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Judge Rules Hillary Clinton-Hired Oppo Research Firm Must Turn Over Emails To Durham

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Former Democrat presidential candidate and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got some news she is not going to be fond of.

A judge has decided that the opposition research group that worked for her in her campaign against President Donald trump in 2016 must hand over around two dozen emails to Special Counsel john Durham that it claimed was protected by privilege, The Epoch Times reported.

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The firm, Fusion GPS, withheld some 1,500 documents from Durham after the special counsel in 2021 issued a subpoena as he was building a case against people involved with triggering the government’s investigation into claims Trump and his campaign colluded with Russia.

Prosecutors in April contested the withholding of 38 emails, arguing they were improperly being withheld. Clinton’s campaign, which hired Fusion through a law firm, asserted attorney-client and work product privilege over the missives.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper, the Obama appointee overseeing the case, said Durham’s team was correct with regards to 22 of the emails.

“Based on non-privileged emails that Fusion did produce to the grand jury, and on the withheld emails the court has reviewed in camera, it is clear that Fusion employees also interacted with the press as part of an affirmative media relations effort by the Clinton campaign. That effort included pitching certain stories, providing information on background, and answering reporters’ questions,” the judge said.

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“Some of the emails at issue—including internal Fusion GPS discussions about the underlying data and emails circulating draft versions of one of the background white papers that was ultimately provided to the press and the FBI—relate directly to that undertaking. And because these emails appear not to have been written in anticipation of litigation but rather as part of ordinary media-relations work, they are not entitled to attorney work-product protection,” he said.

But, the judge said, the emails cannot be used in the trial of former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann.

“The court generally agrees with the defense that the government waited too long to compel production of the withheld emails,” the judge said. “Under these circumstances, allowing the special counsel to use these documents at trial would prejudice Mr. Sussmann’s defense.”

“Although these documents are relatively few in number and do not strike the court as being particularly revelatory, the court is not in the best position to predict how new evidence might affect each side’s trial strategy and preparation,” he said.

Former Republican Rep. Devin Nunes argued a month ago that he expects Justice Department Special Counsel John Durham to release a “damaging report” on the FBI’s failed investigation into Donald Trump’s alleged ties with Russia.

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Nunes asserted at the time that prison sentences could fall on a number of former senior Obama officials.

Now, Nunes worries that the report will ever see the light of day.

In an interview with Newsmax, Nunes said Attorney General Merrick Garland “seems to be kind of a puppet for the Left” and questioned whether he’ll “bury the report.”

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Back in February during his confirmation hearing, Garland refused to definitively say that he would make Durham’s final report available to the public.

Earlier this year, Nunes argued that the report will be delivered and fully expects those responsible for the probe to be charged.

“I just have to have faith ultimately, that there’s that, you know, there was a special counsel created, Durham does have the power, we’re fully expecting him to deliver the report,” said Nunes.

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Nunes added at the time: “It may not be as broad as we want it to be. But look, there are some major perpetrators. I think as you and everybody else know, we’ve made over 14 criminal referrals. That doesn’t mean 14 individuals, that means 14 different criminal referrals involving multiple individuals… And this is one of the challenges.”

Durham revealed in court filings that staffers at the political research firm at the center of the so-called “Russiagate” scandal sent hundreds of emails to journalists containing unsubstantiated allegations against and claims about then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The purpose of leaking the claims was to generate negative news coverage about the Republican candidate, the filing stated.

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