Special Counsel John Durham has reportedly issued a new set of subpoenas, including to Perkins Coie, a law firm with close ties to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
The grand jury subpoenas were issued earlier this month, following the indictment of Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann, CNN reported.
Sussmann was charged with making false statements to the FBI when he handed over cyber “evidence” alleging ties between the Trump Organization and Russia’s Alfa Bank during a September 2016 meeting.
When asked, Sussmann allegedly told the FBI that he didn’t have a client, when in fact his law firm, Perkins Coie, was working for Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
The FBI conducted a months-long investigation into the tip, but ultimately found it to have no merit.
In seeking additional documents from Sussmann’s former law firm, Perkins Coie, investigators from the special counsel’s office appear to be sharpening their focus on the Democratic political machinery during the 2016 campaign and efforts to tie Trump to Russia.
Perkins Coie’s clients in 2016 included the Clinton campaign, and the Democratic National Committee.
The law firm also hired Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that commissioned the dossier from ex-British spy Christopher Steele that alleged that Trump colluded with Russia.
While working for Perkins Coie, Sussmann also represented Rodney Joffe, a cybersecurity expert referred to in Durham’s indictment as “Tech Executive-1.” In 2016, Joffe, who has not been previously identified, worked with researchers to collect internet data about the Trump Organization that Sussmann took to the FBI.
Durham’s continued use of the federal grand jury in Washington, DC, signals that he could be interested in adding to Sussmann’s charges or bringing cases against additional defendants.
CNN reporters Evan Perez and Katelyn Polantz added this interesting insight to their report:
The larger narrative Durham describes lays out a practice not uncommon in politics and a world that’s usually opaque to the general public — in which campaigns traffic stories that could hurt their opponents, and sometimes try to get law enforcement to open investigations into alleged wrongdoing. At times, the research and authorities’ reactions to the research will leak to the news media as part of partisan attempts to affect election outcomes.
During an interview on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” earlier this month, former Department of Justice Chief of Staff Kash Patel said Durham’s probe into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation is developing a “very well laid-out conspiracy charge” against those involved.
“I was the lead investigator for [House Intelligence Committee] Chairman Devin Nunes, driving the Russia investigation on Capitol Hill and I was actually the staffer that took the deposition that’s cited in Durham’s indictment, so, I’m intimately familiar with this,” Patel explained.
“[Michael] Sussman is the centerpiece for these allegations because he ties the Hillary Clinton campaign to Fusion GPS to Christopher Steele to the Department of Justice and the false information they fed to the FBI and DOJ to spy on the presidential campaign,” he added.
“It’s exactly the heart of the matter,” Patel continued. “It’s a 27-page indictment for a lying count that you normally have about five pages to discuss. It is a very well laid-out conspiracy charge that outlines other figures involved that I just mentioned.”
Those figures—members of the Clinton Campaign, (including Joe Biden’s National Security advisor Jake Sullivan) Fusion GPS, and Michael Steele—have every reason to be nervous as Durham nears the conclusion of his investigation.
Former Attorney General William Barr in April of 2019 assigned then-U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut Durham to investigate the origins of the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
In October 2020 he was appointed Special Counsel for the Department of Justice on those matters, and is expected is expected to complete his investigation in the near future.