Special Counsel John Durham reportedly issued subpoenas to Perkins Coie, a law firm tied to the Steele Dossier, the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
The subpoenas are part of Durham’s probe into the origins of the investigation into allegations that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russia, CNN reported.
Mark Wauck is a retired FBI agent who blogs and has been following Russiagate closely. He offers some interesting thoughts on what the subpoenas could be about.
(…) Yesterday I suggested that, as a result of Perkins Coie contesting Durham’s original subpoenas, a judge may have limited the scope of those subpoenas to those documents that the judge believed Durham had offered the best case as being relevant to his investigation. The relevance to a criminal investigation would form the basis of the crime or fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege that would normally apply to an attorney’s communications regarding a client.
Under this reasoning on my part, the original subpoenas may have sought emails and billing records not only for Sussmann but also for Elias—and potentially others. The judges, as I speculated, may have told Durham, in effect: Look, you can get the Sussmann docs because you’ve shown Sussmann’s links to persons of interest by other means, but hold off on the Elias docs—depending on your results you can always ask for those again at a later date.
Now, we know from the Sussmann indictment that Durham was, in fact, able to link Elias to Sussmann’s conspiratorial activities based on the emails and billing records. For that reason I want to be cautious regarding SWC’s idea that Sussmann is cooperating with Durham. Sussmann’s cooperation probably is not necessary for purposes of obtaining Elias’ records from Perkins Coie—although SWC is undoubtedly correct that Sussmann is under enormous pressure to cooperate and that the focus of that cooperation would include Elias. The positive results from the first round of subpoenas to Perkins Coie are almost certainly sufficient for those purposes, regardless of whether Sussmann is cooperating at this point. Sussmann may have begun cooperating, but we can’t be certain. Let’s not get too far out in front with speculation.
Before offering SWC’s tweets for your consideration, I want to return to what I’ve previously said about Elias—that he’s too major a player to be an initial target for cooperation by Durham. Elias is too close to Hillary and to all things legal as regards the Dem party—it’s difficult for me to believe that he would have led the race to cooperate. As SWC observes: “Elias takes you on a lot of directions other than just Alfa Bank.” Precisely.
Durham is well known for being a methodical investigator and prosecutor. My view remains that before attempting to turn the screws on Elias he’ll first want to build air tight cases against targets for whom he has hard evidence. Further, Sussmann is by no means a minor player—he’s just not as big as Elias. I believe Durham would prefer to obtain subpoenas targeting Elias’ records on his (Durham’s) own terms, based on his own investigative results, rather than based on cooperation from Sussmann. That would allow Durham to drive a harder bargain with Sussmann if it comes to a plea deal. By limiting Sussmann’s ability to say, Hey, I helped you with this, that, or the other thing, so gimme a break, Durham gains leverage over Sussmann and may be able to extract even greater cooperation. All that’s a maybe—it may not turn out that way, but the methodical Durham will surely want to put himself in the strongest possible position well ahead of any turn of events. (Read more: MeaningInHistory, 10/01/2021) (Archive)