Category Archives: law

Techno Fog: Notable Disclosures From Michael Sussmann’s Evidentiary Hearing

Cristina Laila
April 29, 2022

By Techno Fog on SubStack:

Yesterday, April 27, there was a pre-trial hearing in the Michael Sussmann case relating to various evidentiary issues. For the uninitiated, Sussmann a former Perkins Coie partner, and former attorney for the DNC/Clinton Campaign (and Rodney Joffe), has been charged by Special Counsel John Durham with providing false statements to then-FBI General Counsel James Baker in the fall of 2016. Here is more background on his indictment.

We have the full transcript of yesterday’s hearing (link at the bottom). Here are some of the most notable disclosures:

The Special Counsel’s “ongoing investigation” into Rodney Joffe. The Special Counseltold the court that while Joffe and Sussmann pushed the Alfa Bank/Yotaphone hoax to the CIA in February 2017, this false information was also pushed “to another branch of government, to the legislative branch” at a later time. According to the Special Counsel:

TRENDING: Confirmed: Liz Cheney’s J6 Committee Is Now Holding Onto Evidence that FBI Was Running Operatives During the Jan. 6 Protests — WILL THEY LIE ABOUT THIS TOO?

The Special Counsel’s statement reminds us of this letter we discussed from Rodney Joffe’s attorney to the attorneys for Michael Sussmann, stating the Yota phone-related allegations percolated “through various branches of the government and around the private sector after that date, in various forms.”

Rodney Joffe’s exposure and 18 U.S.C. 1031. The Special Counsel was understandably hesitant to get too deep into what they have on Rodney Joffe. However, when Sussmann’s attorneys brought up the fact that Joffe couldn’t be charged due to the 5-year statute of limitations, the Special Counsel responded that “certain statutes of limitations are longer than five years.”

The court asked for an example, and the Special Counsel referenced 18 U.S.C. 1031, “which involves defrauding the government in connection with procurement and contract matters.” This has to do with the Georgia Tech/DARPA contract. In the Special Counsel’s own words:

Laura Seago from Fusion GPS will (likely) testify at trial. We previously reported that Seago was identified as the “tech maven” the government expected to call at trial. At this hearing was the first time we saw Seago’s name explicitly mentioned as the Fusion GPS witness.

Christopher Steele will not be a witness. Sussmann’s lawyer informed the court that the Special Counsel stated on April 26 that Steele is “out of the country and isn’t likely to be a witness.”

In fact, Steele is not cooperating with the Special Counsel.

We’re limited on time today – here is the link to the transcript.

Click here to read Techno Fog’s full report on the transcript of Sussmann’s evidentiary hearing

FBI Conducted Millions of Searches of Americans’ Electronic Data in 2021 without a Warrant

Cristina Laila
Published April 29, 2022

The FBI conducted millions of searches of Americans’ electronic data in 2021 without a warrant, according to a new report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The FBI claims it conducted the searches as they sought to curb cyberattacks.

“In the first half of the year, there were a number of large batch queries related to attempts to compromise U.S. critical infrastructure by foreign cyber actors,” according to the report, Bloomberg reported. “These queries, which included approximately 1.9 million query terms related to potential victims — including U.S. persons — accounted for the vast majority of the increase in U.S. person queries conducted by FBI over the prior year.”

The ACLU called the FBI’s warrantless spying an invasion of privacy ‘on an enormous scale.’

Bloomberg reported:

The FBI searched emails, texts and other electronic communications of as many as 3.4 million U.S. residents without a warrant over a year, the nation’s top spy chief said in a report.

The “queries” were made between December 2020 and November 2021 by Federal Bureau of Investigation personnel as they looked for signs of threats and terrorists within electronic data legally collected under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, according to an annual transparency report issued Friday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The authority the FBI used in this case was under Section 702 of FISA, which is set to expire at the end of next year unless it’s renewed by Congress.

The report doesn’t say the activity was illegal or even wrong. But the revelation could renew congressional and public debates over the power U.S. agencies have to collect and review intelligence information, especially data concerning individuals. In comparison, fewer than 1.3 million queries involving Americans’ data were conducted between December 2019 and November 2020, according to the 38-page report.

The report sought to provide a justification for the increase in queries during the last year.

Clinton senior campaign team leaves cohort Sussmann holding the bag ahead of Durham trial

Aaron Kliegman
April 20, 2022 

Former top Hillary Clinton presidential campaign officials are leaving onetime Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann to bear the brunt of the blame for orchestrating the now-debunked claim that Donald Trump and his associates colluded with the Russian government in the 2016 race, new court filings show.

Requests to intervene in the case were filed late Tuesday by the Clinton campaign, campaign chairman John Podesta, campaign manager Robby Mook, and law firm Perkins Coie, which represented the campaign.

In his prosecution of Sussmann on a charge of lying to the FBI, special counsel John Durham has been seeking certain documents that are being withheld by the campaign and Perkins Coie under claims of attorney-client privilege and work product protection.

“Hillary for America [HFA] respectfully moves this honorable court to intervene as an interested non-party to assert privilege claims over documents and information that the government seeks to compel,” the campaign wrote.

Mook, Podesta, and Perkins Coie all similarly cited attorney-client privilege in their filings seeking to block the release of communications concerning their research on alleged Trump-Russia ties.

“At all times relevant to the government’s pending motion to compel and continuing through August 2021, Perkins Coie served as general counsel to HFA,” Podesta testified. “HFA asserts its attorney-client privilege and the attorney-work-product protection with respect to all documents and information under the control of Perkins Coie or any of its consultants, including Fusion GPS. HFA is not waiving any of its privileges.”

Fusion GPS was the opposition research firm hired by Perkins Coie to help the Clinton campaign dig up dirt on Trump.

The new filings are expected to hurt Sussmann’s defense in his trial, scheduled to begin next month, with many key players connected to the Russia collusion hoax attempting to distance themselves from Durham’s probe — and thereby putting much of the onus on Sussmann.

Legal experts told Just the News that Clinton’s former team and its allies are attempting to prevent damaging evidence that could potentially implicate them in wrongdoing in the Trump-Russia saga from coming to light.

“In effect, they are making a bogus attorney client-privilege claim to hide evidence of all their wrongdoing,” said Kash Patel, former chief investigator of the Russia investigation under then-House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Devin Nunes. “We knew it when I took their congressional depositions under oath. Now [Special Counsel] John Durham puts it all on display, and the world is finally paying attention.”

Patel noted that Sussmann is left in the position to take much of the blame for the Russia hoax.

Durham was appointed special counsel in October 2020 to investigate the origins of the FBI’s Trump-Russia collusion probe. He’s prosecuting Sussmann on a charge that the high-powered attorney, who was a partner at Perkins Coie, lied to the FBI at a September 2016 meeting in which he presented the agency with information insinuating concealed Trump-Russia links.

Sussman has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Earlier this month, Durham said in a separate court filing that Sussmann texted an FBI official the night before the 2016 meeting saying, “I’m coming on my own — not on behalf of a client or company — want to help the bureau.”

Durham has called Sussmann’s claims that he was not meeting with the FBI on behalf of any clients a “lie,” hiding from the bureau that the Trump-Russia claims originally came from Clinton’s 2016 campaign and a tech executive linked to the campaign.

According to Durham, the tech executive, Rodney Joffe, aided the Clinton campaign by monitoring Trump’s internet activities and mining data “for the purpose of gathering derogatory information about Donald Trump” — and to create a “narrative” that Trump secretly communicated with the Kremlin. Joffe allegedly shared the information with Sussmann.

Sussmann’s defense has asked Durham to grant immunity to Joffe, so that he can testify about his interactions with Sussmann regarding the 2016 meeting. Durham has refused.

The Sussmann trial is part of a broader investigation by Durham, who alleges some of the dirt on Trump that the Clinton campaign shared with the government is false.

Much of the false Trump-Russia narrative was assembled after Perkins hired Fusion GPS, which went on to solicit former MI6 agent Christopher Steele to create the infamous and discredited Steele dossier, which contained several salacious and since-debunked claims about Trump.

Fusion GPS was also asked to disclose documents for the Sussmann trial and submitted a filing on Tuesday asserting attorney-client privilege in order to avoid complying.

“The documents the government seeks to compel were created as part of the work Fusion performed in support of Perkins’s legal representation of HFA and DNC [Democratic National Committee], which is protected by both work-product protection and the attorney-client privilege,” the filing read.

Fusion GPS also claimed in its motion that it was retained by then-Perkins Coie partner Marc Elias, a top DNC election attorney, not to find dirt on Trump but rather to help Perkins in the event that Trump filed lawsuits against the Clinton campaign, DNC, or their allies.

Elias had a “reasonable concern about Mr. Trump’s litigiousness given his numerous threats of and actual litigation against his critics,” Fusion said in its filing. “Indeed, that concern was prescient, with Mr. Trump having recently launched litigation seeking tens of millions of dollars against every interested party here.”

However, more than $1 million flowed from the Clinton campaign and DNC to Perkins, which hired Fusion, which in turn asked Steele to use his overseas contacts to dig up dirt on Trump. The DNC and Clinton campaign were fined by the Federal Election Commission last month for lying about how they used money to fund the Steele Dossier.

Fusion said in its Tuesday filing that the government hasn’t proved the documents it seeks are relevant to its narrow indictment of Sussmann for lying to the FBI. That claim doesn’t hold water, according to Patel, a former federal prosecutor.

In trying to get his charge dismissed by a federal court, “Sussmann said his lie was immaterial” to Durham’s probe,” explained Patel. “Durham is saying no, I have this info to say why this lie is material.”

The documents Durham is seeking, added Patel, will show materiality and are therefore relevant to the trial.

Mook, Podesta, Elias, the DNC, and Perkins Coie all didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Tulsi Gabbard to Take Legal Action Against Mitt Romney and Keith Olbermann

Jim Hoft
April 20, 2022

In March Mitt Romney lashed out at former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard for speaking out against the US-funded biolabs in Ukraine.

Gabbard was right. There were US-funded biolabs operating in Ukraine prior to the Russian invasion.

Now Tulsi Gabbard is fighting back.

(You gotta love the dog on the roof reminder!)

Gabbard told Tucker Carlson on Wednesday night that she is sending Mitt Romney a cease and desist letter for his attacks on her character.

UK Court Issues Formal Order to Extradite WikiLeaks’ Assange to the U.S.

Sophie Mann
April 20th, 2022

A United Kingdom court on Wednesday issued a formal order to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States to stand trial over the publication of national secrets pertaining to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

The final decision now rests in the hands of U.K. Interior Minister Priti Patel. However, Assange’s legal team will still have the opportunity to appeal any decision within 14 days. 

Last month, Assange was denied permission to appeal to the U.K. Supreme Court against actions to extradite him to the United States, where a conviction could mean a lifetime prison sentence. 

In the U.S., Assange would face trial in connection to the 500,000 secret military files he leaked to the public relating to the actions of the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Early last year, Assange successfully argued that he was a suicide risk who could not be kept in solitary confinement at a maximum security facility in America.

The U.S. government, however, appealed the reprieve and made assurances that Assange would not be held in isolation at a federal supermax facility. 

Assange has since unsuccessfully attempted to appeal the most recent ruling, but the British court denied the appeal application on the grounds that it “didn’t raise any arguable point of law.”

White House “Disappointed” That Federal Judge Declares CDC Mask-Mandate For Planes, Trains Unlawful

Update (1620ET): Having already seen Twitter’s leftists question the fact that the Federal judge who rejected the CDC’s 2-week mask mandate extensions is a) too Trump-appointed, b) too white, and c) too young (she’s 35); White House spokesperson Jen Psaki dropped the “s” word in explaining why the administration is “disappointed” with the judge’s decision and recommends you keep wearing your masks… all of them…

Why would they be disappointed? Unless medical tyranny is the goal?

*  *  *

Is this the beginning of the end of biomedical tyranny in the US?

As Forbes reports, a federal judge in Florida threw out the federal government’s mask mandate for airports, airplanes and other public transportation Monday, ruling the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exceeded its authority by imposing the mask requirement days after the agency extended it another two weeks.

U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, issued a ruling that declared the mask mandate unlawful and blocked it by vacating the order and sending it back to the CDC “for further proceedings.”

And before the blue-checks erupt in uproar at this ‘dangerous’ act by a clearly biased Trump judge, there is nothing stopping you from continuing to wear you three masks…this ruling just means the rest of us are not mandated to do just to protect your feelings.

Just this morning, Delta CEO Ed Bastian told WaPo that:

“I think lifting the mask mandate will be one step towards reestablishing and normal behavioral patterns on board the aircraft as well as in the airports.”

Durham: Five Hillary Clinton Associates Are Taking the Fifth in Russia Hoax Prosecution

JOEL B. POLLAK
18 Apr 2022

Five associates of Hillary Clinton and her presidential campaign are invoking their Fifth Amendment rights and refusing to cooperate with Special Counsel John H. Durham, according a filing in federal court revealed later Friday in Washington, DC.

The revelation emerged in a motion filed by Durham to oppose the efforts of defendant Michael Sussmann and the Clinton campaign to withhold some documents from evidence by asserting attorney-client privilege.

Sussmann is charged with lying to the FBI in 2016 when he informed the FBI about a fraudulent link between then-candidate Donald Trump and the Russian government via Alfa Bank. Sussmann allegedly presented himself as a concerned citizen, and hid the fact that he was working for the Clinton campaign.

In the filing, Durham noted that while one witness, identified as “Researcher-2,” was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for testimony, “at least five other witnesses who conducted work relating to the Russian Bank-1 allegations invoked (or indicated their intent to invoke) their right against self-incrimination.”

Legal scholar Jonathan Turley noted in a commentary on the filing:

[Durham] is now moving to give immunity to a key witness while revealing that the claims made by the Clinton campaign were viewed by the CIA as “not technically plausible” and “user created.” He also revealed that at least five of the former Clinton campaign contractors/researchers have invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to cooperate in fear that they might incriminate themselves in criminal conduct.

Turley also noted that Durham’s filing “also detailed how the false Russian collusion claims related to Alfa Bank involved Clinton General Counsel Marc Elias and Christopher Steele.”

Steele is the former British spy who worked for opposition research firm Fusion GPS to produce the fraudulent Russia “dossier” that triggered government surveillance of the Trump campaign and the broader “Russia collusion” conspiracy theory.

Elias is a prominent election attorney for Democrats who arranged the funding for the “dossier” and went on to lead Democrats’ efforts to force the adoption of vote-by-mail in key battleground states in the 2020 presidential election.

Durham’s filing indicates that the government wishes to introduce evidence of communications between the “Clinton Campaign leadership” and “Campaign Lawyer-1,” who is widely presumed to be Elias, about the Alfa Bank hoax.

Trump-Appointed, Dem-Endorsed Prosecutor Deciding Whether To Seek Hunter Biden Indictment

David Weiss, a Trump-appointed U.S. prosecutor is currently weighing whether there is enough evidence to seek a federal grand jury indictment against Hunter Biden.

Breitbart reported:

Trump-appointed U.S. prosecutor David Weiss has been weighing whether there is sufficient evidence to indict Hunter Biden in relation to potential tax fraud, money laundering, and the violation of lobbying laws, according to CBS News.

Weiss, a twenty-year federal prosecutor, will have to determine if there is enough evidence to seek a federal grand jury indictment against Hunter Biden in an investigation that may end up including other members of the Biden family, such as Joe Biden’s brother James Biden, and potentially the president himself.

Weiss was endorsed by Democrat senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons — and is one of the only Trump-appointed U.S. Attorneys that are still in place since Biden took office.

CBS reported:

Then-President Donald Trump appointed Weiss to be U.S. Attorney in Delaware in 2018. He had been acting head of the office at the time and received the endorsements of Delaware’s U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, both Democrats.

Biden elected to keep Weiss in the position — one of the only Trump-appointed U.S. Attorneys to remain — because he understood the political risk of removing the prosecutor in the midst of an ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden. Hunter Biden’s attorney has not responded to requests for comment.

Weiss is the same prosecutor who put the Hunter investigation on pause in 2020. 

The New York Post reported at the time:

The top federal prosecutor in Delaware decided to pause a criminal investigation of Hunter Biden months before the 2020 election to prevent the public from learning about it, according to a report.

US Attorney David Weiss, appointed by former President Donald Trump, decided not to seek search warrants or issue grand jury subpoenas so as not to “alert the public to the existence of the case in the middle of a presidential election,” Politico reports.

The prosecutor’s office reportedly was torn over whether to continue its probe or pause it due to the election, and Weiss, who remains in his job leading the case, sided with those who wanted to wait.

Will Weiss do the right thing this time?

Federal Judge Denies Hillary Clinton Lawyer Michael Sussmann’s Motion to Dismiss Durham Case – Trial Begins May 16

Cristina Laila
April 13, 2022

Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann’s motion to dismiss Durham’s case was denied by a federal judge on Wednesday.

Sussmann was indicted last September for lying to the FBI.

According to the indictment, Sussmann falsely told James Baker he wasn’t doing work “for any client” when he asked for a meeting with the FBI where he presented bogus evidence the Trump Tower was secretly communicating with Kremlin-tied Alfa Bank.

The attorneys for Michael Sussmann in February requested the courts dismiss Durham’s case against him.

Sussmann’s lawyers absurdly argued that his false statement to the feds is protected under the First Amendment and made no impact on the FBI’s probe.

Durham blasted Sussmann in a new filing last month and revealed Hillary’s lawyer actually alleged Trump and his associates were using Russian-made phones in the vicinity of the White House.

US District Judge Christopher Cooper, an Obama appointee, agreed with John Durham and denied Sussmann’s motion to dismiss.

“Specifically, Sussmann allegedly told Baker that he was not attending the meeting on behalf of any client when, in fact, he had assembled and was conveying the information on behalf of two specific clients: (1) a technology-industry executive named Rodney Joffe and (2) the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign,” Cooper wrote in a 6-page opinion.

“The FBI opened an investigation based on the information Sussmann provided, but ultimately determined that there was insufficient evidence to support the existence of a communication channel between the Trump campaign and the Russian bank. Sussmann has pled not guilty to the charge and denies lying to the FBI,” the judge added.

“The court will deny the motion,” Cooper wrote.

Trial begins May 16.

Special Counsel John Durham continues his focus on the Hillary Clinton Campaign

TECHNO FOG
April 11th, 2022

Special Counsel John Durham has asked high-ranking officials from the Clinton Campaign and Hillary for America, including the Clinton Campaign’s Chair (who we believe to be John Podesta1), about their awareness of the activities conducted by Fusion GPS on Hillary’s behalf.

This confirms an important avenue of Durham’s investigation: whether the Hillary Campaign or Hillary for America were part of a conspiracy to traffic false information to the FBI and other governmental entities.

While we reported on this development back in December, Durham’s latest filing (available here) provides context to his statement that Hillary for America, the Hillary Clinton Campaign, and former employees of that campaign were involved “in matters before the Special Counsel.”

Those “matters” apparently now include the Alfa Bank data (the purported secret communications between Russian Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization). The importance of this data was suggested in another filing (April 8, 2022), where Sussmann’s lawyers provided to the Court a March 30, 2022 letter from Special Counsel Durham to Sussmann’s attorneys.

That letter addresses the Special Counsel’s understanding that Sussmann’s lawyers would not “offer evidence, or engage in questioning, that would imply, assert, or seek to prove the authenticity of the relevant DNS data or the actual truth of the allegations at issue concerning a secret channel of communications between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank.”

It also served as a warning. Should Sussmann’s attorneys try to establish the accuracy of the Alfa Bank/Trump data, the Special Counsel’s expert would be ready to testify that the data was falsified:

That statement is the strongest thus far that the Special Counsel has determined the Alfa Bank/Trump data was spoofed in order to mislead the press and the FBI. A conspiracy, if you will.

Moving on – besides Alfa Bank, what else might these “matters” referenced by Durham include?

For starters, whether the Clinton Campaign or Hillary for America knew about, or directed the activities of, Charles Dolan (the longtime Clinton ally and the “source” of Steele dossier primary subsource Igor Danchenko). As we noted back in January, we believe that Dolan has testified before a grand jury on these issues.

 Recall that Durham informed the Court that the Igor Danchenko (Steele’s primary subsource) trial might include the following issues:

  1. The Clinton Campaign’s knowledge or lack of knowledge concerning the veracity of information in the Fusion GPS reports sourced by Danchenko,
  2. The Clinton Campaign’s awareness or lack of awareness of Dancehnko’s collection methods and sub-sources,
  3. Meetings or communications between and among the Clinton Campaign, Fusion GPS, and/or Steele regarding or involving Danchenko
  4. Danchenko knowledge or lack of knowledge regarding the Clinton Campaign’s role in and activities surrounding the Fusion GPS reports, and
  5. The extent to which the Clinton Campaign and/or its representatives directed, solicited, or controlled Danchenko’s activities.

Let’s go with a hypothetical and assume for a moment that the Clinton Campaign was involved in conspiracies to traffic false information to the FBI/DOJ via the Steele dossier and the Alfa Bank allegations. (Still an assumption at this time – beware the danger of false hope. We saw the other side get trapped and humiliated with their promises of indictments.)

Why go to those lengths – and why risk criminal exposure? Especially with polling predicting a near-certain Hillary win?

Dare I suggest it all goes back to the DNC “hack”.

Privilege Issues

One of the filings we discussed above (regarding Podesta) is Durham’s motion to compel the production of documents against the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Hillary for America, Fusion GPS, and Perkins Coie. Each one of these entities has “withheld and/or redacted documents and communications” from the Special Counsel. Fusion GPS, for example has withheld 1,455 documents.

Not to be outdone, Hillary for American and the DNC have asserted privilege over communications between Rodney Joffe (“Tech Executive-1” in the Sussmann indictment) and Fusion GPS – despite the DNC or HFA not being attached to those e-mails. Rodney Joffe, according to Durham, “has asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination over any responsive documents within his personal possession, custody, or control.”

What exactly does Durham want from the Clinton Campaign, et al.? Here’s some examples:

  1. The unredacted contract between Perkins Coie and Fusion GPS. (View the redacted version here.)
  2. “38 emails and attachments between and among” Perkins Coie, Rodney Joffe, and/or Fusion GPS employees.
  3. Communications between Fusion GPS and Rodney Joffe relating to the Alfa Bank allegations.

The primary basis of the privilege asserted by the DNC, et al., is that the work-product from Fusion GPS or Rodney Joffe was done in anticipation of litigation. When asking whether a document is prepared “in anticipation of litigation,” courts will look to whether “the document can fairly be said to have been prepared or obtained because of the prospect of litigation.” FTC v. Boehringer, 778 F.3d 142, 147 (D.C. Cir. 2015).

 The protects afforded by the work-product doctrine are the very reason why Perkins Coie referenced “potential and/or on-going litigation” in its contract with Fusion GPS. In other words, they planned ahead for the possibility that this privilege might need to be asserted. (This is the privilege Fusion GPS was asserting when it was sued by the owners of Alfa Bank.)

The good news?

The DNC, Hillary for America, Fusion GPS, and Perkins Coie will likely be compelled by the Court to produce the documents requested by Durham. Their arguments of “privilege” are weak for a number of reasons, including: (1) the work was of a political nature and did not involve legal advice; (2) the work was not done in anticipation of litigation; (3) any privilege was waived, as Fusion GPS, the DNC/HFA, and Perkins Coie all did their part to distribute the information to the press, government officials, etc.

Continue reading @ TECHNO FOG’s Substack