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In the 1970s, the so far largest political scandal in U.S. history, known as “Watergate,” was uncovered. At that time it was revealed that Republicans had set up a spying trap against Democrats, something that would lead to the resignation of the then-president Richard Nixon.
Fifty years later, a new plot has surfaced, and it could outshine the events of the last century. According to an investigation by former prosecutor and special counsel of the Department of Justice John Durham, the Clinton campaign paid to infiltrate the servers of Trump Tower and the White House with the purpose of trying to create a non-existent link between Donald Trump and the government of Vladimir Putin in Russia.
According to Durham’s finding—who in April 2019 was appointed by then-Attorney General William Barr to investigate the connection between Trump and the Kremlin— Clinton campaign’s lawyers paid a company called Tech Executive 1, with the purpose of infiltrating the Trump campaign. The intention was to create a narrative of Russian interference, in order to alter the course of the 2016 presidential election. Failing to do so, and after losing the election, the Clinton team insisted and this time attacked the White House servers, in order to try to destroy the popularity of the then-president, Donald Trump.
Who is Michael Sussman, the main person involved in the plot?
Michael Sussman is the former lawyer of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, currently being charged with making a false statement to a federal agent, although he pleads not guilty. According to the indictment, Sussman told FBI General Counsel James Baker in September 2016 that he did not work for any clients when he set up a meeting to present the agency with alleged data and evidence showing ties between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, which is very close to the Kremlin.
However, it was discovered that Sussman had been collecting and transmitting the alleged information to the FBI on behalf of the Clinton campaign and Tech Executive 1, part of the operation.
Durham, the special counsel charged with investigating the scheme, found that Sussman had been billing for his services to the firm and the Clinton campaign, which he had previously said he had no ties to.
What did Durham’s investigation reveal?
The investigation conducted by Durham found that Sussman and the tech company executive had been meeting with another attorney partner, who served as general counsel to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. According to Fox News, that lawyer is Marc Elias, who worked at the Perkins Coie law firm.
Durham’s work further revealed that the firm worked with Clinton’s lawyers and campaign to assemble a specialized team to infiltrate the Trump team’s database in an attempt to extract information to create a narrative of ties to Russia.
After coming out, the company, Tech-Executive 1, alleged that they were trying to pander to very important people, referring to Clinton campaign lawyers.
According to Durham, Tech-Executive 1 had allegedly been exploiting the internet traffic, and domain name system (DNS)—which belonged to a health care provider—of Trump Tower, Donald Trump’s Central Park West apartment building, and, ultimately, even the Executive Office of the President of the United States.
A sustained espionage and infiltration operation
Durham’s investigation establishes that the tech firm managed to gain access to and maintain servers dedicated to infiltrating the office of the President of the United States.
“Tech Executive-1 and his associates exploited this arrangement by mining the EOP’s DNS traffic and other data for the purpose of gathering derogatory information about Donald Trump,” Durham said.
Sussman allegedly attempted to give federal agencies Russian banking and other browsing data allegedly from the Trump team to create the Russian narrative.
According to Durham, the Clinton team lawyer “provided data which he claimed reflected purportedly suspicious DNS lookups by these entities of internet protocol (IP) addresses affiliated with a Russian mobile phone provider” implying that the lookups “demonstrated Trump and/or his associates were using supposedly rare, Russian-made wireless phones in the vicinity of the White House and other locations.”
In other words, the company hired by Clinton’s campaign lawyer was able to access servers at both the White House and Trump Tower for the purpose of gathering information that would serve to elaborate on the Russian plot. Based on illegally collected and, some of it, fabricated information, the Clinton team turned to federal agencies to allegedly prove the relationship between then-President Donald Trump and the Kremlin.
Donald Trump’s reaction: “worse than Watergate”
The former U.S. president claimed that Durham “provides indisputable evidence that my campaign and presidency were spied on by agents paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign in an effort to develop a completely fabricated connection to Russia.”
“This is a scandal far greater in scope and magnitude than Watergate and those who were involved in and knew about this spying operation should be subject to criminal prosecution,” the former president said.
Emmanuel Rincón is a lawyer, writer, novelist and essayist. He has won several international literary awards. He is Editor-at-large at El American // Emmanuel Rincón es abogado, escritor, novelista y ensayista. Ganador de diversos premios literarios internacionales. Es editor-at-large en El American