Former presidential candidate Hilary Clinton on Wednesday denied claims that her 2016 campaign spied on former President Donald Trump following a court filing submitted last week by special prosecutor John Durham.
That filing was made in connection to Durham's case against Michael Sussmann, a lawyer who worked on behalf of the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee in 2016. Durham's team alleged that Sussmann lied to the FBI when he told the bureau that he wasn't working for any client when he provided false documents that claimed to have linked the Trump Organization to a Russian bank.
Sussmann, the filing said, “assembled and conveyed the allegations to the FBI on behalf of at least two specific clients, including a technology executive (Tech Executive 1) at a U.S.-based internet company (Internet Company 1) and the Clinton campaign,” according to the filing. Sussmann has pleaded not guilty, and his lawyers on Monday said the filing included "prejudicial—and false—allegations" against their client.
The tech executive, identified in reports as Rodney Joffe, also “tasked these researchers to mine Internet data to establish ‘an inference’ and ‘narrative’ tying then-candidate Trump to Russia,” the filing said, adding that the Joffe's employer “had come to access and maintain dedicated servers” for Trump’s executive office.
Through a spokesperson, Joffe told news outlets this week that he is an "apolitical Internet security expert" and "legally provided access to DNS data obtained from a private client that separately was providing DNS services to the Executive Office of the President (EOP)."
Over the past weekend, in response to Durham's court filing, Trump issued a statement saying the development vindicates his longtime claims that the Democrats and corporate news outlets unfairly and falsely linked his campaign to Russia.
"It shows how totally corrupt and shameless the media is," Trump said in the statement. "Can you imagine if the roles were reversed and the Republicans, in particular President Donald Trump, got caught illegally spying into the Office of the President?"
He added: "All hell would break loose and the electric chair would immediately come out of retirement. The good news is, everybody is talking about not only this atrocity against our Nation, but that the press refuses to even mention the major crime that took place."
On Monday, a White House spokesperson declined to comment on Durham's findings.
“That’s something I can’t speak to from this podium, so I refer you to the Department of Justice,” White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.