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John Durham vs. the Beltway Swamp - Kimberley Strassel


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john-durham-vs-the-beltway-swamp-dossier-clinton-fbi-trial-expose-politics-11654207276?mod=djemalertNEWS
WSJ

The Michael Sussmann trial is over, but the stench lingers. Special counsel John Durham did more than expose Hillary Clinton’s dirty political tricks. He exposed the incestuous elite Washington world that enabled those tricks to succeed. America, meet again the Beltway swamp.

Mr. Sussman was acquitted Tuesday of lying to the FBI, but not before the Durham team revealed the Clinton campaign’s work in 2016 to use both the FBI and the media to smear Donald Trump. The campaign relied on outside techies for false accusations of Trump links to Russia’s Alfa Bank, which Mr. Sussmann fed to the FBI. Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele separately funneled their infamous dossier to the Bureau. Then the Clinton team shopped the dirt to the media, using the fact of FBI investigations as proof it deserved coverage.

Still, it’s a long way from unfounded smears to full-fledged FBI investigations. The entire Clinton operation depended on getting the FBI to bite. The Durham trial was a glimpse at the chummy web of brokers who used their access and influence to make that happen.

One trial revelation was that Rodney Joffe —the tech executive who used privileged access to nonproprietary data to create the Alfa claims—was a confidential human source for the FBI in 2016. Yet Mr. Joffe, according to testimony, didn’t take his accusations to his regular handler. He instead gave them to . . . Mr. Sussmann, a lawyer in private practice whose clients included Mrs. Clinton.

 

Why? Mr. Sussmann was tight with the FBI. So tight that according to trial evidence, the bureau in 2016 allowed him to edit the draft of one of its press releases. Mr. Sussmann was even on a first-name basis with then-FBI general counsel James Baker. He was able to text his “friend” (Mr. Baker’s description of their relationship) and score a meeting the next day. He assured “Jim” he didn’t need a badge to get in the building—he already had one. All this allowed Mr. Sussmann (who later sought to recruit Mr. Baker to his firm, Perkins Coie) to avoid the pesky agents and questions that would accompany any average Joe trying to sell the FBI on wild claims.:snip:

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