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Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign flooded mainstream media outlets with “unverified derogatory information” about President Donald Trump that led to an investigation into the false Russian collusion narrative, Special Counsel John Durham said in court documents filed earlier this week, Just the News reports.
In the days after Clinton associates Christopher Steele and Michael Sussmann approached the FBI in Sept. 2016 with dirt that would spur the Russiagate probe, the campaign’s opposition research firm sent some of the same information to New York Times journalists.
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“Gents good to see you yesterday,” a Fusion GPS executive wrote to New York Times reporters. “Sounded like you might be interested in some of the attached russia-related material. these are internal, open source research drafts, as agreed, pls treat this as background/not for attribution. as you’ll see it’s all easily replicated anyway.”
“Can also send you a [name]/Toronto memo once i dig it out,” the executive added. “I’m skipping over [name] and [company name]. believe your guys have done that up … leave it to you to distribute internally, or not, as you see fit. don’t believe sunny isles/hollywood or panama or toronto have been touched by brands xy or z. amazingly, don’t think anyone has done up the trump tower poker ring story either. pretty vivid color there.”
The message is one of hundreds between Clinton campaign operatives and journalists obtained by Durham that are now public.
Durham recently revealed several communications with reporters in a filing designed to reject the Clinton campaign’s assertion that its Steele dossier and other research was shielded from public view at an upcoming trial because it was protected by attorney-client privilege.
But Durham argues that attorney-client privilege does not apply to materials widely distributed to third parties.
In Durham’s filings, he refers to the Clinton opposition research alternately as a “red herring,” “unverified,” “too obvious” to be true, or containing a “very weak link.” In some cases, these same adjectives were used by the very researchers helping assemble the materials.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said Friday that Durham is showing just how closely the media, the Democratic establishment, and some rogue elements in U.S. intelligence worked in conjunction to perpetuate the false Russiagate story in 2016 — a pattern he says the media repeated when the same forces falsely portrayed the Hunter Biden laptop as disinformation in 2020.
“What we all suspected all along is that the Clinton campaign was really pushing this,” Jordan said. “And we didn’t know that they just made it up out of whole cloth. But that looks like exactly what they did.”
The recent Durham filing lays out several contacts between Fusion GPS, the Clinton team, and the news media, including The New York Times, ABC News, and Slate magazine.