The Clinton campaign seeks to block Durham’s access to Perkins’ Coie documents

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The committee for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016 seeks to block Special Attorney John Durham from obtaining certain documents related to the law firm Perkins Coie and its work on the campaign, the Democratic National Committee and the opposition research firm Fusion GPS.

In a submission late Thursday, Hillary for America (HFA), the primary campaign committee for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, argued that certain privileged documents should be withheld based on attorney-client privilege.

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Durham’s team had earlier this month sought to provide documents related to the work and asked non-party entities to provide “further justification for the claim of their privilege.”

John Durham and Michael Sussmann.

John Durham and Michael Sussmann.
(Sussman image from Perkins Coie)

Hillary For America and the DNC are the holders of those privileges, according to the filing.

Perkins Coie is the law firm that the DNC and the Clinton campaign used to fund the now infamous anti-Trump case. The unconfirmed dossier was authored by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer, and commissioned by Fusion GPS.

To support the opposition in forcing and justifying the claim of attorney-client privilege, Hillary For American presented statements by Clinton campaign leader Robby Mook and Clinton campaign leader John Podesta.

Mook said in a statement filed in court late Thursday that Hillary for America in April 2015 “engaged Marc Elias and law firm Perkins Coie as its attorney general.”

John Podesta in a 2013 file image

John Podesta in a 2013 file image
(2013 Getty Images)

“It was my expectation that the law firm would be responsible for providing legal services and legal advice to HFA,” says Mook. “When the HFA hired Perkins Coie as attorney general in April 2015, Donald Trump had not yet announced his candidacy for the presidency. He announced his candidacy in June 2015.”

Mook stated that in April 2016, Trump had a “significant lead in the number of delegates to the Republican nomination, and it seemed very likely that he would eventually be the Republican candidate in the 2016 presidential election.”

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“One of the topics that Perkins Coie provided legal services and legal advice to the HFA involved fact-finding and research that the campaign conducted regarding candidate Donald Trump,” Mook said.

“Although during the campaign of any contractors I was not aware that Perkins Coie was committed to helping it provide legal services and legal advice regarding this work, I believed throughout the campaign that no matter what work Perkins Coie performed, either “Through its own professionals or through any contractor it may have hired to assist it, the work was carried out for the purpose of providing legal services and legal advice to HFA,” says Mook.

In its statement, Podesta states: “HFA asserts its attorney-client privilege and attorney-work product protection with respect to all documents and information under the control of Perkins Coie or any of its consultants, including Fusion GPS.”

“The HFA does not relinquish any of its privileges and it opposes the government’s proposal to force filing on April 6, 2022,” Podesta said.

The documents back and forth come ahead of the trial of former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann, which is set to begin on May 16.

Michael Sussman, NAACP Attorney in the United States, Performs at Closing Night: Fair Housing Act - 50 Years On at the March On Washington Film Festival on July 21, 2018 in Washington, DC

Michael Sussman, NAACP Attorney in the United States, Performs at Closing Night: Fair Housing Act – 50 Years On at the March On Washington Film Festival on July 21, 2018 in Washington, DC
(Larry French / Getty Images for March On Washington Film Festival)

Durham’s original indictment alleges that Sussmann told then-FBI Attorney General James Baker in September 2016 – less than two months before the 2016 presidential election – that he was not working “for any client” when he asked for and held a meeting where he presented ” alleged data “. and ‘white papers’ that allegedly demonstrated a covert communication channel “between the Trump organization and Alfa Bank, which has links to the Kremlin.

Durham has tried in previous trials to outline the connection between Sussmann and the now infamous and discredited anti-Trump case, which contained allegations of alleged coordination between Trump and the Russian government.

Durham stated in an archive earlier this month that Sussmann “represented and worked for the Clinton campaign in the context of its broader opposition research efforts” and “took steps to integrate the” Alfa Bank allegations “into these opposition research efforts.”

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Earlier this week, during a hearing, government prosecutors claimed there was a “strong intersection” between opposition research against Trump, which Steele collected on behalf of the Clinton campaign, and the accusations Sussmann presented to the FBI for trying to tie Trump to Russia’s Alfa Bank.

Sussmann’s defense attorneys called Steele a “lightning rod” and argued that it would be harmful for their client to introduce something about him or his work in the trial.

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