In the latest hint of where Special Counsel John Durham’s probe of the Russia collusion hoax is going, trial subpoenas have just been issued for members of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign as well as for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as part of the false statement prosecution of Clinton-linked attorney Michael Sussman, as the Washington Examiner reports.
The subpoenas come as the DNC, the Clinton campaign, and opposition research firm Fusion GPC continue to do battle against Durham’s efforts to compel the production of hundreds of documents, which he says are not protected by attorney-client privilege as has been claimed, according to the New York Post.
On the contrary, says Durham, the claims of privilege asserted by those entities in the Sussmann case lack “any connection to actual or expected litigation or the provision of legal advice” and should therefore be provided to the prosecution for in camera review.
In support of that argument, Durham noted that of the 1,455 documents withheld by Fusion GPS under claims of attorney-client privilege or work product protections, there were just 18 email messages or attachments that even involve attorneys at all. The firm, says Durham, “was not primarily providing or supporting expertise relating to legal advice; instead it appears that the investigative firm’s primary, if not sole, function was to generate opposition research materials that the firm then shared widely.”
According to the Examiner, Sussmann’s lawyers said they became aware of the trial subpoenas on Tuesday, and it did not take them long to attack Durham’s asserted justification for their issuance, saying, “The Special Counsel this week took the astonishing and legally inappropriate step of subpoenaing witnesses for the express purpose of having them testify to the invocation of the attorney-client privilege in front of the jury.”
The defense team continued, “The Special Counsel continues to overreach: he seeks to admit evidence that the law squarely forbids, he seeks to prove unduly prejudicial allegations he has not charged, and he seeks to prove conduct that is utterly irrelevant to the one discrete crime he has charged.”
Durham rapidly shot back against the defense counsel’s accusations, saying on Saturday that the goal of the “joint venture” in which he contends the aforementioned parties were involved “could not have been more clear: It was to gather and disseminate derogatory non-pubic information regarding the internet activities of a political candidate and his associates,” namely, then-candidate Donald Trump and purported links to a Russian bank.
“And that venture was far from collateral to the charged crime,” Durham continued, proceeding to articulate the links between defendant Sussmann, the Russian bank allegations, the Clinton campaign, and more.
Though it remains to be seen how these legal battles over subpoenas and document production in the Sussmann case are ultimately resolved, it certainly appears that Durham has his sights set on much bigger game than the single count of lying to the FBI at issue in this case, and Clinton herself may well have real cause for concern.