Several individuals connected to a 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign plot to cast Donald Trump as a covert Kremlin collaborator are working in high-level jobs within the Biden administration – including at least two senior Biden appointees cited by Special Counsel John Durham in his “active (and) ongoing” criminal investigation of the scheme, according to recently filed court documents.
Jake Sullivan, who now serves as Biden’s national security adviser, and Caroline Krass, a top lawyer at the Pentagon, were involved in efforts in 2016 and 2017 to advance the Clinton campaign’s false claims about Trump through the media and the federal government, documents show. Other evidence shows that two other Biden officials – senior State Department official Dafna Rand and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler – also are entangled in the so-called Russiagate scandal.
It’s not known whether these Biden appointees have been interviewed by Durham’s investigators. But as the probe widens, some government ethics watchdogs anticipate that Biden’s presidency could be pulled into the scandal, which saw the FBI abuse its surveillance powers to spy on a Trump campaign adviser based on Clinton opposition research.
Just as the Democrats have used their control of Congress to cast President Trump and the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol as threats to American democracy, Republicans are vowing if they regain power after November’s congressional elections to investigate the years-long effort to question Trump’s 2016 victory and undermine his presidency.
The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Mike Turner, recently pledged to hold hearings and issue subpoenas “to get to the bottom of [Russiagate] so this never happens again, so we never have Americans having to distrust their own government because of the politicization of the FBI [and] of our intelligence community.”
RealClearInvestigations has learned that Congress has referred to the Special Counsel’s Office at least a dozen cases of potential perjury involving former Clinton campaign officials and Obama administration officials who have testified behind closed doors about their involvement in Russiagate. Hill lawyers and investigators have met with Durham’s staff about the criminal referrals stemming from the sworn depositions.
Republican sources say that the roles played in Russiagate by Krass, Sullivan, Rand, and Gensler may be among the first to draw attention in hearings. Although the full range of their efforts has not been made public, here’s what is known so far.
Clinton Donor and Top CIA Lawyer
Krass, 54 – whom Biden appointed as general counsel of the Defense Department early last year – is the former top CIA lawyer cited by Durham as “General Counsel of Agency-2” in his indictment of former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann.
Durham alleged Sussmann first tried to plant a fabricated report with the FBI’s general counsel about a secret cyber-link between Trump and Russia-based Alfa Bank in order to set in motion an investigation of Trump before the 2016 election. Then, after the election, Sussmann filed a similar report with Krass’ legal shop at the CIA, the prosecutor said.