Fusion GPS employees have allegedly sent hundreds of emails with unverified accusations against former President Donald Trump in hopes to trigger negative news stories about him, as revealed by Special Counsel John Durham, in a report by Washington Examiner.
Mr. Durham was responding to efforts of people with ties to Hillary Clinton‘s presidential campaign to keep potentially explosive evidence out of his hands during the upcoming trial of a Clinton campaign lawyer accused of lying to the FBI.
In a court motion filed late Monday, Mr. Durham said the slew of emails undercuts the assertion of Clinton campaign officials that Fusion GPS’s research for them should be protected under attorney-client privilege.
Some of the stories pushed to news outlets, which was obviously unverified and in hopes to give former President Donald Trump bad press, was the following:
- A Wall Street Journal article about a Trump adviser meeting with a former KGB official close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- A Washington Post story about a Trump campaign adviser investing in Russia.
- New York Times and Reuters articles about the FBI investigating a secret communications setup between Mr. Trump and Russia’s Alfa Bank.
Some Republicans are referring to Durham’s information as “dirty tricks” by Democrats, particularly the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Sen. Ron Johnson offered the following statement to the Washington Times: “We’ve known for quite some time what happened here. And what the Durham indictments are just proving is how not only complicit but the Clinton campaign did this. They literally did this… What the Clinton campaign did in terms of political dirty tricks, we are still putting up with the repercussions. Would Vladimir Putin have invaded Ukraine if Trump was still in office? That’s an interesting question.”
The shady revelations made by John Durham now have Clinton campaign officials in defensive positions, backed up against the wall, and people like Robby Mook, Marc Elias, and John Podesta are speaking out in hopes to say Fusion GPS provided a legal service and it should be ‘rendered off-limits to Mr. Durham’s investigation into the origins of the FBI’s Trump-Russia collusion probe.’
Critics will suggest that wanting their work off-limits means they have something to hide.
The Washington Times report further stated, about the Clinton officials getting defensive, that “They argued in affidavits that Fusion GPS’s work was intended to provide legal advice to avoid liability for defamation or libel.”
Even more, the three campaign officials who allegedly signed an affidavit refused to respond to requests for comments about this situation when the Washington Times reached out. They also reached out to a spokesperson for Hillary Clinton and received NO response.
None of the three campaign officials who signed affidavits responded to requests for comment from The Washington Times. A spokesperson for Mrs. Clinton did not return a request for comment.
Washington Times report continued:
If the material is privileged, Mr. Durham said, then Fusion GPS would have exercised caution before peddling unverified research to reporters.
“If rendering such advice was truly the intended purpose of Fusion GPS’s retention, one would also expect the investigative firm to seek permission and/or guidance from [the Clinton campaign] or its counsel before sharing such derogatory materials with the media or otherwise placing them into the public domain,” Mr. Durham wrote in court filings.
“In other words, if the purpose of Fusion GPS’s retention was — as Mr. Elias implies — to determine the bounds of what could (and could not) be said publicly without committing libel or defamation, then the record would reflect genuine efforts to remain within those bounds. And it would do so confidentially,” he said.
The dispute over Fusion GPS’s activities is whether Mr. Durham can use the information in his case against Michael Sussmann, a Clinton campaign lawyer charged with making false statements to the FBI.