- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Hillary Clinton broke her silence Wednesday on last week’s explosive court filing by Special Counsel John Durham that alleges Democrats spied on Donald Trump in 2016, calling it a “fake scandal.”

The former secretary of state dismissed the uproar on the right, suggesting it was ginned up by the former president and Fox News.

“Trump & Fox are desperately spinning up a fake scandal to distract from his real ones. So it’s a day that ends in Y,” tweeted Mrs. Clinton, the Democratic nominee in 2016 who lost to Mr. Trump. “The more his misdeeds are exposed, the more they lie.”

She linked to a story by the left-tilting publication Vanity Fair that is headlined, “You’ll never believe it but Hillary Clinton did not, in fact, spy on Trump’s White House.”

“For those interested in reality, here’s a good debunking of their latest nonsense,” said Mrs. Clinton.

Mr. Durham’s court filing Friday linked Clinton campaign lawyers to a tech executive who allegedly used his federal access to “mine Internet data to establish an ‘inference’ and ‘narrative’ tying then-candidate Trump to Russia.”

The executive indicated he was doing it to “please certain ‘VIPs,’” referring to individuals at a law firm and the Clinton campaign, the motion said.

Mrs. Clinton was not accused of any crime in the filing, which was related to the prosecution of lawyer Michael Sussmann on a charge of making a false statement to the FBI at a 2016 meeting about the Trump organization and a Russian bank.

Mr. Sussmann told FBI general counsel James Baker that he was not working for any client, when in fact he was working for the tech company and the Clinton campaign, the indictment said. 

Mr. Sussmann has pleaded not guilty.

SEE ALSO: Explosive allegations protect Durham probe from being shut down

In a Monday response, attorneys for Mr. Sussmann accused the Durham team of seeking to “inflame media coverage, and taint the jury pool.”

One point of contention raised since Mr. Durham filed the motion in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia is whether the surveillance continued after Mr. Trump became president on Jan. 20, 2017.

The Sussmann team accused the special counsel’s office of seeking to give the impression that the data provided by Mr. Sussmann to the CIA was gathered from the Trump White House, even though it occurred before that, the motion said.

“For example, although the Special Counsel implies that in Mr. Sussmann’s February 9, 2017 meeting, he provided Agency-2 [the CIA] with EOP data from after Mr. Trump took office, the Special Counsel is well aware that the data provided to Agency-2 pertained only to the period of time before Mr. Trump took office, when Barack Obama was President,” said the Sussmann response.

Mr. Trump said in a Sunday statement: “What Hillary Clinton and the Radical Left Democrats did with respect to spying on a President of the United States, even while in office, is a far bigger crime than Watergate.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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