New documents upend the DNC and Clinton campaign’s attempt to claim attorney-client privilege.
The documents made public by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) reveal that Hillary Clinton’s campaign payments to Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Donald Trump were not considered legal expenses. These documents seemingly refute the campaign’s claim of attorney-client privilege in special counsel John Durham’s criminal case against former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann.
Sussmann, who is awaiting trial in a D.C. federal court on charges of making false statements to the FBI regarding the Trump Organization and a Russian bank, is currently fighting to keep prosecutors from seeing 38 documents withheld from the grand jury based on claims of attorney-client privilege.
On Wednesday, the court will hear oral arguments on the special counsel’s motion and decide whether the 38 documents must be turned over.
The Federalist reports:
For instance, the Clinton campaign reported payments of $175,000 to Perkins Coie as payments for “legal services,” but the FEC memorandum stressed that the Perkins Coie invoices did not treat all of the charges as related to “legal services.” Rather, the invoices reviewed by the FEC showed that in billing the Clinton campaign Perkins Coie distinguished between fees for “legal services rendered” and fees for “professional services — other.” The only service billed as “legal services rendered,” the FEC noted, related to the $5,000 monthly retainer fee paid to Perkins Coie. Conversely, all of the charges related to Fusion GPS’s work charges appeared as “professional services—other.”
The FEC memorandum also stressed that the invoices Fusion GPS sent to Perkins Coie for the services rendered on behalf of the Clinton campaign listed “a monthly retainer fee plus additional fees labeled as ‘Russia Research’ or ‘Russian language researcher.’” Those Fusion GPS charges included payments “Fusion made to its sub vendors, Nellie Ohr, Graham Stack, Edward Austin Limited, and Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd.” The sub-vendors all conducted opposition research for Fusion GPS related to Trump, the FEC memorandum explained, again countering the proposition that the subcontractor and its vendors were assisting Perkins Coie in providing legal services to the Clinton campaign.
Durham’s supplement was filed following a letter from The Coolidge Reagan Foundation’s attorney, Dan Backer. The Foundation has been pursuing the case against the Clinton campaign with the FEC for years.
Huge props to @DanBackerEsq who successfully pursued Hillary Clinton with the FEC for secretly and illegally funding the Steele dossier. Durham just used the FEC’s report to show that there could have been no attorney-client privilege for Fusion’s smears.https://t.co/jTrrkOKdo8 pic.twitter.com/bpkyAXso4G— Hans Mahncke (@HansMahncke) May 3, 2022