Donald Trump says the Justice Department should ‘absolutely’ declassify the rest of the documents from the Russia probe in the wake of Special Counsel John Durham’s findings.
Durham has alleged that Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign paid to ‘infiltrate’ and exploit servers at Trump Tower, Trump’s Central Park West apartment, a ‘particular health care provider’ and the White House to ‘establish an inference and narrative’ that would tie Trump to Russia.
Speaking to Fox News, Trump said of the DOJ: ‘They have the declassification order. And they should declassify, absolutely, especially in light of what has just happened and what has just been revealed.’
In May 2019, Trump told the then-Attorney General Bill Barr to start declassifying records related to surveillance of the Trump 2016 campaign, following the completion of the Mueller probe, but these have not all been made public.
The special counsel’s investigation had found no evidence of criminal conspiracy of collusion between Trump and Russia during the election.
Donald Trump says the Justice Department should ‘absolutely’ declassify the rest of the documents from the Russia probe
Durham has alleged that Hillary Clinton’s (pictured yesterday) presidential campaign paid to ‘infiltrate’ and exploit Trump’s servers
The former president said: ‘We did declassify, and people saw them, and I think you’ll see some big stuff.’
He added there is ‘tremendous dishonesty and corruption’ as he called for the public release of the records.
Durham’s filing has also accused Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann of bringing Trump-Russia allegations that ‘relied, in part’ on traffic assembled by the servers to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Durham was appointed in 2019 by then-Attorney General William Barr to investigate possible misconduct within the US government as it investigated Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and any ties to the Trump campaign.
In a section of the filing titled Factual Background, Durham argued those involved with the infiltration of the servers were ‘mining traffic and and other data for the purpose of gathering derogatory information about Donald Trump.’
In 2019, the White House issued a statement on Trump’s declassification order, saying ‘at the request and recommendation of the Attorney General of the United States, President Donald J. Trump directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 Presidential election’.
Durham (left) was appointed in 2019 by then-Attorney General William Barr (right) to investigate possible misconduct within the US government
This granted the attorney general the authority to declassify information related to the probe, but not all the records have been made public.
The White House statement continued: ‘Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions.’
Trump has fueled high expectations that Durham’s investigation would uncover significant malfeasance and undermine the core conclusions of special counsel Mueller’s Russia probe – that Trump associates embraced help from the Kremlin during the 2016 election, although they did not criminally conspire with Russia to tip the outcome of the race.
The Durham probe has so far produced just three criminal charges that have not undone Mueller’s findings but have focused on significant problems related to early aspects of the Russia investigation, including a so-called dossier of Democratic-funded research into Trump’s ties to Russia and flawed warrants to conduct secret surveillance of Carter Page, a former Trump campaign aide.
Those prongs of the investigation took place well before Mueller’s May 2017 appointment.
Mueller’s investigation found no evidence of criminal conspiracy of collusion between Trump and Russia during the election
Besides Sussmann, he has charged Kevin Clinesmith, a former FBI lawyer who pleaded guilty in 2020 to doctoring an email related to the surveillance of Page; and Igor Danchenko, a Russian-American analyst who fed information to former British spy Christopher Steele, who was paid by Democrats to investigate ties between Trump and Russia and whose research formed the basis of the dossier. Danchenko is accused of lying to the FBI about his sources of information.
When questioned whether he thought Mueller knew about the allegations against members of the Clinton campaign, Trump argued the investigation was focused on ‘one side.’
‘They weren’t going after it, certainly,’ Trump said. ‘They were only going after the one side—they weren’t going after the other.’
He argued that Mueller’s team ‘definitely had blinders on,’ adding: ‘It’s sad.’
Trump also posed concerns about security, alleging that if Clinton’s campaign could hack into servers that ‘foreign countries can do it’ too.
‘You have experts that do this, but they used experts to do it, and to think they could even think about doing that is not believable and, think—if they do it, foreign countries can do it,’ Trump said. ‘What kind of a security system do we have?’
Durham last year charged Sussmann with lying to the FBI during that 2016 meeting by saying that he wasn’t sharing the Alfa Bank concerns on behalf of any particular client when actually, prosecutors allege, he was doing so as an attorney for the Clinton campaign. Sussmann’s lawyers have vigorously denied that he lied and he has pleaded not guilty.
Late Monday, the former campaign manager’s lawyers demanded the court ‘strike’ the ‘factual background’ section of Durham’s filing, under the argument that it would ‘taint’ the jury pool ahead of his trial.
Trump slammed back at the attempt, telling Fox News: ‘Total nonsense. They got caught and they’re trying to figure out what to say to dim it a little bit.’
He also criticized the media for its alleged lack of coverage of Durham’s findings.
‘Another crime is being committed—and that’s the crime of the media,’ Trump said. ‘The media is absolutely not—they refuse to talk about it and yet it is 10 times bigger than Watergate.’
He added: ‘The press is corrupt and they don’t like to cover it. They’re sort of being forced. It is such a big story, I don’t know that they can play the game much longer.’
Late Monday, Michael Sussman’s (left) lawyers demanded the court ‘strike’ the ‘factual background’ section of Durham’s filing, under the argument that it would ‘taint’ the jury pool ahead of his trial. Trump (right, Jan. 2022) slammed back at the attempt, saying Tuesday: ‘Total nonsense. They got caught and they’re trying to figure out what to say to dim it a little bit’
The former president and businessman also argued that Durhman may ‘go down as a great hero in this country that will be talked about for years.’
‘I gained great respect for John Durham, that he was able to do this, and that he would put it out, because other people knew it and it wasn’t coming out—it just wasn’t coming out,’ Trump said.
‘And to think, we went through a whole Mueller scam, and nothing was said.’
Trump’s commentary comes as his former Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, has accused Clinton of attempting to ‘frame’ Trump under a ‘false Russian narrative’ – as a lawyer charged in a special counsel probe claimed it was a witch hunt.
Ratcliffe went on Fox News on Monday night where he explained how, in his view, Clinton had been trying to drum up interest in possible links between President Trump and Russia in an effort to distract attention away from her own scandal over her deleted emails.
‘When I became the DNI, the first thing I wanted to see was all of the intelligence we have on Trump-Russia collusion. The answer was, ‘well, we don’t have any.’,’ Ratcliffe began.
Former Director of National Intelligence under President Trump, John Ratcliffe, has said Hillary Clinton tried to ‘frame’ Trump under a ‘false Russian narrative’
‘That’s why [Former FBI director] Jim Comey and [Former CIA director] John Brennan and [Former DNI director] James clapper when all pressed under oath, and asked if there was evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, they all said, ‘no there isn’t.”
‘What I found was interesting was that we had a lot of intelligence of fake Trump-Russia collusion. We had information that Hillary Clinton had a plan to create this narrative. John Brennan’s handwritten notes showed he briefed President Obama and Vice-President Biden about that plan.
‘The public found out about this when I declassified the information in John Brennan’s hand written notes in September 2020. No member of congress was aware of this intelligence until I declassified it.’
Ratcliffe also said that then-Vice President Joe Biden and Barack Obama knew Hillary Clinton’s campaign was trying to hack into Trump’s servers to try and find links to the Kremlin.
On Monday night, Sussmann fought back against Durham’s allegations in his probe that accuse him of lying to the FBI during a September 2016 conversation, as he relayed concerns about potentially suspicious cyber contacts between a Trump Organization server and the server of a Russian bank.
When bringing the concerns to then-FBI general counsel James Baker, the indictment alleged that Sussmann lied and said he was not representing a client when he was actually hired by Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
Sussman filed a cross-motion to strike wrote in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
Sussman accused Durham’s probe of making ‘false allegations, politicizing the case, tainting the jury pool and inflaming media coverage’
Sussmann has pleaded not guilty and his lawyers have claimed the case is driven by politics.
‘Unfortunately, the Special Counsel has done more than simply file a document identifying potential conflicts of interest. Rather, the Special Counsel has again made a filing in this case that unnecessarily includes prejudicial and false allegations that are irrelevant to his Motion and to the charged offense, and are plainly intended to politicize this case, inflame media coverage, and taint the jury pool,’ Sussman wrote in filing a cross-motion to strike with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
The rant was akin to President Trump’s rants about probes into his behavior – by special counsel Robert Mueller and impeachment committees – as witch hunts.
Ratcliffe claimed that his revelations show there is ‘enough evidence’ to indict ‘multiple people’ in Durham’s probe into the origins of the Russia investigation into ex-President Donald Trump.
Ratcliffe also blamed long standing institutions as being ‘dishonest’ towards the American people.
Trump sent a short statement Monday morning with feelings of vindication after Durham’s filing revealed Clinton’s plot to link him to Russia.
‘I was proven right about the spying, and I will be proven right about 2020!’ he wrote, insisting his claims of fraud and meddling in the 2020 presidential election will also be confirmed.
Meanwhile, a source familiar with the probe told Fox News Tuesday, that Durham’s investigation has ‘accelerated,’ and that he was running it ‘very professionally’.
The source also said more people are ‘cooperating’ and coming before the federal grand jury than has previously been reported.
‘Durham does this right and keeps it a secret,’ the source said, noting there is ‘much more activity’ in Durham’s investigation ‘than has been visible to the public.’
The court filing says Sussmann (pictured) received the information from a technology executive he worked with whose company, according to Durham, helped maintain servers for the White House
The probe alleges Sussman in February 2017 presented officials at a U.S. government agency – the CIA – with information that Sussmann said showed that ‘Trump and/or his associates were using supposedly rare, Russian-made wireless phones in the vicinity of the White House and other locations.’ The Durham team said it has identified no support for those allegations.
The court filing says Sussmann received the information from a technology executive he worked with whose company, according to Durham, helped maintain servers for the White House.
The executive, Rodney Joffe, enlisted the help of computer researchers who were already analyzing large amounts of internet data through a federal government cybersecurity research contract, Durham says. The researchers, according to the filing, exploited internet traffic at locations including Trump Tower, Trump’s Central Park apartment building and the Executive Office of the President, or EOP, and were asked by Joffe to establish an ‘inference’ tying Trump to Russia.
The researchers were not ‘spying’ on the Trump campaign in 2016 but were instead working at the request of federal officials to investigate Russian malware attacks that had targeted the U.S. government and the White House, said Jody Westby, a lawyer for one of the research scientists involved, David Dagon of the Georgia Institute of Technology. The U.S. was on high alert after the hacking of Democratic National Committee emails by Russian operatives.
A spokesman for Joffe said in a statement sent to reporters that Joffe is an ‘apolitical internet security expert’ who has never worked for a political party and who legally provided access to internet traffic data.
Durham’s filing says the researchers mined the EOP’s Internet traffic to gather derogatory information about Trump, though the work was done at a time when Barack Obama – not Trump – was president
‘They were simply doing … research of Russian attacks against U.S. entities, including the federal government,’ Westby said, adding, ‘The motion is unfortunate because it offers a lot of confusing information that is not factually accurate.’