Just a brief update on the Durham investigation and the Michael Sussmann case today, with links to some fun reading material.
Recall that there are problems with the argument for attorney-client privilege being made by Hillary For America and the DNC. Sussmann is on trial for lying to the FBI when he denied being there as their attorney, and they want to keep their communications with him secret largely because of him...being their attorney? With an argument like that, Sussmann ought to just plead guilty and be done with it.
And now, as legal analyst Margot Cleveland explains, there’s even more of a problem with that claim of privilege. After the flurry of motions back and forth on this question was made public, the Coolidge Reagan Foundation wrote a three-page letter to Special Counsel John Durham and Assistant Special Counsel Jonathan Algor, alerting them to key facts concerning the FEC fine levied against Hillary For America and the DNC for hiding the purpose of the over-$1 million they paid for the Steele “dossier.” The CRF should know –- they’re the group that filed the original complaint.
Getting to the meat of it, the letter says that Hillary For America and the DNC are “asserting materials generated by Fusion GPS and provided to Perkins Coie are protected by attorney-client privilege and work-product doctrine” when they also have an agreement with the FEC to “not further contest the Commission’s finding of probable cause to believe” that the political organizations “had falsely reported their payments through Perkins Coie to Fusion GPS as being for legal services.”
In other words, Hillary wants to have it both ways. When she needs to say Fusion GPS is providing legal services, she says it is. When she needs to say it isn’t, she says it isn’t.
“The government should not permit HFA and the DNC to adopt conflicting positions in different proceedings, depending on the federal agency against which they are litigating,” the letter concludes.
This situation is complicated by the fact that Durham has subpoenaed both the Clinton campaign and the DNC to have representatives testify at Sussmann’s trial. Of course, Sussmann’s attorneys are trying to stop that.
The irony, Cleveland says, “is that the more Sussmann, the Clinton campaign, and the DNC hide behind claims of attorney-client privilege, the more it appears that, yes, Sussmann pushed the Alfa Bank hoax, including during his meeting with FBI General Counsel James Baker, on behalf of the Clinton campaign. The FEC’s conclusion that probable cause existed to support the finding that the Clinton campaign and DNC had falsely reported fees paid to Fusion GPS as legal fees only further supports that conclusion.”
The head of the Coolidge Reagan Foundation told The Federalist that this is a case of the Democrats wanting to have their cake and eat it, too. For decades, Hillary’s been accustomed to arrangements like that, but this is one time when it looks as though the cake might crumble.
Bonchie at RedState commented on Cleveland’s analysis, and it makes enjoyable reading. He sees this is a trap set by Durham, to get Hillary's people under oath and make them reveal the contradiction. He’s painted them into a corner, and it's so delightful. “Either they are lying to the FEC in their prior agreement, or they are lying in the Sussmann case,” he says.