OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion
Former Attorney General Bill Barr told Fox News on Friday that Special Counsel John Durham has made significant progress in investigating the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation.
Barr, who served under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Donald Trump, says Durham is a person who will not back down if a case is to be brought against any further defendants.
“I think the question all along … has been that this was a campaign-dirty-trick to get the government to investigate allegations — scurrilous allegations — about Donald Trump and then leak that right before the election,” Barr told “The Story.”
“And so that raises two questions: Was the Clinton campaign developing this false information and feeding it in for that purpose? And what was the FBI’s role on this?”
Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign will find out whether it engaged in illegal activities through the investigation into former Clinton attorney Michael Sussmann. Sussmann was indicted as part of that investigation.
“It tells me that he [has] dug very deep and he has developed some good information and he thinks he can make a criminal case here,” Barr said.
“And there’s never been a doubt in my mind that if there’s a crime to be proven in and brought by the prosecutor, Durham will do it,” claimed the former Connecticut federal prosecutor.
In response to a question asking how he views accusations against his former boss, Donald Trump, Barr said that accusations that Trump brought White House documents to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., are an example of making “a mountain out of a molehill.”
“[T]he whole classification system is for the president — it’s his authority that is used for it. And he can classify or declassify things if he wants,” he said, adding that there is “perhaps a technical violation” at play.
The New York Post reports Friday that Special Counsel John Durham has accused Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the 2016 presidential election and the Democratic National Committee of not handing over documents related to his investigation into the handling of the Russia investigation by law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
Durham filed a court filing seeking information from the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign, as well as from Fusion GPS and Perkins Coie, a Democratic firm.
During the special counsel’s investigation, it was found that the entities have improperly held back hundreds of documents under unfounded claims of attorney-client privilege.
On Monday, Durham filed documents showing attorney Michael Sussmann was working for two clients — the Clinton campaign and a tech executive — in 2016 when he texted the FBI general counsel, saying he was not working “on behalf of a client or company.”
As part of the meeting, Sussmann presented discredited claims about a secret communications channel between the Trump Organization and the Kremlin to FBI General Counsel James Baker.
According to the Post, Durham filed a 23-page motion asking for documents to be turned over for in-camera review, arguing that the privilege claims lack “any connection to actual or anticipated litigation or the provision of legal advice,”.
According to Durham, Fusion GPS withheld 1,455 documents under alleged attorney-client privilege or work product protections, but only 18 of the emails and attachments actually involved a lawyer.
On top of that, the filing went on to state that both the DNC and the Clinton campaign – officially branded as “Hillary for America” (“HFA”) – also had attempted to withhold communications between a Fusion GPS employee and Rodney Joffe, “despite the fact that no representatives from either the DNC or HFA have been copied on a number of these communications”, the filing noted..”
According to a report in Politico dated March 31, prosecutors are seeking to call witnesses from Sussmann’s former law firm, Perkins Coie, and Fusion GPS.
Throughout years, the Clinton campaign and the DNC have argued that the dossier produced by Fusion GPS was done by an attorney whose study could be used in litigation, and therefore is protected by the attorney-client privilege.
Nonetheless, Durham argued that Fusion GPS’ services “[do] not appear to have been a necessary part of, or even related to, [Perkins Coie’s] legal advice to HFA and the DNC.”
“Instead, contemporaneous communications and other evidence make it clear that the primary purpose of the [Fusion GPS’] work related to the [Steele] dossier, the [Alfa-Bank] allegations, and the other issues was to assemble and publicize allegations that would aid the campaign’s public relations goals,” the filing said.