Politics Jake Sullivan repeatedly promoted Alfa Bank story at the center of Durham indictment
Durham seeks indictment against lawyer at Steele dossier-linked law firm over Alfa Bank matter: Report
Special counsel John Durham reportedly seeks a grand jury indictment against Michael Sussmann, a cybersecurity lawyer at a Democratic-allied law firm closely linked to British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s discredited dossier. © Provided by Washington Examiner The charge is said to be related to an alleged false statement to the FBI about a client's identity when Sussmann pushed now-debunked claims about secret communications between Russia’s Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election.
Special Counsel John Durham's indictment of Democratic lawyer Michael Sussmann will likely have made uncomfortable reading for a key member of President Joe Biden's administration — his beleaguered national security adviser Jake Sullivan.
The grand juryagainst Sussmann centers on a September 2016 meeting between him and then-FBI General Counsel James Baker in which Sussmann passed along allegations claiming there was a secret backchannel between Russia’s Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization. While Durham says Sussmann told Baker he was not working for any specific client, the special counsel he was secretly doing the bidding of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as well as working on behalf of a yet-unnamed technology company executive. Sussmann pleaded .
Jake Sullivan pushed Alfa Bank claim at center of Durham’s possible indictment
Jake Sullivan, already in the hot seat as President Joe Biden’s national security adviser amid the Afghanistan fallout, could find himself under further scrutiny for his 2016 role in promoting a Trump-Russia collusion claim at the heart of a possible indictment by special counsel John Durham. © Provided by Washington Examiner Durham is reportedly seeking a grand jury indictment against Michael Sussmann, a cybersecurity lawyer at Perkins Coie, a Democratic-allied law firm linked to British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s discredited dossier.
The Durhamstates that “on or about September 15, 2016, Campaign Lawyer-1 exchanged emails with the Clinton Campaign's campaign manager, communications director, and foreign policy advisor concerning the Russian Bank-1 allegations that SUSSMANN had recently shared with Reporter-1.” Durham wrote that “Campaign Lawyer-1 billed his time for this correspondence” to the Clinton campaign, with the billing entry of “email correspondence with [name of foreign policy advisor], [name of campaign manager], [name of communications director] re: [Russian Bank-1] Article.”
Clinton’s foreign policy adviser was Sullivan, while her campaign manager was Robby Mook, and communications director was Jennifer Palmieri. “Campaign Lawyer-1” was Marc Elias. Sullivan has not been accused of wrongdoing by Durham. The White House National Security Council did not return a request for comment.
Durham Grand Jury Indicts Clinton-Linked Attorney Involved in Russia Probe
The lawyer is suspected of passing along a tip to the FBI on behalf of the Clinton campaign, and then lying about it.Durham was reportedly investigating whether Michael Sussmann, a former federal prosecutor and a lawyer at Perkins Coie, lied to the FBI regarding who — if anyone — he was representing when he tipped off the Bureau about communications between the Trump Organization and the Kremlin-connected Russian bank Alfa Bank.
On Halloween 2016, Clinton: “Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.” And she shared a lengthy Sullivan statement.
“This could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow,” Sullivan. “Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank. This secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump’s ties to Russia. ... This line of communication may help explain Trump’s bizarre adoration of Vladimir Putin.”
Sullivan added: “We can only assume that federal authorities will now explore this direct connection between Trump and Russia.”
It wasby Slate at the end of October 2016 that researchers found “a sustained relationship between a server registered to the Trump Organization and two servers registered to an entity called Alfa Bank.” The New York Times , “The FBI ultimately concluded that there could be an innocuous explanation, like a marketing email or spam, for the computer contacts.”
Is this all John Durham has?
On Thursday we learned that the Durham probe, the investigation into the origins of the FBI's counter-intelligence probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election long touted by Donald Trump and his fellow conservatives as the investigation that would blow the lid off Democratic malfeasance, had got its man. © U.S. Department of Justice/AP This 2018 portrait released by the US Department of Justice shows John Durham, a special counsel investigating the origins of the FBI's counter-intelligence probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
A bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committeefrom 2020 did not find "covert communications between Alfa Bank and Trump Organization personnel."
In March 2017, CNNthat “federal investigators and computer scientists continue to examine whether there was a computer server connection between the Trump Organization and a Russian bank.”
But DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitzin his December 2019 report that the FBI "concluded by early February 2017 that there were no such links."
When asked about the Alfa Bank claims during Housein July 2019, special counsel Robert Mueller said, "My belief at this point is that it’s not true.” Mueller’s report “did not establish” any criminal collusion between Trump and Russia.
Sullivanon CNN the week after the network's story and was asked if he was surprised the investigation was still going.
“I wasn’t surprised because what we learned during the campaign was that very serious computer science experts, people who work closely with the United States government, had uncovered this secret hotline between the Alfa Bank — the Russian bank — and the Trump Organization,” Sullivan said. “Now, of course, we didn’t know for sure if, in fact, that were the case, but we knew it should be investigated. And we knew that, given how serious these computer scientists were, they weren't just making up crackpot theories.”
Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks'
The indictment seems to have revealed quite a bit about how scandals are manufactured and manipulated in Washington. From CREEP to Clinton, lawyers discovered themselves in legal jeopardy when special prosecutors found them holding a "bag of tricks." A dirty trick in politics can be a thing of beauty for a campaign - until it boomerangs on the tricksters.Durham's final report, meanwhile, could answer even more questions, but will Washington ever allow it to see the light of day without massive redactions?Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University.
Palmierifor the Washington Post in March 2017, recounting that she and Sullivan, while at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, "took to our golf carts one afternoon to make the rounds of the television networks’ tents in the parking lot … to get the press to focus on something even we found difficult to process: the prospect that Russia had not only hacked and stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee, but that it had done so to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.” Palmieri claimed she and Sullivan “wanted to raise the alarm."
Sullivanthe House Intelligence Committee in December 2017 much the same thing.
He wasabout Alfa Bank during that testimony, and said: “I knew that it was a series of just sort of computer data forensic experts who had found this and then have analyzed it, the traffic between the two sides, and that had gone and sat down with the author of the Slate story.”
Sullivan said he first met with Fusion’s co-founder Glenn Simpson in February 2017, along with Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta. Sullivan said there may have been another member of Fusion present, and “there might have been somebody else there as well.” The other two apparently at the meeting were Fusion co-founder Peter Fritsch and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s former aide, Dan Jones.
Barr-Durham investigation again fails to produce a main event
Barr raised hard-to-meet expectations and thereby damaged the investigation itself, not to mention the FBI, Justice Department and nation. And after 28 months of investigating, Durham has produced nothing to show the Trump-Russia probe began improperly.Even the prospects for Sussmann's conviction are uncertain.
Sullivan said Simpson called Steele “highly credible” and “really effective.”
Sullivan admitted he was in meetings where Elias briefed the campaign on opposition research, saying some of it was related to the Steele allegations. Sullivan said: “Marc wears a tremendous number of hats. So I wasn’t sure who he was representing. In that context, I sort of thought he was, you know, just talking to us as, you know, a fellow traveler in this — in the campaign effort.”
He testified: “Marc, and without going into privilege, would occasionally give us updates on the opposition research they were conducting. But I didn't know what the nature of that effort was, inside effort, outside effort, who was funding it, who was doing it, anything like that.”
In December 2017, Podesta told the House Intelligence Committee he hadn’t heard of Fusion until after the election but described the early 2017 meeting he and Sullivan had with Fusion in greater detail. Podesta said Simpson and Fritsch were both there, and he also indicated Jones may have been present too.
“I was approached by a person who he had been in touch with about whether we would — we would meet and kind of compare notes about what each respectively knew about what the Russian interventions in the campaign were. … And the meeting was essentially about the state of play at that time, in February,” Sullivan said. “They were also interested in trying to raise money to continue their efforts to investigate the, you know, the Russian interference in the campaign."
Podesta said Jones “was in the process of creating a nonprofit organization, as it were, to pursue the issues around Russian intervention in the U.S. election.”
Barr had 'Oh, s***' moment when Trump blew up over Durham: Book
Attorney General William Barr braced himself in the face of unprecedented fury displayed by President Donald Trump when he was told special counsel John Durham would likely not finish the criminal inquiry into the Russia investigation until sometime during the incoming Biden administration, according to a new book. © Provided by Washington Examiner The fiery episode happened in early December during a White House meeting after Barr explained why he told the Associated Press that the Justice Department had uncovered no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, Watergate sleuth Bob Woodward and fellow Washington Post journ
Jones founded the Democracy Integrity Project in January 2017. Tax records show heSteele, Fusion, and others involved with Russia-related inquiries to the tune of millions. Jones’s group also investigated and pushed the Alfa Bank claims after the 2016 election.
Steelein a British court that Sussmann provided him with other claims about Alfa Bank’s purported ties to Russian President during a late July 2016 meeting. These allegations made their way into a September 2016 memo that became part of Steele’s dossier, although Steele repeatedly misspells “Alfa” as “Alpha.”
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Durham issues fresh round of subpoenas in his continuing probe of FBI investigation into Trump, Russia .
Special Counsel John Durham has issued a new set of subpoenas, including to a law firm with close ties to Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign, an indication that Durham could be trying to build a broader criminal case, according to people briefed on the matter. So far, Durham's two-year probe into the FBI's Russia investigation hasn't brought about the cases Republicans has hoped it would. © U.S. Attorney's office US attorney John Durham The grand jury subpoenas for documents came earlier this month after Durham charged Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann with lying to the FBI in a September 2016 meeting.