Kash Patel: Clinton Campaign Affiliates Are Trying to Bury Michael Sussmann | Kash’s Corner
“[Durham] now has Clinton world burying Michael Sussmann, the defendant in this case.”
Clinton campaign affiliates are throwing former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann under the bus, says Kash Patel. And in a last-ditch effort to protect themselves, they are trying to hide evidence behind attorney-client privilege, he argues.
Kash and Jan break down special counsel John Durham’s latest filing and the significance of the flurry of responses from Clinton campaign affiliates, including former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, campaign manager Robby Mook, campaign lawyer Marc Elias, opposition research firm Fusion GPS, and tech executive Rodney Joffe.
According to Durham’s filing, the CIA knew in early 2017 that the Alfa Bank allegations tying Trump to Russia were likely false. At the same time, the FBI intentionally avoided coming to conclusions on the veracity of these allegations, Kash argues.
We discuss all this and more in this episode of Kash’s Corner.
Kash Patel: Hey everybody, and welcome back to Kash’s Corner.
Jan Jekielek: So Kash, on Easter Friday, John Durham decided in the wee hours of the morning to put up a really significant filing. We jumped on it right away and that actually precipitated a whole flurry of responses to that filing. So let’s break it down. What’s going on?
Mr. Patel: Well, I think we need six straight episodes to do it, but we’ll try to get it done in one. The Friday pleading is basically the only filing from John Durham’s side of the case. It’s the United States versus Michael Sussmann.
John Durham issues basically called a responsive pleading saying these are the reasons why all the defense’s positions on 404(b) on this type of evidence on that witness and that witness they’re all wrong, this is why I’m right. Very substantive pleading. Fast forward to this week.
In the evening hours of this week, the defense Sussmann plus a whole host of other individuals that have been named throughout this case, filed 14 or 16 pleadings in the matter of 24 hours. It was very, very, very unusual Jan. We’ll break that down and get into what the defense side’s pleadings are and how they actually used other pleadings of nonmembers, that is non parties to the litigation came in and air mailed in their own pleadings.
So it’s very interesting. It’s very rare, but I think it shows one of the most significant things to date in the John Durham investigation, is that he’s got Clinton world scrambling and on the run.
Mr. Jekielek: There’s one particular sentence in here. It’s actually in parentheses bizarrely, that struck me as the sort of, kind of the critical element in this pleading. But maybe before we go there, just give me an overview of-
Mr. Patel: Yes.
Mr. Jekielek: Yes.
Mr. Patel: There are a couple of key things that’s one of them. But some of that more housekeeping items, pretrial litigation motions in limine we’ve talked about on previous shows is John Durham wants to submit certain types of evidence against Michael Sussmann in the government’s case in chief, and there’s been back and forth litigation on it.
And some of that type of evidence has been this argument over these things called privileged logs, which we’ll keep coming back to. What happens is we found out that John Durham has issued multiple grand jury subpoenas to many parties, not just Sussmann, but the likes of Fusion GPS, Rodney Jaffe, the tech executive and all these other folks, Marc Elias, Perkins Coie, and all these people in Clinton world that we’ve been talking about for long, who I’ve said are part of this giant criminal conspiracy.
John Durham is using that information as he sees fit to advance his indictment, which is, Michael Sussmann lied to the FBI. The defense in that case has largely been well, we don’t believe he lied, but if he did it was not material. And without getting into details of law, they’re just saying they the defense for Michael Sussmann are saying, so what, that’s literally what they’re saying. Doesn’t matter. No one cares, not material, didn’t alter the route of the investigation. John Durham saying, since you brought that up, I’m going to look at the privilege logs. And I don’t want the privilege logs because the privilege logs are just metadata that just says, had meeting, had left meeting. So and so was in a meeting.
He wants the substance of the meeting. He wants the substance of the communications. And that’s what a lot of this back and forth is in the pleading John Durham saying, well, I want the communications between Michael Sussmann and Rodney Jaffe. I want the communications between Michael Sussmann and Fusion GPS. I want the communications between Marc Elias and the Hillary Clinton campaign, because all of that shows the materiality of Michael Sussmann’s lie.
And what John Durham has requested is not everything in the whole universe of privilege, and I think we’ll lay out why later; Clinton world is over broadly using this attorney-client privilege, work product exception to hide wrongdoing.
But what I believe John Durham smartly doing is saying, we don’t want everything, I just need, you raised it, you the defense said, it’s not material. I, John Durham, now have a duty to prove it is material, and this is how I’m going to do it. So we asked the judge and you’ll probably see this phraseology in there to go ex parte in camera.
And what that means is John Durham’s like, look, judge, you are supposed to be the neutral arbiter of the law in these matters. These questions have been raised without putting them into the public domain, the public pleading sphere. You, the judge, look at the substance of what I’m asking you to look at behind the privilege logs.
And then you make the call as the referee to say, well, actually this is relevant. This is domain and the prosecution should be able to lose it. And what it means is in camera just means in chambers. Ex parte just means alone.
So it’d be the judge and the prosecution team going through these documents and saying, yes, no, maybe and the like. So that’s the substance of the rest of this lengthy pleading by John Durham.
Mr. Jekielek: So, I have to say this right off the bat, and I know you want to go through the initial pleading a bit more. But as you’re just speaking, I can’t help think of some of the responses to the pleading.
And just the idea that what is being stated in a number of these responses goes against what people like Sussmann have actually said under oath previously, which just trying to figure out what’s going on. Is this a hail Mary plea? I just don’t know what’s going on.
Mr. Patel: I think you’re exactly right. From a defense perspective, I’ve always said the defense has overreached on this case and we’ve outlined our past shows why they’ve done that procedurally and subsequently along the way of this prosecution. Now, what has happened is, I hearken back to my time running the Russiagate investigation under then Chairman Nunes when I was a chief investigator.
I told Devin at the time, I said, look, we are now unraveling what we thought was the biggest case of misconduct and fraud and conspiracy during a presidential election and the FBI’s use of the FISA court and its corruption.
And I said, Devin, what you have to do is you have to take the facts, and then since you’re in the middle of the facts, because you’re saying FBI, you messed up and you’re also saying Clinton world, you messed up by feeding them and you’re in the middle doing this trying to adjudicate the facts.
I said, let’s get their documentation so it’s not our words and then let’s step out of the middle and let them fire at each other. When they start doing that, you know you’ve won your argument, your position with the facts. And that is what John Durham has methodically done here.
He now has Clinton world burying Michael Sussmann, the defendant in this case. And we’ll walk through why with their numerous pleadings or basically missiles at Michael Sussmann’s head because they are now all literally covering their own rear end and don’t want to be charged.
And they now see how much information John Durham has, so what do they do? They bring up the last ditch effort you can only bring up in a federal criminal prosecution procedure. They’re saying, judge procedurally we have a complaint. They’re not saying the information John Durham is presenting is false.
They’re not saying the information John Durham is presenting is not relevant. They’re just saying he can’t have it because of attorney-client privilege. And I’ll tell you why that fails later on. But what I will note is during the Russiagate investigation, and this is the highlight between the difference between an Article III federal judge in the judicial branch versus an Article II investigation in Congress of the legislative branch.
When they brought up and they did, if you look at our 60 some depositions that I took of interrogated these witnesses, including Sullivan and Sussmann and Elias and Podesta, who will talk about today, they would come in and say, attorney-client privilege, nothing to see here. In Congress there’s no mechanism to force that adjudication.
If they raise that you have to creatively get around it, use documentation and further your investigation, but there’s no real force mechanism, not in federal court. The power of the department of justice and the power of an Article III judge, who literally is more powerful than a president because they can overturn a president’s decision, has now been asked to decide the issue of privilege.
And I believe that this judge, because the law demands it will come down on the side of John Durham say, you basically can’t use privilege as a pretense. You can’t go out and get a relationship and then do some unlawful activity and say nothing to see here, it’s privileged. And I think that’s what they’re doing and the judge is going to see through it.
Mr. Jekielek: Let’s go back to what I was talking about earlier in Durham’s original pleading. I’m going to read the whole thing because I find there’s so many elements to this. This is on page 20, for those that have these pleadings around Durham writes.
For example, while the FBI did not reach an ultimate conclusion regarding the data’s accuracy, or whether it might have been in whole or in part genuine spoofed altered or fabricated. Agency two that’s the CIA, concluded in early 2017 that Russian bank, one data and Russian phone provider one data was not technically plausible, did not withstand technical scrutiny, contained gaps, conflicted with itself and “Was user created and not machine tool generated.”
And then there’s also the special counsel’s office has not reached a definitive conclusion in this regard. Now, Durham is saying that the CIA believed that what was being provided by Sussmann was false information essentially.
Mr. Patel: This is huge. This is massive. This is what we uncovered when we were interrogating Sussmann when I was taking his deposition under oath in Congress in December, of 2017. We knew he went to both the FBI and another government agency at the time we were limited in what we could say.
We knew what he was doing was hawking this fake Russia bank, Alfa Bank server information amongst other things to them. What Durham John has now put in full force in a federal pleading, in a federal indictment, in a federal prosecution is he’s come out and said the CIA, who Michael Sussmann went to with thumb drives and gave them this Alfa Bank information, evaluated that information and said on their own, this is basically bogus intel, and we, the CIA don’t want anything to do with it.
Now my question is that was in 2017, early 2017, after President Trump had come in. An investigation that rises to the level of the office of president of the United States has to, by regulation and law, go to the director’s office, the Central Intelligence Agency and at the time that was Mike Pompeo.
So I have a lot of questions for why Mike Pompeo did not provide the White House or Congress, his former committee, the house intelligence committee, which was running this investigation with that conclusion then because we did not have it then, I can say that definitively.
And either he knew about that information and sat on it or it was withheld from him, but that’s something the American public needs to know right away. On the FBI part, to me that’s a little more shocking and also shows the FBI’s motives of operation for the entire Russiagate fraud that they helped perpetuate. They did the same thing.
In this case, Michael Sussmann takes the thumb drive to the FBI and talks to his buddy, the FBI General Counsel James Baker and gives them a bunch of information. What do they do? Per John Durham’s pleading, they do not come to a definitive conclusion as you put in there. Now as a former federal prosecutor, that’s absurd.
You, the Federal Bureau of Investigation who have been supposedly provided information about a criminal conspiracy by the president of the United States, don’t come to a conclusion. The only way that happens is if the FBI’s leadership comes in and says, don’t further that investigation.
So, we can go to the FISA court and say, we’ve received information, we are evaluating it and we don’t have any fidelity on it. That is a total con job in my opinion by the FBI. They did the same thing with the Steele dossier. Remember, Steel dossier, same characters, Sussmann, Elias, Fusion GPS, Hillary Clinton campaign, Bruce Ohr, all those guys come in with the Steele dossier paid for by the Clinton campaign and what do they do? They take it to the FISA court.
What the FBI says to the court and what our investigation unearthed was the FBI intentionally stopped short of coming to conclusions on the evidence presented by Christopher Steele so that they could go to the FISA court and say, well, we haven’t finished our assessment, but this is what we think happened, judge.
We think Donald Trump is conspiring with the Russian government and his campaign is doing so, so we believe we’re in the right to get this investigation. I asked agents of the FBI and lawyers of the FBI under oath when I interrogated them, why did you stop short?
Because I as a former national security prosecutor, would’ve forced the FBI to come to a determinative conclusion before taking it to a judge to use a secret surveillance warrant on a president in his campaign. And they had no answer for me. And if you recall the Nunes memo where we called them out on that, put on full display the FBI’s intentional shortcomings.
And I believe they’ve done exactly that in this instance. And at the time, I think it was still James Comey was still in as director, and of course, Andy McCabe, who I believe is responsible for almost all of this along with James Comey, had to have known again, presidential investigation goes right to the top.
So the order had to have come in from somewhere to say, we are not coming to the assessment. The reason John Durham put that in there seems like a meaningless paragraph, but to me as a federal prosecutor and former public defender, it’s one of the most important paragraphs in the entire pleading. He’s saying the FBI intentionally stopped short.
And he’s also saying the CIA knew the information was bogus. So why wasn’t that information given to Congress? Why wasn’t that information provided to the FISA court? Why wasn’t that information given out to the public when requested?
Mr. Jekielek: Another thing that was interesting in this pleading to me and there was some debate about this among our analysts and you and me, it turns out that Sussmann was actually hired by Rodney Jaffe.
Mr. Patel: Directly so and now it’s look, this stuff’s complicated and I probably had a different eye of looking into these things as a guy who did these prosecutions and defenses. So what you’ll see in these pleadings, not just Durham’s, but the response pleadings is you will see repeatedly over and over again, Tech Executive-1 who we believed to be Rodney Jaffe, is an individual that was a client of Michael Sussmann and Perkins Coie, and Marc Elias who are working at the behest of the DNC in Hillary Clinton campaign.
It is literally spelled out by John Durham and by the pleadings from Clinton world. So if they’re both saying it to a federal judge, are we now going to believe that he’s not a client. And we’ll get into why that’s necessary for them to say for the privilege argument that they’re making, John Durham.
He also issued a lot of nuggets of information that were not previously public how long people have been under grand jury subpoena and who is still a subject of the investigation. The defense in this case said, no, no, these people can’t other folks like Jaffe and company, can’t be the subjects of the investigation because the statute of limitations has run.
John Durham comes in his pleading and says, well, thanks for raising that. You, the defense have no idea what evidence I John Durham have, and I’m going to tell you in this pleading, which he spells out that this individual, Rodney Jaffe, was a subject of the investigation before the grand jury indictment, during the grand jury indictment and after the grand jury indictment.
That’s what John Durham says in the pleading to eliminate the statute of limitations argument, which a lot of our audience has been curious about. And what he’s effectively saying is, you the defense can’t tell me that the statute of limitations is over. You don’t know what evidence I have. You don’t know who else I put in the grand jury.
You don’t know what other information I have. You don’t know what other targets I have. And by the way, this guy’s still a subject just so you know. That is pretty powerful for a federal prosecutor to come in and say that—you don’t do it lightly. So it was one of the startling things to me in this pleading that sort of an overlooked, but in more to come.
Mr. Jekielek: So Kash, and in this big pleading in Durham’s pleading, he also references Christopher Steele curiously. So I’m going to read this now and I’m going to substitute the references that are in the actual document with what we believe are the correct names and so forth.
According to the U.S. government records and public information, Christopher Steele’s dossier included a report about Alfa Bank’s relationship with Vladimir Putin. The relevant report dated September 14th, 2016, just five days before the defendant’s meeting with the FBI was titled Russia U.S. presidential election. Kremlin Alfa Bank group corporation. Separately in October, 2016, Christopher Steele also provided Rodney Jaffe this allegations regarding a purportedly secret server between Alfa Bank and the Trump organization to U.S. state department official at a meeting in Washington, D.C.
All of this evidence is highly probative in so far as establishes that the defendant one, represented and worked for the Clinton campaign in connection with its broader opposition research efforts. Two, took steps to integrate the Alfa Bank allegations into those opposition research efforts. Three, coordinated with Christopher Steele, Fusion GPS and Rodney Jaffe in connection with the Alfa Bank allegations. And four, carried out his September 19th, 26th meeting with the FBI in order to among other things, further the interests of the Clinton campaign with assistance from Fusion GPS.
Mr. Patel: Jan, if our audience takes away nothing else from every show we’ve ever done, these two paragraphs are the Russiagate investigation that we proved when we, Devin and I were running the Russiagate investigation in Congress. John Durham has just more succinctly than I have ever could before laid out the entire criminal conspiracy.
And here’s why. The cast of characters and groups he just outlined in those two paragraphs, John Durham has literally proven what we have been saying this entire time. Remember our parallel efforts by the Clinton campaign first was the Steele dossier, the other was the Alfa Bank server.
And I said they were all related and occurring at the same time, by the same corrupt people, that’s exactly what John Durham just said. He said, while Christopher Steele hired by Fusion GPS, paid by Perkins Coie and Marc Elias there, who were their clients went forward with the Steele dossier information at the same time that entire cast of characters met in Washington, D.C., before the filing of the first FISA to talk about the Steele dossier and Russia Alfa Bank server.
And by the way, it happened to be the same week that Michael Sussmann, the lawyer for the Clinton campaign who was in the meeting with Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele, and others went to the FBI’s general counsel and said, here’s information from Russia Alfa Bank.
What John Durham is saying is what we’ve been saying all along. It is impossible to believe anything the Clinton world has put out regarding Russiagate and they’re denying any involvement in it. He John Durham has literally put Fusion GPS, the money, the lawyers, Christopher Steele, Rodney Jaffe, the tech executive in one meeting right before the filing of FISA. Yhen right after that, Michael Sussmann, the lawyer who has all these clients runs to the FBI and says, I’ve got information regarding Russian collusion and Trump. To me that is the biggest thing to come from this pleading.
Mr. Jekielek: And he’s doing it as a good Samaritan.
Mr. Patel: Right. He’s doing it as a good Samaritan. And I’m going to do something I never do Jan, I’m going to now read a sentence from a pleading.
The fact that FBI headquarters received on the same date, both sets of information involving the same political campaign, the Clinton campaign, the same law firm, law firm one, Perkins Coie, and the same investigative firm Fusion GPS makes UK person one Christopher Steele’s involvement in these matters relevant. It’s also strong evidence concerning the materiality of the defendant’s alleged false statement that he was not acting on behalf of any client.
That’s the case. And it’s put brilliantly in those couple of paragraphs. And I think there’s only one other matter that I’d like to highlight in this Durham motion before getting to the others.
Mr. Jekielek: Okay. Jump in.
Mr. Patel: So Jan, as we were saying, as you know and I think we’ll put up on the screen a link for our audience to go and look at all this 60, some 70 transcripts of the interrogations I took of people under oath, because it’s directly relevant to the Sussmann indictment and the cast of characters he’s talking about.
We depose Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritz. We deposed Marc Elias. We deposed people in Clinton world, Jake Sullivan, John Podesta, and all these people that are going to come up. So I’d like our audience to check that out at their convenience.
Because one of the things the defense in this case Sussmann’s attorney has asked is, judge, please preclude the government from introducing any Congressional testimony under oath, in the case in chief, which is shocking. Why?
They’re basically saying my client and all these witnesses we’re going to use swore under oath to statements to Kash and the investigation he was running, and those statements don’t work for our defense here so please preclude them. Basically, what they’re saying is these guys said X on day one, when they were deposing Congress, and they’ve said Y the opposite since.
It’s pretty shocking and what they do is they take it to the extreme. And this sort of shows you why I believe they are out of ammunition, all rounds expense as we say in DoD. They, the defense for Sussmann ask a federal court to immunize Tech Executive-1, Rodney Jaffe, and his testimony. First of all, the law doesn’t allow that.
Only the United States government and the Department of Justice as an Article I executive authority grants immunity to witnesses and subjects in criminal proceedings. The defense never does that because they do not have the lawful right to do so. It’s the government’s decision. So why would the defense ask for something that’s unlawful?
Because one, most Americans probably don’t understand the legal gymnastics in there, but two, it’s so they could go out to the media and say, this Tech Executive-1, actually he’s got good stuff for us the defense, but he needs immunity. Why does he need immunity? What did he do wrong?
He was a client of Michael Sussmann’s. He was the guy that got access to the White House, the sensitive agreement. He was the guy that went and obtained the Alfa Bank information. He was the guy that told his team under him, even when he, Rodney Jaffe was informed that there was no information connecting Donald Trump to Russia and Alfa Bank and whatnot.
He went back to them and said, get me something that shows a narrative and an inference. Now the defense for Michael Sussmann wants Rodney Jaffe immunized, granted immunity in court so they, the defense can bring him in and have him say whatever they want to support their defense in their case for Michael Sussmann.
To me, subsequently if it’s not the most important thing we’ve talked about, it’s probably the second most important thing, because now they are playing parlor tricks with the judiciary.
And John Durham responded quite succinctly saying the law doesn’t allow you to grant immunity and I judge don’t have to give anyone immunity. I don’t want to. And by the way, this guy is still a subject of my investigation so he’s not getting immunity. It’s pretty powerful.
Mr. Jekielek: No, it’s fascinating. But of course, I’m not surprised that they might want to exclude all that sworn testimony that you took and so forth, because already in these response pleadings, all these different groups are basically saying things that counter what the sworn under oath testimony said.
So this is the part that kind of blew my mind a little bit and made me think this is a hail Mary pass. What are they actually trying to do here?
Mr. Patel: I think this is a perfect segue into the second part of the show. And yes, we have a third part, we’ll finish with a bang. But the second part of the show is to help the audience develop out all the other pleadings, not the one by John Durham, not the one by Michael Sussmann, but all the other ones.
Basically Clinton world has invited themselves to the party in federal court. And what they’ve done is the lawyers for the Hillary Clinton campaign, the lawyers for John Podesta, the lawyers for Marc Elias, the lawyers for Rodney Jaffe, the lawyers for Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson have all come in separately and filed notices saying, judge, we have something to say.
Normally that’s just unheard of, but in this very unique case, when this conspiracy was so big, these parties are coming out of the wood works forcing themselves into a public pleading in court and saying, we judge have to be heard on our client’s behalf.
Some of it went to and the judge I think rightfully so gave them permission to do so. So they can’t just come in. They have to have leave of court, as we say, and the judge immediately granted them leave of court because I think he wants to adjudicate this matter properly.
So three sworn declarations come in immediately after the judge grants them permission to do so; Marc Elias, John Podesta and Robby Mook. And why are these guys providing sworn testimony in a federal criminal case when they themselves could be subjects of John Durham’s investigation.
And they’re doing so I believe because they have collectively focused their efforts not on behalf of Michael Sussmann, but to almost make Michael Sussmann the scapegoat.
Mr. Jekielek: And that’s a fascinating perspective, except it hadn’t occurred to me, but I guess that’s what happens when you run out of arguments.
Mr. Patel: No, it’s what happens when you run out of the truth. So let’s remind our audience, John Podesta, right? Chairman of the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016, one of the biggest positions in the political landscape. Robby Mook, campaign manager for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, maybe the second biggest position in the political landscape.
These two lobbed in declarations. What that means is swore in writing under oath to a federal judge under the penalty of perjury, the following, and the sum substance of what they said was, and their pleadings are only about a page or too long is judge, Perkins Coie, our law firm for the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee hired out contractors in groups as their clientele to do the work of the campaign.
Well, who are those people and why would they bring this up? Specifically Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson, and they subbed out Christopher Steele, and then Rodney Jaffe and his tech executive team, what are they doing?
They are setting up their argument, as we talked about top of the show to hide behind attorney-client privilege and work product. What they’re saying is no, no, these guys were definitely clients of ours and they were doing work that’s protected under the attorney-client privilege—I swear judge.
It’s their last ditch effort to procedurally block the substance of the information that we’re talking about and then John Durham is trying to get to, because he has seen the emails. He has seen the communications and he wants to use them in his case in chief to show that Michael Sussmann did in fact lie to the FBI.
And now Clinton world is rounding the circles and saying, while we don’t disagree with the sum and substance of the scenario that John Durham has laid out, we’re hiding by procedure, it’s a pretext in my opinion. Sometimes there are a lot of valid attorney-client privilege claims to be made.
As a defense attorney, I made them frequently, and they were righteous because you need that in order for due process to actually survive in our court system. This is a political stunt. It’s a last ditch effort by them to say, don’t let the world see this.
Mr. Jekielek: It’s just kind of dawning anyway, but they’re effectively saying that Sussmann was lying, right? By saying that providing sworn testimony that this is the case and it doesn’t square with the sworn testimony from Congress that you took. Isn’t that what they’re saying?
Mr. Patel: Yes. And to me, I think that’s exactly what they’re saying. Because they could have taken if they had the truth and the facts on their side, which I don’t think they do, they could have said he didn’t lie and these are the reasons why he didn’t lie. We were in these meetings with them, we’re going to waive privilege.
We’re going to talk about the communications that happened, where it shows Michael Sussmann went to the FBI and said X. They didn’t do any of that. They just came in with procedure and said, attorney-client privilege, nothing to see here. And talk about throwing off the American people, that’s exactly what they’re doing.
What they’re saying indirectly and I agree with you is you Michael Sussmann lied to the FBI, were making a last ditch effort to get Clinton campaign world out of there. And if I was Sussmann, I’d probably start dealing right about now, but I think he’s too far down the rabbit hole to do that.
The third declaration filed was on behalf of Marc Elias. Marc Elias was then Michael Sussmann’s partner, the chairman of the Perkins Coie political law group and head of the Clinton campaign in terms of legal positions. And he comes in and he actually files a declaration that’s almost entirely redacted. It’s blocked. We can’t see it. So what Marc Elias does talk about that we can see is how his job was to counteract all of the statements that then candidate Trump was making about going after people and suing them for defamation, which as you fast forward turns out President Trump was right.
People were defaming him by talking about colluding with Russia, by validating the Steele dossier, by allowing the FISA court information to be put out into the ether when the FBI and everybody knew it was false. What Marc Elias is saying is basically recycling this hot garbage in this declaration to say, well actually we were hired to do this work to counteract President Trump.
What I’m more interested in is, why is it redacted? You’re not a government official, there’s no classified information there. You didn’t have access to classified information. What have you got to hide? If you’re coming in voluntarily making a submission on behalf of supposedly your former law partner, why don’t you let the whole world see it? And he didn’t.
He blocked it. And I think there’s a reason for that because he doesn’t want the world to know the substance, they don’t have it. They don’t have the truth, they don’t have the facts. And what they’re going for is this hard nose approach to attorney-client privilege by saying, no, no judge that was my client.
Perkins Coie did hire Fusion GPS as a client. Perkins Coie did hire Rodney Jaffe as a client. Michael Sussmann did go to these individuals and hire them as clients so attorney-client privilege must stand, but where they fail is the legality of it, which we won’t get into, it’s in John Durham’s pleading outline pretty brilliantly is that you basically can’t use attorney-client privilege to hide corrupt conduct. And that’s what they’re doing.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, and there’s this last piece that we really have to talk about, which is Fusion GPS. There’s a whole pleading for Fusion. And again, quite remarkable what they’ve got in there, we were discussing a bit earlier. Tell me what you see here.
Mr. Patel: Yes. Look, Fusion GPS to me has always been at the center of the Russiagate scandal. Fusion GPS has identified in John Durham’s pleading as U.S. investigative firm one, quick summary was the group hired by Perkins Coie, paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign in the DNC to go out and collect opposition research against then candidate Trump, and tie him to Russia and do the Alfa Bank nonsense.
And if you remember, Fusion GPS hired Christopher Steele who authored the Steele dossier. So they’ve been at the center of this. I deposed the heads of Fusion GPS when I was running the Russiagate investigation. And one of the questions that I asked Glenn Simpson under oath was, how long have you known people like Bruce Ohr, and other folks at the FBI and what exactly were you doing?
And the reason I bring up his deposition is not necessarily for those, while it’s interesting on those points, because I believe Glenn Simpson lied about his relationship to Bruce Ohr and was caught in our deposition doing so.
But he goes through great lengths in the deposition to pat himself on the back about his investigative firm Fusion GPS, who is hired to do opposition research against Donald Trump hired by the Clinton campaign through Michael Sussmann and Marc Elias, the lawyers at Perkins Coie.
Well, everyone knows that. Why is that a big deal? Enter Fusion GPS’s lawyers in these rounds of pleadings that we’re talking about. So now Fusion GP comes in through their lawyer in assessment in case and says, we have something to say, judge give us permission to say it and the judge did and now they’ve said it.
What they are now saying completely destroys credulity. What they are saying is their lawyer has filed a pleading that says Fusion GPS was not performing opposition research. It goes back to what we were talking about earlier. It’s their attempt to hide behind privilege and bury information they don’t want out there.
Because if they can show that Fusion GPS was just doing this opposition research, apparently now they don’t do anymore according to themselves, then they want the judge to find that there’s an existing attorney, client relationship there.
And on top of that Fusion GPS was performing work as a client to Perkins Coie, therefore it was not opposition research and therefore the communications regarding the meetings that Fusion GPS had with Michael Sussmann, with Christopher Steele, with Perkins Coie and the FBI, and the media, all of that substantive information should be blocked from being able to be used by John Durham in his case in chief.
It is a complete 180 by Fusion GPS’s own legal team in a federal pleading. And I’m kind of shocked, but maybe not shocked that they did it because these guys can’t seem to see past yesterday or tomorrow.
And I just hope people go out there and maybe John Durham will go look at our deposition of Glenn Simpson, the head of Fusion GPS under oath, where I believe he says otherwise repeatedly.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, and so this is the question, right? Doesn’t this put Glenn Simpson in jeopardy to this kind of legal ploy, that’s this is the part that I’m having difficulty fathoming.
Mr. Patel: Well, I think you’re right. And I’ve always said Glenn Simpson should be charged with lying to Congress. And I’ve also said, Glenn Simpson is if not the lead conspirator in this largest scale criminal conspiracy that I call it ever effectuated.
And what John Durham puts in his pleading, or excuse me, what Fusion GPS actually puts in their pleading is they actually highlight the dates that John Durham issued grand jury subpoenas against Fusion GPS, which is shocking. As a prosecutor you never reveal that information. Grand jury information is secret, it’s to be kept confidential, and it’s never to be revealed without leave of court.
Fusion GPS on their own says we’ve been under grand jury subpoena by John Durham for over a year. And he asked us to provide responsive documents to that grand jury subpoena. Fusion GPS’s lawyers and their team took it upon themselves to say, nope, we are not going to provide you, John Durham, the special counsel for the Department of Justice, with responsive documents, pursuant to a federal grand jury subpoena.
What we are going to provide you is privilege logs. Again, we’re back to this privilege log thing. And all that is a little metadata that says, meeting here on this date with so and so. Meeting here on this date with so and so. And information was passed on this date from so and so, but none of the substance of the meeting, none of the substance of the information.
So what Fusion GPS is saying is we have all that information and we are withholding it from the United States government, I think unlawfully because it’s pursuant to a grand jury subpoena and you, the judge must now say that what Fusion GPS performed and was paid millions of dollars for as opposition research is no longer opposition research, but information that was being collected in anticipation of litigation for purposes of being a client to a law firm.
This is the daisy chain that Marc Elias is pleading. John Podesta’s pleading, Robby Mook’s pleading and Fusion GPS is pleading in the Michael Sussmann place is trying to get the judge on board with, and I think they’re going to fail at multiple points in that chain.
But fusion GPS is the, I don’t want to say it’s startling because their conduct from the has been I believe completely not only unlawful and unethical, but they’ve lied repeatedly about their dealings with Congress, with Christopher Steele, with the Democratic Party, the Clinton campaign, Marc Elias, Perkins Coie, Michael Sussmann and the like.
And a little vignette I’d like to pull from Fusion GPS’s pleading is that one of their employees they actually identified as a witness for John Durham’s case in chief. Why would Fusion GPS’s lawyers out one of their own employees as a cooperating witness for John Durham? If you recall, in our last show or the show before, we talked about [how] John Durham had identified someone at Fusion GPS as a cooperating witness.
Mr. Jekielek: Right.
Mr. Patel: Fusion GPS pulls her name and identifies her by name and their pleading. And they take it one step further. They say this individual, and I’m not going to name her name, but it’s out there for everybody to see, this individual and her communications with tech executive, Rodney Jaffe, who we’ve talked about.
Those communications between Fusion GPS employee and Rodney Jaffe employee are an example of what should be hidden behind privilege and not unveiled, and we should not have to give that to John Durham. To me that’s it, that’s the bullseye. Why is Fusion GPS asking a federal judge to prevent the information from one of its own employees that she passed on to Rodney Jaffe, the tech executive.
Because they want to make a claim of attorney-client privilege and they want to hide more information. And I remind everyone in our audience that this is the same firm, Fusion GPS that we had to use a congressional subpoena for, to go out and prove to the world that they were paid by the Clinton campaign millions of dollars, north of 10 million and they in turn hired Christopher Steele.
And if you remember Jan, they took us to federal court to preclude the information about their banking records from ever coming out. We won that case in federal court. And what did it show? Fusion GPS paid Christopher Steele to do opposition research for the Clinton campaign to be utilized in FISA warrant against then candidate Trump and subsequently President Trump.
If they did that then and we took them to federal court and won, and we broke through their same attorney- client privilege arguments there, what are they hiding now? That’s the kicker and I believe John Durham knows the answer, and it’s not good for them.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, this has been quite the exploration of all these filings. And frankly, I’m really looking forward to what happens next. I guess it’s time for our shout out.
Mr. Patel: You’re right Jan, it’s time for this week’s shout out. And it goes to Charles Denton, who wrote a very kind and generous note to you and I about last week’s episode, operation eight- 14.
Thanks for your heartwarming words and your kind appreciation to our program. And we encourage everybody to post commentary, to participate in the live chat and to tell all your friends about Kash’s Corner. And we’ll see you next week, on Kash’s Corner.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
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