Damage Control Fails: Former Clinton Attorney Scrambling After Devastating Durham Allegations


Attorneys for former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann have responded to special counsel John Durham’s bombshell motion last week, and their response suggests they are in full damage control mode.

Ironically, a man who may have participated in a shocking, unprecedented form of dirty politics against former President Donald Trump six years ago, on behalf of his ruthless, bitter client, now claims that Durham is playing politics with him.

Durham’s motion, filed on Feb. 11, points out the clear conflicts of interest of the Latham & Watkins law firm that currently represents Sussmann.

Powerline’s John Hinderaker, a lawyer, explained that Latham “has its fingers in multiple pies regarding the Russia collusion hoax” and that “one or more” of the firm’s current and former lawyers may be called as witnesses in the case. This must be addressed before the trial.

In their response to Durham’s filing, Sussmann’s attorneys said their client was aware of the potential conflicts of interest in the case and that he would agree to waive any conflict issues “on the record.”

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The lawyers then launched into an attack on Durham for including a list of new, uncharged allegations against Sussmann, who so far has been indicted on a single count of lying to the FBI last September. Durham has said he will prove these allegations in court.

“Unfortunately, the Special Counsel has done more than simply file a document identifying potential conflicts of interest,” Sussmann’s attorneys said. “Rather, the Special Counsel has again made a filing in this case that unnecessarily includes prejudicial — and false — allegations that are irrelevant to his Motion and to the charged offense, and are plainly intended to politicize this case, inflame media coverage, and taint the jury pool.”

The defense bemoaned the negative stories published about Sussmann as a result of Durham’s motion, pointing to Fox News, the New York Post, the Washington Examiner, Breitbart and the U.K.’s Daily Mail.

Not only that, the attorneys wrote, but “Mr. Trump seized upon the Special Counsel’s filing” to say this scandal is “far greater in scope and magnitude than Watergate.”

Well, isn’t it?

The attorneys also complained vigorously about a series of discovery updates Durham has provided to the court.

“The indictment is 27 pages long and reads as though there was a vast conspiracy, involving the Clinton Campaign and Mr. Sussmann, to defraud the FBI into investigating Donald Trump as part of an ‘October surprise.’ … But the indictment does not charge a conspiracy,” the Sussmann team wrote.

Imagine that!

Finally, Sussmann’s lawyers asked the court to strike the “factual background” section of Durham’s latest filing.

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Sussman Feb 14th Response by File 411

The Federalist’s Margot Cleveland, a lawyer, weighed in on the “motion to strike.” She said it likely means they hope it will prompt the judge to “caution the Special Counsel’s office to limit any extraneous details in future filings. The court may well do that.”

But Cleveland explained that Sussmann “may soon regret his strategy” for several reasons.

“First,” she said, “Durham has the opportunity to respond.

“Second, Sussmann’s filing will prompt even more coverage of Durham’s various filings, whereas if he had said nothing the complicit media would have likely dropped coverage of the case after a day or two.

“Third, Durham’s filings provided Sussmann a heads up on the special counsel’s strategy — likely intentionally so, with the hope that Sussmann may decide to cooperate.

“That Sussmann opted to file the motion to strike, even with the above negatives cautioning against such an approach, suggests the coverage — even when coming from mainly conservative-leaning outlets — is starting to break through the media blackout and is preventing him from controlling the narrative.”

Up until now, the Democrats have always been able to control the media narrative.

Most of us had long since given up on Durham’s investigation when the news of Sussmann’s indictment came in September. Even then, very few people paid attention.

The coverage of this latest story has been enormous, which may be because Durham indicated he could prove these allegations in court. Given his reputation as a straight shooter, if he writes in a public document that he will be able to prove these allegations in court, there’s little reason to doubt it.

The Democratic Party has disgraced itself, and the truth is starting to come out.

And many Americans are engaged.

The sheer gall of Sussmann crying “politics” after years of allegedly colluding against a sitting president is breathtaking.

It’s not partisan or political to hold people accountable when laws are broken. This frantic statement reeks of fear. Sussmann can claim all he wants that this is a political hit job, but the implications of his alleged actions are enormous.

The Democrats are panicking, and for good reason. If the totality of the conspiracy against Donald Trump is exposed, they are done.

CORRECTION, Feb. 22, 2022: The Western Journal removed three tweets from this commentary — from Trump spokeswoman Liz Harrington, Republican National Committee chair Ronna Romney McDaniel and GOP Rapid Response Director Tommy Pigott — all of whom mischaracterized the nature of the allegations made in Durham’s Feb. 11 court filing. That filing did not, in fact, allege that Hillary Clinton or her campaign paid technology experts to “hack” or “infiltrate” Trump’s computers, despite numerous reports to the contrary. We also removed a short YouTube video of Michael Sussmann discussing cyber security, which was not relevant to this commentary and appears to have been embedded in error. Finally, we corrected several instances of Sussmann’s name having been misspelled; for this last, we apologize to Mr. Sussmann.

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Elizabeth writes commentary for The Western Journal and The Washington Examiner. Her articles have appeared on many websites, including MSN, RedState, Newsmax, The Federalist and RealClearPolitics. Please follow Elizabeth on Twitter or LinkedIn.
Elizabeth is a contract writer at The Western Journal. Her articles have appeared on many conservative websites including RedState, Newsmax, The Federalist,, HotAir, MSN and RealClearPolitics.

Please follow Elizabeth on Twitter.