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Durham Unveils FBI Text Indicating ‘Joint Venture’ to Smear Trump With ‘Russiagate’ Narrative

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


The team headed by Special Counsel John Durham has discovered what may be a smoking gun text message to the FBI that it says shows that there was a “conspiracy” and “joint venture” to manufacture a narrative to paint the picture of former President Donald Trump had colluded with Russia in the 2016 presidential election.

John Solomon of Just the News reported that, in a late night filing by Durham on Monday court filing, “revealed he has unearthed a text message showing Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann falsely told the FBI he was not working on behalf of any client when he delivered anti-Trump research.”

Solomon said that Durham has put “the courts on notice he is prepared to show the effort to smear Donald Trump with now-disproven Russia collusion allegations was a ‘conspiracy.

In a bombshell court filing late Monday night, Durham for the first time suggested Hillary Clinton’s campaign, her researchers and others formed a “joint venture or conspiracy” for the purpose of weaving the collusion story to harm Trump’s election chances and then the start of his presidency.

“These parties acted as ‘joint venturer[s]’ and therefore should be ‘considered as co-conspirator[s],'” he wrote.

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Durham also revealed he has unearthed a text message showing Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann falsely told the FBI he was not working on behalf of any client when he delivered now-discredited anti-Trump research in the lead-up to the 2016 election. In fact, he was working for the Clinton campaign and another client, prosecutors say.

The text between former FBI General Counsel James Baker and Sussmann was submitted in the filing by the Durham team.

The prosecutors said that they intend to show that Sussmann gave a phony story to the FBI but then when he was interviewed by a Republican Congressional investigator he told the truth.

“Jim – it’s Michael Sussmann. I have something time-sensitive (and sensitive) I need to discuss,” Sussmann said in a text to Baker on Sept. 18, 2016. “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.”

“The defendant lied in that meeting, falsely stating to the General Counsel that he was not providing the allegations to the FBI on behalf of any client,” the filing said. “In fact, the defendant had assembled and conveyed the allegations to the FBI on behalf of at least two specific clients, including (i) a technology executive (“Tech Executive-1”) at a U.S.-based Internet company (“Internet Company-1″), and (ii) the Clinton Campaign.”

And Durham is apparently planning to use the Christopher Steele Trump-Russia dossier during the criminal trial of Michael Sussman, a campaign attorney for Hillary Clinton.

The news came in two late night filings by Durham and Sussman on Monday showed that the dossier will be part of the criminal prosecution of the former Clinton campaign attorney, CNN reported.

Sussmann was charged with lying in regard to a September 2016 meeting with a senior FBI official, where he provided a tip about strange cyberactivity between the Trump Organization and a major Russian bank. Prosecutors say Sussmann falsely denied providing the tip on behalf of a client — and was really working for the Clinton campaign at the time. He has pleaded not guilty.

The new filings on Monday suggest that instead of narrowly focusing on Sussmann’s alleged lie and the specific meeting where it allegedly occurred, Durham plans to describe at the trial how the Clinton campaign tried to dig up dirt about then-candidate Donald Trump and his ties to Russia.

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Attorneys for Sussmann want the judge to block Durham from introducing evidence about the dossier at trial and to stop prosecutors from calling Steele as a witness at the trial next month.

“The Special Counsel should not be permitted to turn Mr. Sussmann’s trial on a narrow false statement charge into a circus full of sideshows that will only fuel partisan fervor,” the attorneys said, saying that Steele’s work has “no bearing” on the case and is “inflammatory and irrelevant.”

The special counsel’s prosecutors said that they plan to use an old Steele deposition about a meeting that he had with Sussman where they talked about Trump-Russia cyber claims.

It also shows that Durham likely plans on using Steele as a witness in the case.

“It’s ultimately up to Judge Christopher Cooper of the DC District Court to decide how much information about Steele can come up at trial. He is also reviewing a motion from Sussmann to throw out the indictment altogether, citing legal flaws. Durham’s team says their case is sound,” the report said.

“Sussmann was working at the time for Perkins Coie, the law firm that was retained by the Clinton campaign and indirectly hired Steele to research the Trump-Russia relationship. And Sussmann met with Steele one month before he met Baker, but he didn’t know that the dossier existed until after the 2016 election, according to Sussmann’s previous testimony to Congress,” it said.

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