Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and its former top officials intervened in Special Counsel John Durham’s case against former campaign lawyer Michael Sussman in new legal filings last night.
They are trying to block the release of documents about Russia research on Trump because they claim it is covered by attorney-client privilege. The requests were filed late Tuesday by Hillary’s campaign, its former chairman John Podesta, its former campaign manager Robby Mook, and its former law firm Perkins Coie. The filing come a month before the start of Sussmann’s trial on a charge of lying to the FBI.
“Hillary for America respectfully moves this honorable court to intervene as an interested non party to assert privilege claims over documents and information that the government seeks to compel,” the campaign wrote in its motion.
Podesta said in a declaration:
“At all times relevant to the government’s pending motion to compel and continuing through August 2021, Perkins Coie served as general counsel to HFA.
“To my knowledge, Perkins Coie has consistently maintained the confidentiality of documents and information covered by the attorney-client privilege and the attorney-work-product doctrine.
“HFA asserts its attorney-client privilege and the attorney-work-product protection with respect to all documents and information under the control of Perkins Coie or any of its consultants, including Fusion GPS. HFA is not waiving any of its privileges.”
“Although I was not aware during the campaign of any contractors that Perkins Coie engaged to assist in it in providing legal services and legal advice regarding this work, I did believe through the campaign that whatever work Perkins Coie performed, either through its own professionals or through any contractors it may have engaged to assist the work was done, for the purpose of providing legal services and legal advice to HFA.”
From The Gazette:
From 2016 through 2021, Durham argued people associated with Fusion GPS, the Clinton campaign, and Perkins Coie intentionally failed to maintain requisite confidentiality over materials from the election, so he believes their attorney-client privilege claims should be waived.
The special counsel said the DNC and the Clinton campaign “have asserted attorney-client privilege and/or work product protections over communications solely between” Joffe and a person from Fusion GPS who has been subpoenaed to testify at trial. Joffe’s lawyer also claimed privilege over those.
Durham revealed he served a grand jury subpoena to Fusion GPS in March 2021, requesting “non-privileged records” involving Sussmann and Perkins Coie as well as correspondence related to Alfa-Bank, and he said he served a July 2021 subpoena to Fusion GPS asking for “non-privileged records” related to Fusion GPS being retained by the DNC and the Clinton campaign.
The special counsel said he served similar grand jury subpoenas to the DNC, the Clinton campaign, Perkins Coie, Joffe, and companies tied to the tech executive. The groups all produced documents and privilege logs, except for Joffe asserting his Fifth Amendment rights, Durham said.
Durham said Joffe tasked his own employees and associates with mining and assembling internet data that would support an “inference” or “narrative” tying former President Donald Trump to Russia. The tech executive’s motive was demonstrated in emails that said the goal was to please “VIPs” — apparently referring to Sussmann, Elias, and the Clinton campaign.