Durham Reportedly Subpoenas Files From Clinton-Linked Firm as He Probes FBI Investigation Into Trump
© AP Photo / Democratic National Convention (DNC)In this image from video, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the third night of the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020
© AP Photo / Democratic National Convention (DNC)
Former US President Donald Trump has repeatedly condemned the FBI probe into his 2016 campaign, which included surveillance on some of its members, as illegal and politically charged. A Justice Department review of the probe has since slammed errors committed during the investigation, but found no sign of political bias in it.
US Special Counsel John Durham, tapped by then-Attorney General William Barr to review the FBI investigation into alleged ties between Donald Trump and Russia, has subpoenaed new files from the Clinton- and Democratic Party-linked law firm, Perkins Coie, CNN has reported citing anonymous sources.
According to the broadcaster, Durham could be attempting to build a broader criminal case using these new files, some of which are protected by attorney-client privilege. This is not the first time Durham has requested privilege-protected files from the law firm, but the company has not commented on whether it will fight the newly reported subpoenas.
Operation Crossfire Hurricane and Law Firm's Role in It
Perkins Coie drew Durham's attention when one of its lawyers, Michael Sussmann, brought since discarded "evidence" of Donald Trump's ties to Russia's Alfa Nank to the FBI in 2016, purportedly prompting the error-ridden probe into the GOP candidate's campaign. Trump slammed the probe as politically charged. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz reviewed the probe, ruling that the FBI committed numerous mistakes in obtaining orders for surveillance on campaign members, but found no political bias.
So far, Durham's independent two-year probe into the FBI's investigation, dubbed "Operation Crossfire Hurricane", has resulted in him charging Michael Sussmann with lying to General Counsel James Baker. The lawyer failed to clearly state whether he was representing Hillary Clinton's interests when he handed over findings about the purported ties between Trump and Alfa Bank, Baker claims.
Special Counsel Durham Allegedly Seeking to Indict Lawyer at Firm With Ties to 2016 Clinton Campaign
16 September 2021, 20:32 GMT
Durham believes the fact that the lawyer represented Clinton's interests might have affected the way the FBI handled the investigation into Trump. While Sussmann pleaded not guilty to lying, Durham pointed out that the lawyer billed Clinton for his meeting with the FBI general counsel. His company, Perkins Coie, also worked for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) at the time.
Notably, Perkins Coie not only looked into the alleged ties between Trump and the Russian bank, but also between the GOP candidate and the Kremlin – hiring former MI6 agent Christopher Steele for that purpose (and allegedly on Hillary Clinton and the DNC's dime). Steele produced a so-called dossier, which claimed that Moscow compromised Trump. The dossier was also handed over to the FBI in 2016, but it is unclear how much it affected the bureau's readiness to probe Trump and his campaign. The Steele Dossier's findings were later found to be unsubstantiated and the former British spy's sources – unreliable.