Durham Issues New Subpoenas in Investigation of FBI's Trump-Russia Probe
Special counsel's office set sights on Democratic political machinery
Special Counsel John Durham has issued more subpoenas as part of his ongoing probe into the FBI's investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign's ties to Russia during the presidential election of 2016.
The grand jury subpoenas for documents came earlier this month after Durham charged Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann with lying to the FBI in a September 2016 meeting. During that meeting, Sussmann handed over data purporting to show links between the Trump Organization and Russia's Alfa Bank. That tip became part of the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, but the FBI ultimately couldn't find evidence of a link.
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.
As Neon Nettle reported earlier this month, top Democrat election lawyer Marc Elias left Perkins Coie on August 22 before Sussmann was charged.
Elias reportedly arranged for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign to hire Fusion GPS opposition research firm hidden in federal election filings.
Elias's alleged involvement in the matter was revealed by the Washington Post in 2017:
The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump's connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.
Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.
After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The Steele dossier was presented to the FBI and used to obtain a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
The FBI never disclosed the political origins of the document.
The agency later misled the FISA court after learning that the dossier's contents were discredited during the warrant renewal application process.
Elias made no mention of the Durham probe after he announced his departure from Perkins Coie but said he was leaving with "eleven partners and three counsel" to launch his own new election law office, Elias Law Group LLP.
Earlier this month, former Bill Clinton adviser Dick Morris predicted that the indictment of Sussmann would lead to Hillary Clinton's indictment.
"[I]t might be that we've finally caught up with Hillary," Morris proclaimed.
"We don't know yet, but I'm going to probe it, and I think that there's some chance now."
Former Trump official, Kash Patel, said he believed a "very well-laid out" conspiracy charge would encompass Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.
"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," Patel said.