Durham's evidence suggests Trump was tracked, CIA deceived

- MIKE HUCKABEE - NEWSLETTER - APR 21, 2022 -


Legal analyst Margot Cleveland has expanded on something we reported a couple of days ago; namely, that the nature of the Trump-Russia stories put together by Georgia Tech’s cybersecurity team suggests they were actually tracking Trump’s physical location.


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As revealed in special counsel John Durham’s recent filing in the Michael Sussmann case, there actually were two different conjured-up stories being peddled by Sussmann to try to link Trump to Putin: the Alfa Bank story, in which innocuous “pings” between servers at Trump Tower and the Putin-linked bank were used to falsely suggest surreptitious communications, and the “YotaPhone” story, in which they claimed they’d found signs of rare Russian-made cell phones accompanying Trump’s movements.


The YotaPhone hoax, though smaller and (so far) less well known, involved the mining of proprietary information and sensitive data from the Executive Office of the President (EOP) --- as did the Alfa Bank Hoax --- but also seems to have relied on the surveillance of Trump’s physical location.


The one lie Sussmann is charged with has to do with his meeting with FBI general counsel James Baker, where he presented the Alfa Bank story. He told Baker (twice, actually, once in print) that he was coming on his own behalf, not representing a client. We know that wasn’t true; Sussmann was representing tech executive Rodney Joffe and also Hillary For America, billing the campaign for his time.


The YotaPhone story is first mentioned later, in Durham's filing about law firm Latham and Watkins’ possible conflicts of interest. These are “supposedly rare, Russian-made wireless phones.” In his filing last Friday, Durham included two CIA memoranda that recorded what Sussmann was telling the CIA about this YotaPhone story.


We linked to these a few days ago, but to accompany Cleveland’s piece, we’ll offer them again for reference. Here’s the one from January 31, 2017 –- very soon after Trump’s inauguration –- memorializing Sussmann’s first contact with a CIA employee…


https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.235638/gov.uscourts.dcd.235638.70.1_1.pdf


According to this memo, Sussmann said the “Russian” phones appeared to follow Trump around, from Trump Tower to Trump’s apartment at Grand Central Park West and even on a trip to Michigan. (Trump did go to Michigan, to interview a potential cabinet secretary.) Sussmann also said that in December 2016 --- note: the transition period --- the phone disappeared from Trump Tower and surfaced at the Executive Office Building after Trump moved to the White House.


Sussmann said this very rare phone that seemed to follow Trump made calls to Moscow and St. Petersburg from April 2016 to February 2017.


Cleveland also outlines the story Sussmann gave the CIA about why his sources wanted to remain anonymous. That apparently was bogus as well; there is no reason to think Rodney Joffe and the Georgia Tech team were in fear of retaliation from Russian intelligence.

Then there’s the second memorandum, from the meeting Sussman was able to obtain with the CIA, on February 9, 2017.


https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.235638/gov.uscourts.dcd.235638.70.2_1.pdf


At that meeting, Sussmann passed along separate thumb drives with data from the different “domain name system” (DNS) lookups, including Trump Tower, his apartment, the EOP (White House), and Spectrum Health Care, a Michigan hospital company whose server had for some reason interacted with a Trump server. But, as discovered by the special counsel and revealed in his recent filing, the information on these thumb drives is just a sliver of what the Georgia Tech team had. These same lookups had been detected at the EOP since 2014, well before Trump was even there.


In Cleveland’s words, “That Joffe and his associates had assembled more complete DNS data related to the YotaPhones than that provided to the CIA --- data that disproves the Trump-Russia collusion theory --- is a huge scandal: Those allegations indicate an attempt to deceive by omission.” And they did it to get the CIA to go after a sitting President. Cleveland rightly calls this “horrifying.”


There’s more that we learn from the CIA notes; for one thing, that the targeted surveillance of Trump did go on after he moved to the White House. For another, that they were following Trump’s geographic location. Did they have him followed? Have a mole on Trump’s transition team and/or White House staff? Use GPS? The thumb drives probably tell that story.


As we’ve discussed, the Sussmann defense team is trying to keep all of the CIA evidence out of court. (The trial is scheduled to start May 16.) They say it’s not relevant to the one charge of lying to the FBI that Sussmann faces. It seems to us non-lawyers that Durham has made an excellent argument for including it, but if for some reason that doesn’t fly, he ought to just charge Sussmann with lying to the CIA as well, and bring in what he has. Perhaps that’s his ace; far be it from me to say.


https://thefederalist.com/2022/04/20/new-documents-suggest-democrats-sicced-the-cia-on-their-domestic-enemy-the-president/


There’s more from Durham’s filings that the Sussmann attorneys, from DNC-connected Latham and Watkins, are trying to keep out of court. One of these items of evidence is that tweet from Hillary spreading the fake Alfa Bank story, headlined, “Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.” Below that is the Hillary For America logo and a four-paragraph statement from Hillary For America Senior Policy Adviser Jake Sullivan (who now works in the Biden White House). The full text is included with the story at PJ Media. One you know the Trump-Russia collusion story was a complete hoax, it’s infuriating to read this tripe.


https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/matt-margolis/2022/04/20/heres-the-tweet-clintons-lawyer-doesnt-want-admitted-as-evidence-in-durham-case-n1591425


Anyway, Sussmann’s attorneys don’t want this tweet introduced in court, and one of their arguments for keeping it out strikes us as particularly hilarious. Read the following and see if you agree: “There is no evidence that Mr. Sussmann’s meeting with [FBI general counsel James] Baker had anything to do with the Clinton Campaign’s broader media strategy.”


Now that is just fall-down funny. (It’s almost as funny as Hillary Clinton tweeting about a “covert server.”) Hillary's campaign was working on two fronts to damage Trump: 1) investigations into Trump-Russia collusion, and 2) media narratives about Trump-Russia collusion. They wanted to get stories about Trump colluding with Russia into the media.

BuzzFeed broke the “dossier,” peddled by Christopher Steele, and Slate broke Alfa Bank, likely peddled by Michael Sussmann. Durham has tied all this together and traced the players to Perkins Coie, the law firm representing Hillary For America. This statement from Hillary (both personally and from her campaign) was ready to go and posted just three hours after the story broke in Slate magazine. Someone had to give Slate the story, and whoever did almost certainly coordinated with the campaign. If that turns out to be Sussmann –- in coordination with HIS CLIENT, Hillary For America –- it sure adds heft to the lie that he wasn’t working for any client.


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