn’t meticulous, and there’s no way he would blow up his special counsel by chasing a dead end. Especially with so much left out there to target. So while Hillary and her friends will keep trying to outmaneuver him, I expect Durham will remain one step ahead.

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