Special counsel John Durham is contesting indicted Democratic lawyer Michael Sussmann’s call for the Washington, D.C., federal court to strike explosive allegations regarding data mining at Trump properties and the White House that the prosecutor says was used to weave a phony collusion narrative between former President Donald Trump and Russia.
A filing from Durham on Thursday argued that his reasons for making public findings asserting that a tech executive, with whom Sussmann was affiliated, was working to dig up dirt on Trump were “valid” and that any media misinterpretations do not “undermine” the facts.
Sussmann, a Democratic cybersecurity lawyer, was indicted last year for allegedly concealing his clients, including Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, from the FBI when he pushed since-debunked claims of a secret backchannel between the Trump Organization and Russia’s Alfa Bank. Durham revealed last week that he has evidence that Sussmann’s other client, known to be former Neustar executive Rodney Joffe, “exploited” domain name system internet traffic at Trump Tower, Trump’s Central Park West apartment building, and the Executive Office of the President.
In seeking to convince a federal judge to throw out the revelations from the special counsel, Sussmann’s legal team argued this week that Durham’s Friday filing included false and irrelevant allegations “plainly intended to politicize this case, inflame media coverage, and taint the jury pool.” Durham flatly retorted Thursday, “That is simply not true.”
“This court should deny the defendant’s motion,” Durham said Thursday, adding, “If third parties or members of the media have overstated, understated, or otherwise misinterpreted facts contained in the government’s motion, that does not in any way undermine the valid reasons for the government’s inclusion of this information. … Moreover, any potential prejudice or jury taint arising from such media attention can effectively and appropriately be addressed through the voir dire process during jury selection.”