Hillary Clinton’s campaign, its lawyer and a tech executive took part in a “joint venture” to gather and spread dirt about Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, special counsel John Durham charges in a new filing.
The bombshell claim was made in a 48-page motion filed late Monday arguing for the admission of additional evidence ahead of Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann’s pending trial for allegedly lying to the FBI.
At the heart of the case is a Sept. 18, 2016, text message Sussmann sent to then-FBI general counsel James Baker, which was reproduced in Monday’s filing.
“Jim – it’s Michael Sussmann. I have something time-sensitive (and sensitive) I need to discuss,” the lawyer wrote. “Do you have availability for a short meeting tomorrow? I’m coming on my own – not on behalf of a client or company – want to help the Bureau. Thanks.”
In fact, prosecutors say, Sussmann — then a cybersecurity lawyer at powerhouse Democratic law firm Perkins Coie — had deceived Baker and was acting on behalf of the Clinton campaign when the two met the following day.
During that sitdown, Sussmann allegedly gave Baker information suggesting that servers at the Trump Organization were communicating with servers at Moscow-based Alfa-Bank. That claim was amplified by the Clinton campaign to suggest that Trump was colluding with the Kremlin.
According to Monday’s filing, preparation for Sussmann’s meeting with Baker began in “late July and early August,” when “Tech Executive-1,” who has since been identified as Rodney Joffe, began telling employees at Virginia-based Neustar — where he was a senior vice president — to “mine and assemble Internet data that would support an ‘inference’ or ‘narrative’ tying Trump to Russia.”