AP explainer: Latest Trump-How Russian Filing Created a Buzz

Washington — Trump-The latest submission from Special Counsel John Durham in his investigation into the origin of Russia’s investigation was by the conservative media and Donald Trump himself, saying he was “spyed” by the former president. It was confiscated as evidence of frequently repeated claims. upon.

According to one headline, Durham claimed that Hillary Clinton’s campaign paid to “sneak” into the Trump Tower and White House servers, but the verb wasn’t used in the filing. A scandal worse than a water gate.

Neither claim is exactly the same as what Durham claimed in the weekend filing. Filing detoured into the area of ​​Internet traffic research and received a great deal of attention among Durham’s research followers.

Let’s see what happened.

What is the story behind the filing?

Durham, a former U.S. Attorney General in Connecticut, was at the time investigating possible fraud within the U.S. government when investigating the link between Russia’s intervention in the 2016 presidential election and the Trump campaign. Appointed in 2019 by Attorney General William Barr.

One of the three indicted by him is Michael Sasman, a prominent cybersecurity lawyer who represented the Clinton campaign during the 2016 elections. In September of that year, he met with the FBI to raise concerns from cybersecurity researchers about the potential digital back channels between the Trump Organization and the servers of Russia-based Alfa Bank. Trump orbit and Russia when the FBI was already trying to determine if such a relationship had existed.

The FBI investigated and found that those concerns were unfounded. Durham accused last year of Sasman lying to the FBI during a 2016 meeting and that he did not share Alfa Bank’s concerns on behalf of a particular client. In fact, the prosecutor claims he did so as a lawyer for the Clinton campaign. Sasman’s lawyer violently denied that he had lied.

On Friday night, Durham’s team submitted a filing that raises potential conflicts of interest as Sasman’s leading law firm had other clients in Durham’s investigation. Sasman’s lawyer said Monday night that he would abandon the potential dispute.

However, they also argued that the Durham team was false and was included in the allegations that “it was intended to further politicize the case, fuel media coverage, and pollute the jury pool.” did. They said it was part of a pattern that began with Sasman’s September indictment.

“The indictment is 27 pages long and can be read as if there was a large-scale plot involving the Clinton campaign and Mr. Sasman to scam the FBI to investigate Donald Trump as part of the’October surprise’. “Sasman’s lawyer said. “But the indictment does not charge anyone but Mr. Sasman. The indictment does not indict a conspiracy. The indictment does not even claim fraud.”

A Durham spokesman declined to comment on Tuesday.

Why did Durham’s claim create such a topic?

Mainly for a handful of paragraphs.

In the filing, Durham said in February 2017 that Sasman presented US Government (CIA) officials with information obtained from the Internet traffic that Sasman showed. Near the White House and other places. “

The Durham team said there was no support for these allegations, and the “suspicious” data drawn by Sasman actually showed that Internet traffic involving the Executive Office of the President and Russian telephone providers began at least in 2014. Said that. — When Barack Obama was in the White House.

According to court filings, Sasman relies on data collected by the technology executives he worked with, and according to Durham, the company helped maintain the White House servers.

Executive Rodney Joffe, with the help of computer researchers who are already analyzing large amounts of Internet data through a federal cybersecurity research agreement, provides mining information to establish the “reason” that connects Trump to Russia. I left it to them, the court filing said. Researchers used Internet traffic from the Domain Name System at locations such as the Trump Tower, Trump’s Central Park West apartments, and the Executive Office of the President (EOP), Durham said.

Researchers did not “spy” the 2016 Trump campaign, but instead, at the request of federal authorities, were investigating Russian malware attacks targeting the U.S. government and the White House, one study said. Said Jody Westby, a lawyer at the United States. Related scientist, David Dagon of Georgia Institute of Technology.

The United States was very cautious at the time after the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s email by Russian operatives. According to Westby, the data in question was when Obama was in the White House, not Trump.

“They were simply … investigating Russia’s attacks on US entities, including the federal government,” Westby added. “This move is disappointing because it provides a lot of misleading information that is virtually inaccurate. I added.

A Joffe spokesman said in a statement released by several media organizations that Joffe had never worked for a political party and legally provided access to Internet traffic data, a “non-political Internet security specialty.” “Home”.

What else is Durham investigating?

Durham and his team interviewed former FBI, Department of Justice, and CIA officials and put a wide range of nets into the investigation.

Mr. Trump has fueled high hopes that the investigation will reveal serious misconduct and undermine the core conclusions of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia. Of the race.

Durham’s investigation has not overturned Mueller’s findings so far, but it relates to early aspects of Russia’s investigation, including the so-called one-case document of a democratic-funded study of Trump’s relationship with Russia. Produced only three criminal cases focusing on serious issues. We guarantee that you will carry out confidential surveillance of Carter Page, a former Trump campaign aide. These prongs of the investigation were conducted long before Mueller was appointed in May 2017.

In addition to Sasman, Durham has charged Kevin Kline Smith, a former FBI lawyer who pleaded guilty to making a doctor an email related to page surveillance in 2020. Russian-American analyst Igor Danchenko, who provided information to former British spy Christopher Steele, whose research funded by democracy on the relationship between Trump and Russia formed the basis of the paperwork. Danchenko has been accused of lying to the FBI about his sources.

AP explainer: Latest Trump-How Russian Filing Created a Buzz

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