- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 12, 2022

Special counsel John Durham alleged in a court filing Saturday that the Clinton campaign paid for a tech company to hack servers in former President Donald Trump’s residences and the White House to gather derogatory information on him during the 2016 campaign and while he was president.

In the filing, Mr. Durham says the government has evidence that an unnamed tech executive “exploited” an arrangement with the government to monitor Mr. Trump’s internet traffic at Trump Tower, Mr. Trump’s Central Park West apartment, the executive office of the president and an unnamed healthcare provider.

The tech executive was only identified in court filings as “Tech Executive-1”. In previous filings by Mr. Durham, “Tech Executive-1” referred to Rodney Joffe, an internet entrepreneur and internet data expert.

Mr. Joffe did not respond to multiple requests for comment by The Washington Times.

“Tech Executive-1 and his associates exploited this arrangement by mining the [Executive Office of the President] for the purpose of gathering derogatory information about Donald Trump,” Mr. Durham writes.

Mr. Trump said Mr. Durham, who is investigating the origins of the Trump-Russia collusion probe, had revealed the depth of the Democrats’ scheme to undermine his presidency. He said the filing provides “indisputable evidence” that his campaign and presidency were spied on by Clinton campaign operatives.

DOCUMENT: Durham Probe Case

“This is a scandal far greater in scope and magnitude than Watergate and those who were involved in and knew about this spying operation should be subject to criminal prosecution,” Mr. Trump said in a statement. “In a stronger period of time in our country. This crime would have been punishable by death.”

In 2018, Mr. Trump has repeatedly claimed that his campaign was spied on. Trump allies said the court filing vindicated the former president.

Trump was right,” former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told The Times. “They spied on the president of the United in the White House. That’s treason. Who’s going to jail for the rest of their life?”

The stunning allegations by Mr. Durham were included in a court filing alleging former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann has a conflict of interest with his attorneys.

Mr. Sussmann has been charged with making a false statement to the FBI about a now-debunked claim of a secret communication channel between the Trump Organization and a Russian bank. He has pleaded not guilty.

Saturday’s filing alleges that Mr. Sussmann worked with a technology executive, an internet company and the Clinton campaign to assemble and convey the allegations to the FBI. Mr. Durham said that billing records show that Mr. Sussmann “repeatedly billed the Clinton campaign” for his work on Russian bank allegations.

In July 2016, Mr. Sussmann, the tech executive and “U.S. investigative firm” hired by “Law Firm 1” on behalf of the Clinton campaign worked with researchers at Internet companies to put together data and white papers.

“In connection with these efforts Tech Executive-1 exploited his access to non-public and/or proprietary Internet data,” Mr. Durham wrote. “Tech Executive-1 also enlisted the assistance of researchers at a U.S-based university who were receiving and analyzing large amounts of Internet data in connection with a pending federal government cybersecurity research contract.”

Mr. Durham said the tech executive used the researchers to “mine internet data” to establish “an inference” and “narrative” tying Mr.  Trump to Russia.

“In doing so, Tech Executive-1 indicated that he was seeking to please certain ‘VIPs’, referring to individuals at Law Firm-1 and the Clinton campaign,” Mr. Durham wrote.

The filing also states that the tech executive had come to access and maintain dedicated services for the Executive Office of the President as “part of a sensitive arrangement, whereby it provided [domain name system] DNS resolution services.

Mr. Durham also alleged that Mr. Sussmann relied on the purported DNS traffic from Trump Tower, Mr. Trump’s apartment building and the health care provider to give the FBI additional allegations about Mr. Trump.

Those allegations included claims that Mr. Trump and his associates were using rare, Russian-made wireless phones in the vicinity of the White House and other locations, Mr. Durham wrote.

The special counsel said he found no support for this allegation.

The tech executives’ claims that Mr. Trump and his associates were using rare Russian phones were suspicious DNS lookups affiliated with a Russian mobile phone provider.

But Mr. Durham said those lookups were far from rare. He said between 2014 and 2017, there were more than 3 million lookups of Russian Phone IP addresses that originated with U.S.-based IP addresses.

Fewer than 1,000 of these lookups originated with IP addresses affiliated with Trump Tower, Mr. Durham said. The lookups near the White House also began as early 2014 during the Obama administration, the filing says.

“Another fact which the allegation omitted,” Mr. Durham wrote about the lookups during the Obama era. 

Mr. Durham alleged that Mr. Sussmann took these allegations to a second government agency after first bringing them to the attention of the FBI. The special counsel says that like Mr. Sussmann’s meeting with the FBI, he also claimed he was not representing a client, when in fact he was there on behalf of the Clinton campaign.

“In his meeting with Agency-2 employees, the defendant also made a substantially similar false statement as he made to the FBI General Counsel,” Mr. Durham wrote. “In particular, the defendant asserted that he was not representing a particular client in conveying the above allegations.”

“In truth and in fact, the defendant was representing Tech Executive-1—a fact the defendant subsequently acknowledged under oath in December 2017 testimony before Congress, without identifying the client by name,” the filing continued. 

Kash Patel, a chief investigator of the Trump-Russia collusion probe for former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, said the filing “definitively shows that the Hillary Clinton campaign directly funded and ordered its lawyers at Perkins Coie to orchestrate a criminal enterprise to fabricate a connection between President Trump and Russia.” 

 Mr. Sussmann is among three people indicated by Mr. Durham, who was tasked in 2019 to probe the FBI’s actions in the early stages of the Trump-Russia probe.
Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith pled guilty to one count of making a false statement, a charge that had arisen from the Durham probe. He was sentenced to a year of probation for altering an email that made it easier for the FBI to surveil a member of the Trump campaign.
In October, Mr. Durham indicted Igor Danchenko, a Washington-based analyst who was a key source for the so-called Steele dossier. Mr. Danchenko is charged with five counts of lying to the FBI about where he got his information for the anti-Trump dossier.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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