Fox News has learned that Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation is “accelerating” and that more people are “cooperating”, and appearing before the federal grand jury than previously reported. A source familiar with the probe said this to Fox News.
Fox News Monday was told by a source that Durham had conducted his investigation professionally. And, unlike Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, Durham’s activities, witness information, and cooperation status are seldom, if ever, disclosed.
Durham does this right and keeps the secret,” the source stated, adding that Durham’s investigation has seen “much more activity than has been visible to the general public”.
Durham’s closest appearance with respect to grand jury witnesses was in a federal court file last month. It detailed materials that were provided by the special counsel’s to defense lawyers for Michael Sussmann, a former Clinton campaign lawyer.
Sussmann was charged with making a false statement about a federal agent. Sussmann pleaded not guilty.
According to Durham’s Jan. 25, filing, the court was informed by Durham that the special counsel’s Office provided materials to Sussmann’s group. This included “transcripts from sworn grand jury testimony of the following witnesses”.
Durham does not include names of witnesses before the grand jury, but their professional titles or titles as assigned by the special counsel’s offices.
Durham lists several individuals, including the “ex-FBI General Counsel” mentioned above. This could refer to James Baker who was FBI general counsel from January 2014 through May 2018. Fox News reported that Durham was planning to call Baker in order to testify against Sussmann.
According to the indictment against Sussmann in September 2016, less two months before 2016’s election, he said to James Baker, then-FBI General Counsel, that he wasn’t doing any work for any client when he requested. He also presented “purported data” and “white papers” that allegedly showed a “covert communication channel” between Trump Organization and Alfa Bank. Alfa Bank has close ties with the Kremlin.
Durham’s February 11 filing states that the “FBI General counsel” will “likely serve as a central witness during trial.”
Fox News asked Baker for his opinion but he did not respond immediately.
Durham also provided grand jury testimony from “the above-referenced former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence.” Although it is not clear to which official Durham refers, the title could refer to Bill Priestap who was the FBI’s counterintelligence assistant director from 2015-2018.
Fox News asked Priestap for comment but he did not respond immediately.
Durham also lists “a former FBI Deputy Assistant Director for Counterintelligence.” It is not clear to whom Durham refers.
Peter Strzok was a deputy assistant for counterintelligence. Fox News was told by three sources familiar with the FBI structure that there could be up to three people serving as the deputy assistant director for counterintelligence.
After months of scrutiny over anti-Trump text messages that were exchanged with Lisa Page, former FBI General Counsel, Strzok was fired from the FBI. He was part of the FBI’s original investigation into Trump’s campaign colluding to influence the 2016 election. The Justice Department inspector general discovered their anti-Trump text messages.
Fox News could not reach Strzok to comment.
Durham also files testimony from “the attorney who was previously employed by Law Firm-1” which is referred in the Indictment to as “Campaign Lawyer-1”. It is not clear to whom Durham refers.
In a separate Durham filing, however, the special counsel stated that Campaign Lawyer-1 was “serving in General Counsel to the Clinton Campaign.” Fox News was informed by three sources that Marc Elias served as general counsel for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and was a former employee of Perkins Coie.
Perkins Coie, Elias’ law office, was the one through which the Democratic National Committee funded the anti-Trump dossier. Christopher Steele, an ex-British Intelligence agent, wrote the unverified dossier and was commissioned by Fusion GPS.
Fox News reached Elias’ spokesperson but she did not immediately reply to Fox News’ request.
Durham also includes “an FBI Special Agent who served in the FBI’s Russian Bank-1 Investigation case” and “an FBI Headquarters Supervisory special agent assigned to the Russian Bank-1 Investigation investigation.” Durham also lists “two current employees” of Agency-2, “two former or current employees of University 1” and “an ex-employee of Internet Company-3.”
Fox News was informed by John Durham’s spokesperson that the Special Counsel’s Office “will decline comment beyond court filings.”
Fox News was informed by a source who is familiar with federal investigations that federal prosecutors cannot indict a person and then use grand juries to investigate issues in an existing indictment.
However, the source said that a prosecutor could indict someone for a specific offense and then continue to use grand jury to investigate other crimes related to that person and others.
According to the source, “They are more interested in Sussmann than they are Sussmann.”
He states in Durham’s Jan. 25, 20,22 filing:
Durham stated that “The Government also continues an active criminal investigation into the defendant’s conduct [Sussmann] and other matters.”
Fox News reported the February 11 filing by Durham. It claimed that lawyers for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign paid to infiltrate servers belonging Trump Tower and later White House in order to create an “inference” or “narrative to present to federal agencies linking Donald Trump and Russia.
Durham, in a section entitled “Factual Background”, revealed that Sussmann had “assembled and transmitted the allegations to FBI on behalf at least two specific clients including a technology executive (Tech Executive1) at an American-based internet company (“Internet Company 1″) and the Clinton campaign.”
According to Durham’s filing, Sussmann’s billing records show that he was “repeatedly” billed the Clinton Campaign for work related to the Russian Bank-1 allegations.
According to the latest filing, the tech executive was in contact with Sussmann, an American investigative firm that Law Firm 1 retained for the Clinton campaign. The company also employed many cyber researchers and employees from multiple internet companies to “assemble purported data and whitepapers.”
The filing says that Tech Executive-1 “exploited his access to proprietary and/or non-public Internet data in connection with these efforts.” Tech Executive-1 also sought the help of U.S.-based researchers who were analyzing and receiving large quantities of Internet data as part of a federal cybersecurity research contract.
Durham wrote that Tech Executive-1 had given these researchers the task of mining Internet data in order to determine ‘an inference and ‘narrative’ linking then-candidate Trump with Russia. Tech Executive-1 stated that he was trying to please certain “VIPs”, referring to individuals from Law Firm-1 and Clinton campaign.
Durham wrote that Sussmann’s trial would establish that domain name system (DNS), internet traffic related to “(i), a specific healthcare provider, (ii), Trump Tower, (iii), Donald Trump’s Central Park West apartment complex, and (iv), the Executive Office of President of the United States (EOP)” was exploited by him and his associates.
Durham said that Tech Executive-1 had been given access to dedicated servers by an internet company, as part of a sensitive arrangement that provided DNS resolution services for the EOP.
Durham states that “Tech Executive-1″ and his associates exploited the arrangement by mining DNS traffic from the EOP for the purpose to gather derogatory information about Donald Trump.”
This filing also shows that Sussmann submitted “an updated set” of allegations, including Russian bank data and additional allegations related to Trump “to another agency of the U.S. Government” in 2017.
Durham claims that the allegations were based in part on the “purported DNS traffic” Tech Executive-1 and others “had gathered pertaining to Trump Tower and Donald Trump’s New York City apartment buildings, the EOP and the aforementioned health provider.”
Durham report reveals Clinton staffers were hired by Trump Tower and White House servers to infiltrate them
Sussmann met with Durham at the second U.S. agency. Durham claimed he provided data that reflected “purportedly suspicious DNS lookups” by these entities of IP addresses associated with a Russian phone provider. He also claimed that lookups “demonstrated Trump’s use of supposedly rare, Russian made wireless phones near the White House and other locations.”
Durham stated that “The Special Counsel’s Office had not identified any support for these allegations,” and added that “lookups” were “far from uncommon in the United States.”
Durham wrote that “For example, Tech Executive-1 and his associates gathered more detailed data–but did NOT provide to Agency 2- reflected that there were more than 3,000,000 lookups of Russian Phone Prover 1 IP addresses that originated from U.S.-based addresses between approximately 2014-2017.” “More than 1000 of these lookups were originated from IP addresses associated with Trump Tower.”
Durham said that Tech Executive-1 data also showed that lookups started as early as 2014. This was during the Obama administration, and years before Trump took office. He added that this is “another fact that the allegations have omitted.”
Durham wrote that the defendant made substantially the same false statement to Agency-2 employees as he did to the FBI General Counsel in his meeting with them. “In particular, defendant claimed that he wasn’t representing any client in transmitting the above allegations.”
Durham wrote that “In truth and fact, the defendant represented Tech Executive-1–a fact which the defendant later acknowledged under oath before Congress in December 2017, testimony without identifying the client by his name.”
Durham has now indicted three individuals as part of his investigation. They are Sussmann on September 2021, Igor Danchenko (Nov. 4, 2021) and Kevin Clinesmith (August 2020).
Danchenko was accused of making a false statement. He is also accused of lying about where he got the information he gave to Christopher Steele in the anti-Trump dossier.
Kevin Clinesmith was also accused of making a false statement. Clinesmith was referred to the Justice Department’s inspector General’s Office for possible prosecution. This office conducted its own review on the Russia investigation.
Clinesmith was accused of altering Page’s email to state that he was not a source for any other government agency. Page claimed he was a source of the CIA. As it submitted its third renewal application for 2017 under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, (FISA), the DOJ relied upon that assertion to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
Sources told Fox News this week that John Ratcliffe, the former Director of National Intelligence, met with Durham multiple times and said that intelligence evidence supported the indictment of “multiple persons” in his investigation into Trump-Russia’s origins.
On Saturday night, former President Trump responded to the filing by saying that Durham’s filing “provides irrefutable evidence” that his campaign and presidency were monitored by Hillary Clinton Campaign operatives to establish a completely false connection with Russia.
Trump stated that “This is an even greater scandal than Watergate” and that those involved in or who knew about the spying operation should face criminal prosecution. This crime would have been punished by death if it had occurred over a longer period of time.