Special Counsel John Durham continues to drop bombshells in filings in the prosecution of former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann. Just last week, Durham defeated an effort by Sussmann to dismiss the charges. He is now moving to give immunity to a key witness while revealing that the claims made by the Clinton campaign were viewed by the CIA as “not technically plausible” and “user created.” He also revealed that at least five of the former Clinton campaign contractors/researchers have invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to cooperate in fear that they might incriminate themselves in criminal conduct. Finally, Durham offers further details on the involvement of Clinton campaign general counsel Marc Elias and former British spy Christopher Steele in the alleged false claims.
“The only witness currently immunized by the government, Researcher-2, was conferred with that status on July 28, 2021 – over a month prior to the defendant’s Indictment in this matter. And the Government immunized Researcher-2 because, among other reasons, at least five other witnesses who conducted work relating to the Russian Bank-1 allegations invoked (or indicated their intent to invoke) their right against self-incrimination. The Government therefore pursued Researcher-2’s immunity in order to uncover otherwise-unavailable facts underlying the opposition research project that Tech Executive-1 and others carried out in advance of the defendant’s meeting with the FBI.”
“Durham notes that both the CIA and FBI were sent on an effective wild goose chase by the Clinton campaign. He notes that the government found the allegations to be manufactured and not even technically possible. He refers to the CIA in the following passage:Agency-2 concluded in early 2017 that the Russian Bank-1 data and Russian Phone Provider-1 data was not “technically plausible,” did not “withstand technical scrutiny,” “contained gaps,” “conflicted with [itself],” and was “user created and not machine/tool generated.”
According to Durham, the Alfa Bank allegation fell apart even before Sussmann delivered it to the FBI. The indictment details how an unnamed “tech executive” allegedly used his authority at multiple internet companies to help develop the ridiculous claim. (The executive reportedly later claimed that he was promised a top cyber security job in the Clinton administration). Notably, there were many who expressed misgivings not only within the companies working on the secret project but also among unnamed “university researchers” who repeatedly said the argument was bogus.
The researchers were told they should not be looking for proof but just enough to “give the base of a very useful narrative.” The researchers argued, according to the indictment, that anyone familiar with analyzing internet traffic “would poke several holes” in that narrative, noting that what they saw likely “was not a secret communications channel with Russian Bank-1, but ‘a red herring,’” according to the indictment.
“Researcher-1” repeated these doubts, the indictment says, and asked, “How do we plan to defend against the criticism that this is not spoofed traffic we are observing? There is no answer to that. Let’s assume again that they are not smart enough to refute our ‘best case scenario.’ You do realize that we will have to expose every trick we have in our bag to even make a very weak association.”
“Researcher-1” allegedly further warned, “We cannot technically make any claims that would fly public scrutiny. The only thing that drives us at this point is that we just do not like [Trump]. This will not fly in eyes of public scrutiny. Folks, I am afraid we have tunnel vision. Time to regroup?”
It appears that the “time to regroup” has passed with the issuance of immunity deals to compel testimony.
Here is the filing: