Last week, Special counsel John Durham achieved two major victories prior to the criminal trial of ex-Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann, though. In addition to ordering a key witness to appear in court, the judge also agreed to review memos that defense attorneys tried to conceal by claiming attorney-client privilege.
In a hearing, District Judge Christopher Cooper expressed doubt that memos detailing the Fusion GPS firm’s opposition research on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia – some of which have been made public – were covered by the attorney-client privilege and allowed Durham to review 38 of the documents that prosecutors wish to present at trial later this month.
Cooper said he wasn’t convinced that the Clinton campaign, Sussmann, and his law firm, and Fusion GPS had the blanket privilege over the documents. Cooper cited a memo describing how Fusion counseled a reporter as evidence that Fusion was providing media advocacy and not legal advice.
In addition, Cooper unsealed his order to compel, which granted limited immunity to Fusion GPS computer researcher Laura Seago and ordered her to testify at trial as Durham had requested.
Now the special counsel has a new fight on his hands.
Durham on Tuesday filed documents with the court alleging that the FBI and U.S. intelligence have begun slowly producing documents related to his case against Igor Danchenko, in which prosecutors claim he lied about how he acquired the information that appear in the controversial and discredited Steele dossier that was used against the former president of the United States.