ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – In this week’s edition of ‘Political Talk,’ our team discusses the ‘Durham Report.’
(NewsNation Now) — A court filing submitted late last week by John Durham, the special counsel investigating the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, has been creating buzz in Washington over the last few days, especially among conservatives.
Conservatives are saying the “Durham Report,” as it’s being called, alleges that Hillary Clinton’s campaign spied on former President Donald Trump prior to the 2016 election. They have reacted in furor, calling for drastic punishment for anyone involved.
“They spied on the president of the United States,” said Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla. “They spied and they lied.”
Trump says the court filing is proof that he was under surveillance while he was in office. The former president is calling it “bigger than Watergate,” but that’s not what’s outlined in the filing.
While the document does raise important questions about potential political spying and the murky world of cybersecurity, many of the allegations are in dispute, while others are being distorted.
The filing comes in a case against Michael Sussmann, a cybersecurity lawyer who represented the Clinton campaign. Durham alleges Sussmann shared internet data with the CIA that purported to show that Trump and/or his associates were using rare Russian-made cellphones near the White House and other locations.
The filing alleges Sussmann got the data from a tech executive he worked with whose company had ties to the Clinton campaign and “exploited his access” to White House computer data to try to find information about the former president, wanting to establish a narrative tying then-candidate Trump to Russia.
But the filing doesn’t specify what data was collected from the office of the president or whether the data was even collected while Trump was president. In fact, the suspicious activity around the White House occurred when President Obama was in office.
Sussmann’s lawyers have fired back at Durham, telling the court that his filing is “plainly intended to politicize this case, inflame media coverage and taint the jury pool.”
In this filing, Durham says he’ll prove the most explosive allegation in court: The data was collected “for the purpose of gathering derogatory information about Donald Trump.”
A jury trial for this case has been scheduled for May 16.