(PresidentialWire.com)- In a court filing last week, Special Counsel John Durham accused the DNC, the Hillary Clinton campaign, Fusion GPS, and the Democrat law firm Perkins Coie of withholding hundreds of documents relevant to his investigation under what Durham says are unfounded claims of attorney-client privilege.
In a motion filed last Friday, Durham argued that the claim of privilege lacks “any connection to actual or expected litigation or the provision of legal advice.” He asked the court to order that the documents be turned over for in-camera review.
According to the motion, of the 1,455 documents withheld by Fusion GPS, only 18 emails and attachments involve an attorney.
The DNC and Hillary campaign are also trying to withhold communications between a Fusion GPS employee and tech executive Rodney Joffe despite nobody from either the DNC or Clinton campaign being copied on these communications.
Durham’s motion is related to the trial of Perkins Coie attorney Michael Sussmann for allegedly lying to the FBI about his relationship with the Clinton campaign when he gave the FBI opposition research about then-candidate Donald Trump’s so-called connection to a Russian bank.
In his motion, Durham argued that the work done by Fusion GPS, which was hired by Perkins Coie on behalf of the DNC and the Clinton campaign, was not related to Perkins Coie’s legal advice to the DNC or Clinton campaign. Instead, the primary purpose of Fusion GPS’s work was to assemble opposition research for the campaign.
The Federal Elections Commission recently fined the Clinton campaign $8,000 and the DNC $105,000 for mislabeling payments that ultimately went to opposition research firm Fusion GPS.
The DNC and the Clinton campaign paid over a million dollars to Perkins Coie (Michael Sussmann’s firm) which then hired Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Clinton’s challenger, Donald Trump.
According to the FEC’s decision, both the DNC and the Clinton campaign lied on disclosure forms when they listed the payments as “legal advice and services” rather than opposition research.
In Friday’s filing, Durham claimed any attorney-client privilege or confidentiality agreement related to communications between Joffe and Sussmann or other Perkins Coie attorneys was invalidated after Joffe chose to disclose the information to Fusion GPS “that did not have any formal or informal contract or retention agreement” with him.
Durham also cited the 2019 book, “Crime in Progress,” by Fusion GPS co-founders Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch which describes the oppo research firm’s internal discussions and conversations with Michael Sussman. Durham argued that any privilege “might have since been waived” in light of the book’s publication.