According to a report, John Durham, special counsel to George Soros was influenced by Russian intelligence memos in order to gain access to emails from George Soros’ aide.
According to the New York Times, the memos were provided by a Dutch spy agency. They included analysis from Russian intelligence on alleged conversations that could have involved American victims of Russian hacker attacks. According to the report, Durham used the memos to justify using grand jury power to access the emails from Soros’ aide.
Durham wanted the emails to prove the authenticity of the Russian memos. Russian memos alleged that Hillary Clinton planned to attack her rival Donald Trump, linking him to the public leakage of emails from the Democratic National Committee in 2016. These emails were allegedly obtained by Russian hackers.
According to the report, Durham requested a federal judge to grant him access to emails from Leonard Benardo (executive vice president of Soros’s Open Society Foundations).
The Russian memos contained accusations that Benardo and Debbie Wasserman Schultz discussed how Loretta Lynch, former Attorney General, promised to stop the investigation into Clinton’s emails getting carried away. This was reported by the Washington Post. Lynch was famously present at a 2016 meeting with Bill Clinton on an airport runway. She denied any impropriety.
A judge rejected Durham twice in his bid to obtain Benardo’s emails. He concluded that the memos weren’t strong enough to interfere with Benardo’s privacy. The court decision was overturned by Durham, who used grand jury powers to investigate the emails. However, there is no evidence that he cited them later in his investigation, according to the New York Times.
According to reports, Benardo and the foundation followed the demands rather than challenging Durham in court. It is not known whether Durham subpoenaed Benardo, or if he threatened to. According to memos, Benardo denies that he was in communication with Schultz.
According to William Barr, Durham was selected to investigate the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Later, he was appointed special counsel to the Justice Department.
Ironically, President Donald Trump and his supporters had a key issue with the FBI’s Russia investigation. This was due to the Steele dossier. It is a highly suspect document that made incendiary allegations against Trump. Recent revelations regarding Durham’s investigation show that he used a similar strategy when attempting to find Benardo’s emails.
Durham is currently working on his final report.