Democrats have long mocked former President Donald Trump’s claim that the Russia collusion probe was part of a conspiracy by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign to undermine him.
Yet as the New York Post reported this week, documents released by Special Counsel John Durham suggest that Trump was right.
Court filing shows damning text message
According to the paper, Durham filed a 48-page motion in federal court on Monday which alleged that a “joint venture” between a tech executive and Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann sought to link Trump with Russia.
The Post noted how Sussmann, who was employed by the law firm Perkins Coie, was indicted last fall on charges that he misled the FBI when he sought a meeting to talk about purported links between the Trump Organization and Moscow’s Alfa Bank.
Included in Durham’s motion was a text message that the Clinton campaign lawyer sent to FBI general counsel James Baker on September 18, 2016. In the message, Sussman can be seen denying that he was working on behalf of a client.
“Jim – it’s Michael Sussmann. I have something time-sensitive (and sensitive) I need to discuss,” he 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.”
However, the court filing asserts that over a month prior to the meeting, Sussman had an executive at the tech firm Neustar direct employees to “mine and assemble Internet data that would support an ‘inference’ or ‘narrative’ tying Trump to Russia.”
Although the executive is not mentioned by name in Durham’s filing, the Post stated that he has been identified as Rodney Joffe.
Clinton Campaign and DNC hit with fines
At the same time that he was allegedly directing a data mining operation, Sussmann is also said to have been working with Fusion GPS to help assemble the now discredited Steele Dossier.
The Post reported last month that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee were fined $8,000 and $105,000 respectively for failing to disclose their funding of the dossier.
The Federal Elections Commission (FEC) found that payments funneled through Perkins Coie to create the document were labeled as being for “legal advice and services” rather than opposition research.
That decision came as a result of a complaint filed four years ago by the conservative Coolidge Reagan Foundation.