Durham Exposes New Links To Clinton Campaign in Creation of Russian Collusion Scandal

Below is my column in The Hill on the recent links established by Special Prosecutor John Durham and the Clinton campaign.

Here is the column:

To my good friend … A Great Democrat.” Those words written to a Russian figure in Moscow, inside a copy of a Hillary Clinton autobiography, may be the defining line of special counsel John Durham’s investigation. The message reportedly was written by Charles Dolan, a close Clinton adviser and campaign regular whom news reports identify as the mysterious “PR-Executive 1” in the latest Durham indictment, this time of Igor Danchenko.

Danchenko, 43, was a key figure in the compilation of the infamous Steele dossier that led to the now discredited investigation of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 presidential race. But Danchenko, a Russian emigre living in the U.S., seems unlikely to be the Durham investigation’s apex defendant. In fact, Durham describes him at points more like a shill than a spy, an “investigator” who was fed what to report by Clinton operatives such as Dolan.

Durham is known as a methodical, apolitical and unrelenting prosecutor. Thus far, his work seems to betray a belief that the FBI got played by the Clinton campaign to investigate the Trump team. The question is whether Durham really wants to indict just the figurative tail if he can get the whole dog — a question that now may weigh heavily on a number of Washington figures, just as it did following Durham’s indictment in September of Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann.

Danchenko’s indictment on five counts of lying to the FBI serves two obvious purposes. First, these counts — with a possible five years in prison on each — are enough to concentrate the mind of any defendant about possibly flipping for the prosecution. Second, indicting Danchenko “hoists the wretch” for potential targets to see and consider that there but for the grace of God — and Durham — go they.

The background details of Durham’s three indictments so far have assembled an impressive list of “great Democrats” who contributed directly or indirectly to the creation of the Russia collusion scandal. Indeed, the collusion case increasingly is taking on a type of “Murder on the Orient Express” feel, in which all of the suspects may turn out to be culprits. While the statute of limitations may protect some, Durham has shown that he can use the crime of lying to federal investigators (18 U.S.C. 1001) as a handy alternative. Targets must admit to prior misconduct or face a new charge.

Thus, Durham clearly seems to be making a meticulous case that the Steele dossier was a political hit job orchestrated by Clinton operatives. His latest indictment connects Danchenko to several intriguing figures and groups that, in turn, relate to the Clinton campaign.

Former British spy Christopher Steele himself has been extensively interviewed by investigators over the years — a long record that comes with inherent risks of contradictions. Notably, Steele recently defended his dossier in a bizarre interview. While admitting that it might have been used by Russian intelligence for disinformation, he stood by the accounts of its most sensational details, such as former President Trump’s “golden shower tape,” despite Durham’s findings to the contrary.

The role of former General Counsel of the Clinton campaign was featured in yet another Durham indictment. Elias’ former partner and Clinton lawyer, Michael Sussmann, was just indicted by Durham. Both Elias and Sussmann did this work through the law firm Perkins Coie, which has strong ties to the Democratic Party. Like Sussmann, Elias was accused for lying about the role of the Clinton campaign in the Russian scandal. Specifically, New York Times reporters accused Elias and the campaign of denying that the dossier was funded by the Clinton campaign. He later sat next to campaign chair John Podesta when he also reportedly denied the connection. It is not clear if Durham believes that Elias lied to investigators or engaged in other criminal conduct in his key role in the scandal.

Dolan is the latest direct connection between the campaign and the infamous Steele dossier to surface in Durham’s investigation. Dolan had close ties not only to the Clintons but to the Russians as well; he and the public relations firm where he worked had represented the Russian government and registered as foreign agents for Russia.

Durham alleges that it was Dolan, not Russian sources, who gave Danchenko key allegations to put into the Steele dossier, including some of its most salacious claims. Dolan is described as traveling to Moscow to meet with Russian officials who were paying his firm. The connection is notable because American intelligence believed that sources used in the dossier were, in fact, Russian agents and that the dossier may have been a vehicle for Russian intelligence to spread misinformation. However, Dolan reportedly admitted to “fabricating” facts given to Danchenko. Dolan’s attorney now describes him as a “witness” in the investigation.

Danchenko worked for several years at the Brookings Institution, a leading liberal think tank in Washington, as an analyst in Russian and Eurasian affairs — and, as a result, Brookings features prominently in this latest indictment. Around 2010, another Brookings employee had introduced Danchenko to Steele, who subsequently retained him as a contract investigator. (Brookings has become something of a common denominator for many of the figures discussed in indictments and recent stories related to the Russian collusion scandal).

Steele testified in London in a 2019 defamation suit that he had disclosed some of his dossier’s details to Strobe Talbott, then the president of Brookings. Talbott had his own longstanding Clinton ties. Among those, he was an ambassador-at-large and a deputy secretary of state under President Clinton; when Hillary Clinton was secretary of State, Talbott was named chairman of the State Department’s foreign affairs advisory board.

Then there is Hillary Clinton herself. Steele also has testified that it was his understanding that Clinton was aware of his work and the development of the dossier. Yet during the campaign and long afterward, Clinton never admitted that her campaign funded the dossier, despite media and congressional inquiries about that fact. No less an official than campaign chairman John Podesta denied any connection in testimony before Congress.

More importantly, before the Steele dossier was given to the FBI and the press, then-CIA Director John Brennan briefed former President Obama on Clinton’s alleged “plan” to tie candidate Trump to Russia as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.”

Now, with Danchenko’s indictment, Dolan’s name has been added to a seemingly growing array of Clinton associates whom Durham has referenced in the development of the Russia collusion scandal.

Again, it is not known whether Durham has suspicions or evidence of criminal conduct against anyone else beyond Danchenko. But many other figures are at least likely to feature greatly in the conclusions of the special counsel’s final investigative report if many of the details of the indictments to date are any indication.

One thing is clear, though: Too many “great Democrats” keep popping up in Durham’s investigation.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

 

169 thoughts on “Durham Exposes New Links To Clinton Campaign in Creation of Russian Collusion Scandal”

  1. MW writes:

    “your utterances are complete Horseshit.”

    Darren, is this civil?

    MW, I’m gratified my Horseshit was “complete” because I always strive for completeness.

    1. “MW, I’m gratified my Horseshit was “complete” because I always strive for completeness.”

      You succeeded.

  2. (OT)

    Judge Tanya Chutkan denies Trump’s request to block the National Archives from handing over documents to House Select Committee on Jan 6:
    “For reasons explained above, the court will deny Plaintiff’s request to enjoin Defendants from enforcing or complying with the Select Committee’s August 25, 2021, requests because Plaintiff is unlikely to succeed on the merits of his claims or suffer irreparable harm, and because a balance of the equities and public interest bear against granting his requested relief.”
    https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.236632/gov.uscourts.dcd.236632.35.0_2.pdf

    Good. I expect Trump will appeal, and hopefully the DC Circuit to uphold Chutkan’s ruling. If Trump appeals to SCOTUS, hopefully they’ll choose not to grant cert.

    1. Thanks for the heads up. The long arm of the law is finally catching up to Trump.

      But like a mob boss, Trump may be taken down only if one of his underlings flips since Trump has been too crafty to leave any physical evidence of his criminal intent. As Michael Cohen indicated, his cronies knew what needed to be done to please the boss without his having to say so. Also, never forget that he was counseled in his formative years by a mob lawyer, namely, Roy Cohn, who would have schooled him how not to leave any damning fingerprints. Like a mob boss, he insists on Omertà, but instead of shooting a disloyal lieutenant, he enforces their oaths of allegiance with Non-Disclosure Agreements and aggressive enforcement.

      All that said, I think his time is up.

      1. “The flak is the heaviest when you’re directly over the target.”

        – Anonymous WWII Bomber Pilot
        __________________________

        The now-constant presence on the Turley Blog of the “flak” of this communist (liberal, progressive, socialist, democrat, RINO) troll, promises that the communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs) have something to fear, greatly. The investigation of Special Counsel John “Dudley Will-You-Do-Right” Durham could be interesting, very interesting!

      2. Jeff,

        I certainly hope so. He has already appealed the decision. Josh Gerstein at Politico tweeted “Looks to me like the expected stay/injunction motion will go to Judges Tatel, Rao & Walker, which is about as good a draw for Trump as he could get.” Hopefully it won’t take them long to rule. I want this issue resolved so that the Jan. 6 Committee can move forward with their work as quickly as possible.

        There are a slew of Trump lawsuits slowly working their way through the system. For example, Summer Zervos had sued Trump for defamation, in light of his response after she alleged that he’d sexual harassed her as an Apprentice contestant; that was put on hold while he was in office, and then he was finally supposed to be deposed, but now he’s filed a countersuit, claiming that hers was a bad-faith defamation suit against him in violation of New York law. Mary Trump is suing him and his siblings for estate fraud. He’s facing possible tax fraud suits in NY. He recently lost a case involving Omarosa and an NDA, and my guess is that any NDA that was signed while he was in office is un enforcible, at least for people who were government employees.

        I sure hope that he eventually faces legal punishment for a variety of his illegal behavior. I wish I knew whether the DOJ was planning to indict him for obstruction or anything else.

        BTW, thanks for encouraging me to start ignoring S. Meyer. I’ve taken your advice and am glad to no longer be wasting my time with either the comments he posts under his name or those he posts anonymously.

        1. “BTW, thanks for encouraging me to start ignoring S. Meyer. I’ve taken your advice and am glad to no longer be wasting my time with either the comments he posts under his name or those he posts anonymously.”

          Thank you Jeff as well. You both have freed me from the incessant Stupidity both of you bring to the table. Now I can focus on the comments particularly stupid no matter who posts them.

          Jeff though I respond to the idiocy of ATS more frequently than you, don’t be upset. I respond to you less because you repeat the same things over and over again. Most people already know you, and you have already gotten your deserved reputation. One recent poster put it very succinctly, HORSESHIT.

      3. I love those that can create fiction at the touch of a button. If your writing was better, the fiction might be enjoyable

    2. Yes, well, maybe, but grounding a ruling in speculation is never a good idea when you don’t have final jurisdiction. “…because Plaintiff is unlikely to succeed on the merits of his claims or suffer irreparable harm, and because a balance of the equities and public interest bear against granting his requested relief.”

      1. Trump is the one who asked for an injunction prior to a hearing, requiring the judge to speculate about whether he’d win the case after it is heard. Maybe you should understand the case before saying that “grounding a ruling in speculation is never a good idea when you don’t have final jurisdiction.”

    3. This is what the left focuses on when they should be focusing on what is happening to the country. That they are unable to do. Destruction, yes. Spending , yes. Building a strong society, no.
      —-

      “The Labor Department reported Wednesday the consumer price index rose 6.2% in October, from a year ago.

      The number is the largest 12-month increase since the period ending November 1990, according to the agency’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

      If your pension is fixed prepare for it to soon be worth half its value.

      If you have salary prepare that increases may occur but will not equal inflation.

      Prepare for a poorer America, thanks to the Democrats and the left.

  3. JOE BIDEN FORCES AMERICA TO IGNORE COURT ORDER AND THE CONSTITUTION

    “The White House is telling American businesses “do not wait” to vaccinate employees, brushing aside a ruling by a federal court putting a hold on the OSHA mandate – and triggering calls to impeach President Joe Biden.”

    – RT.com
    _______

    “CRAZY ABE” LINCOLN FORCES AMERICA TO IGNORE COURT

    “Crazy Abe” Lincoln forced America, with a gun to its head, to ignore the Constitution and Chief Justice Taney, and proceeded with the Lincoln “Reign of Terror.” Everything Lincoln and his successors did was unconstitutional from the outset, when the constitutional right to and freedom of secession was opposed by unconstitutional military violence. The residue of “Crazy Abe” Lincoln’s unconstitutional “Reign of Terror, the “Reconstruction Amendments,’ are illegitimate to this day.
    ________________________________________________

    “The clause in the Constitution which authorizes the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is in the ninth section of the first article. This article is devoted to the Legislative Department of the United States, and has not the slightest reference to the Executive Department,” Taney argued. “I can see no ground whatever for supposing that the President in any emergency or in any state of things can authorize the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, or arrest a citizen except in aid of the judicial power,” Taney concluded.

    “However, Taney noted that he didn’t have the physical power to enforce the writ in this case because of the nature of the conflict at hand. “I have exercised all the power which the Constitution and laws confer on me, but that power has been resisted by a force too strong for me to overcome,” he said. But Taney did order that a copy of his opinion be sent directly to President Lincoln.”

    – ConstitutionCenter.org

  4. All ya’ll Lefties fussing about Tall buses and low bridges in NYC….know squat about the real use of roadways to fence off ghettos.

    Read up on Chicago and a famous Democrat named Richard Daley father to the last Daly who was Mayor of the Windy City……now there (Daddy) was guy who understood the concept.

    I learned about that back in the mid-70’s somewhat about the time it was happening.

    It was part of my Political Science and Criminal Justice studies.

    Ya’ll do keep up….it were a Democrat that was the master of that use of highways and elevated tramways for segregation.

    1. “Ya’ll do keep up….it were a Democrat that was the master of that use of highways and elevated tramways for segregation.”

      Sounds like that demonstrates the CRT thesis of structural racism.

      1. The inverse of the right to assemble is the right to segregate.

        If people may assemble, people may segregate.

        That one does not delight in the Constitution, does not nullify the Constitution.
        _____________________________________________________________

        1st Amendment

        Congress shall make no law…prohibiting…or abridging…the right of the people peaceably to assemble,…

      2. When the highway systems were started in 1956 the residents in the path of the new highways were Italians, Jews, Polish, Irish Hispanics and Blacks. Now they say that only Blacks were affected to prove their case for racism. Most Americans when they hear this BS respond by saying give it a rest. Now the vote is beginning to swing to the give it a rest constituency. The nation will be better for it.

        1. ThinkitThrough says:

          “Most Americans when they hear this BS respond by saying give it a rest. Now the vote is beginning to swing to the give it a rest constituency. The nation will be better for it.”

          Many Germans say enough with the Holocaust memorials and the remembrances. That Jews should give it a rest.

          Those Germans also think that their nation will be better off putting the history of their racism behind them.

          1. That is why Jeff believes that George Floyd deserves a statue and MLK’s should be torn down to make room for it.

          2. JeffSilberman — Ahh, the old “let’s equate Americans with nazis” routine. Don’t you pathetic liberals ever get tired of the hyperbole? Besides missing Thinkitthrough’s entire point (because people like you have some kind of obsessive need to jump straight to racism), you discredit yourself every time you make such stupid false analogies.

            1. Giocon says:

              “Ahh, the old “let’s equate Americans with nazis” routine.”

              Nice try. I was analogizing (not equating) some Americans to some modern day Germans (not long dead Nazis). It’s not racism or anti-semitism which inclines people to ignore their history of atrocities. I would say that can be better explained by hubris.

        2. Thinkitthrough,

          “ When the highway systems were started in 1956 the residents in the path of the new highways were Italians, Jews, Polish, Irish Hispanics and Blacks. Now they say that only Blacks were affected to prove their case for racism. ”

          Nobody has said that only blacks were affected. You’re putting words into other people’s mouth. When highways were often planned. They didn’t choose to raze well off neighborhoods consisting of white folks. They were choosing to put them thru neighborhoods that were easier to condemn and often that involved poor minorities which included blacks because they didn’t have the resources to fight it.

          1. “They didn’t choose to raze well off neighborhoods consisting of white folks. ”

            Actually, they did. Robert Moses was more concerned with his esthetic vision and dealing with the elites who had power. Compare the northern to the southern highways on Long Island. The northern one was built first, but that should have cut into the estates of the elite rich.

            Moses didn’t care about the estates, so he planned to run right through parts of them. The elites had the political and financial ability to slow him down. They were able to make deals that changed the plans Moses had drawn. The road at that time had all sorts of bends and rules preventing people from stopping along the route disturbing the elites. It made traffic impossible for those coming from the city, whether white, black or purple.

            The southern road leading from the city east to west wasn’t altered as much by Moses. There were fewer monied elites that were in the way. Moses used every trick in the book to cut through a farm that he could have avoided with a minor change, much less than the changes in the northern road. The road cut the farm in a way that the farm could no longer be viable. The farmers were white but not influential.

            Yes, black people fared more poorly. The same happened to the eastern Jews, the Italians, and the Irish. People were anti-semitic, anti-Irish, and anti-Italian.

            The world is not as you see it. When you move around the world, you see the same things happening with other ethnic groups. Take the Germans on the Volga River in Russia. Same problem.

            There is no reason American-born black people cannot do well in this country. Many do pretty well. The masses of them do better than the blacks in Africa. Not only that, but why would black people wish to come to a nation that you say has so much prejudice against them? Why would any black persons come to such a horrible nation? Then again, we have black people coming from the island nations that surround our southeast coast. Why do they do as well as they do? What are their feelings towards the other blacks?

            Don’t stop there. Go to England and look at the poor people that are on entitlements. They seem to have the same problems as we see in the black ghettos, but those people are white.

            Your vision is limited to anecdote and what you are fed in predigested form from leftist organizations that do not care squat for black people. These organizations use blacks as fodder to provide voting machines. What have they done for them? Nothing. But the left has made a good number rich, doing nothing but purveying racism and guaranteeing poorer blacks a dismal future.

            Almost all people who can write on a blog like this can think enough to look at the world that is further than their nose.

            Svelaz, start looking outward and utilize whatever critical thinking skills you were born with.

            1. This is another example of Svelaz running away. When a similar topic returns he will provide the same nonsense and run away again.

            2. Svelaz, in this thread you probably confused Robert Moses with Grandma Moses, Moses from the Bible and a few other Moses while getting none of them right. I am sure you will repeat this lunkheaded idea again should the topic ever rearise.

      3. It is. That’s why CRT is well supported and is derided by those unwilling to face the possibility that it is true. This country has a deep racist past that continues to affect current policies and views.

        1. I have not studied CRT, but it seems intuitive that the undeniable racism of their forbears would have heretofore systematically stacked the deck against blacks even if you accept the claim by all white Americans that nowadays they don’t have a racist bone in their body. CRT seems to account for the disadvantages facing blacks that have been engineered over a long history of discrimination.

          1. “Seems to account” is insufficient to claim something as fact. It must be the only possible explanation, after controlling for differences in culture, cognition and availability of competent educators. If the last of these is the main problem, removing ineffective educators from the education process and replacing them with effective ones is of paramount importance.

            1. Skilled teaching is quite difficult. I believe that being a skilled teacher is just as difficult as being a skilled physician. But we need many more teachers than doctors, and we pay teachers a lot less, and we tend not to value teaching as much (e.g., “those who can do, those who can’t teach”), and it takes more time to prepare them than we tend to allot to teacher preparation (often just a 4 year degree, compared to college plus medical school plus an internship for physicians), all of which makes it a very challenging task to supply enough effective teachers nationwide.

              Also, we know that there are multiple factors, so there’s zero reason to think that systemic racism has to be the sole factor rather than it being a significant factor along with some others, such as the distribution of poverty (which interacts with racism, since people of color are overrepresented among the poor).

            2. The left doesn’t want education to improve just like they don’t care about blacks. They want votes.

              In NYC the left fights charter schools that have taken random children and proven that they could turn most of those random children from failures into successes, but the left would like those schools curtailed or closed down.

              The left is run by the elite class and tries to get its votes from those in the entitlement class. The middle class that is largely independent from government gifts provides the skilled work required to run the country. However the left thinks they are (as Hillary said) deplorables.

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