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Federal Judge Orders Fusion GPS to Hand Over Emails Involving Clinton Campaign Lawyer

Western Journal

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In a mixed result for special counsel John Durham, a federal judge has allowed Durham to see emails from the political research firm Fusion GPS that related to its efforts to smear former President Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign.

However, U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper will not allow him to use the emails in the upcoming trial of lawyer Michael Sussman, according to Fox News. That trial is scheduled to begin Monday.

Sussmann was indicted last year for allegedly concealing his clients — 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign and a “U.S. technology industry executive at a U.S. internet company” — from FBI general counsel James Baker, the Washington Examiner reported.

The 2021 indictment from Durham alleged that Sussmann lied to Baker when he claimed he was not working for any client when he requested a meeting to present “purported data and ‘white papers’ that allegedly demonstrated a covert communications channel” between the Trump Organization and Alfa-Bank, which is tied to the Kremlin, Fox News reported.

As part of his efforts to prosecute Sussman, Durham had requested 38 emails be turned over to him. He will get 22 of them, with the rest protected by either attorney-client privilege or attorney-work-product privilege, according to Fox News.

Cooper, who was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in 2013 by then-President Barack Obama, said the emails can’t be used at the upcoming trial because “the Special Counsel waited to file this motion until … just over a month before trial was set to begin,” according to the Washington Examiner.

The judge said that “allowing the Special Counsel to use these documents at trial would prejudice Mr. Sussmann’s defense.”

Durham was appointed in 2019 to investigate the origins of since-disproven allegations that the 2016 Trump campaign had ties to Russia.

Trump has long maintained that Clinton’s campaign sought to manipulate Obama-era intelligence agencies into investigating him for political purposes.

Sussmann was a partner at the Perkins Coie law firm, which was representing the Democratic National Committee in 2016.

Perkins Coie has been linked to the Russia controversy before. Marc Elias, formerly of the firm, was the lead attorney for the Clinton campaign at the time and hired Fusion GPS, an action that resulted in a now-discredited dossier of allegations against Trump.

In ruling for the release of some emails, Cooper said Perkins Coie did more than simply offer legal advice.

“The Court has no reason to question Mr. Elias’s declaration that Perkins Coie retained Fusion to assist in his provision of legal advice to the Clinton Campaign, or that one aspect of his advice to the campaign was assessing the risk of potential defamation claims resulting from its public statements,” he said, adding that “it is clear that Fusion employees also interacted with the press as part of an affirmative media relations effort by the Clinton Campaign.”

Fusion’s effort to control the media narrative of the campaign “included pitching certain stories, providing information on background, and answering reporters’ questions,” the judge wrote.

Cooper said that “some of the emails at issue — including internal Fusion GPS discussions about the underlying data and emails circulating draft versions of one of the background white papers that was ultimately provided to the press and the FBI — relate directly to that undertaking.”

“Because these emails appear not to have been written in anticipation of litigation but rather as part of ordinary media-relations work, they are not entitled to attorney work-product protection,” the judge said.

Igor Danchenko, a Russian analyst and source of information for the dossier, has also been charged as part of Durham’s investigation. In November, Danchenko was charged with lying to the FBI.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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Clarence Thomas Speaks Out on Supreme Court Leak: ‘It Changes the Institution Forever’

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Robert Mueller

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said Friday that the leak of a draft opinion that could lead to overturning the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion has severely damaged the court.

“I do think that what happened at the court is tremendously bad… I wonder how long we’re going to have these institutions at the rate we’re undermining them,” Thomas said at the Old Parkland Conference, according to Fox News.

He repeated the concern and elaborated further in remarks quoted by The Washington Post.

“I wonder how long we’re going to have these institutions at the rate we’re undermining them. And then I wonder — when they’re gone or destabilized — what we’re going to have as a country,” he said, according to The Post.

Thomas has spoken out previously about the pressures faced by the court to rule in ways liberals want.

Last week, Thomas said Americans are “becoming addicted to wanting particular outcomes, not living with the outcomes we don’t like,” according to the Daily Mail.

“It bodes ill for a free society,” he said, according to The Washington Post.

“We can’t be an institution that can be bullied into giving you just the outcomes you want. The events from earlier this week are a symptom of that,” he said then.

Will the court pull back from the opinions expressed in the leaked draft?

Thomas said Friday that, until the leak took place, it was unimaginable that such a thing would happen.

“The institution that I’m a part of — if someone said that one line of one opinion would be leaked by anyone, you would say, ‘Oh, that’s impossible. No one would ever do that,’” Thomas said, “There’s such a belief in the rule of law, belief in the court, belief in what we’re doing, that that was verboten.”

 “And look where we are, where now that trust or that belief is gone forever. And when you lose that trust, especially in the institution that I’m in, it changes the institution fundamentally. You begin to look over your shoulder. It’s like kind of an infidelity, that you can explain it, but you can’t undo it,” he said at the conference sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute, the Manhattan Institute and the Hoover Institution.

“Anybody who would, for example, have an attitude to leak documents, that general attitude is your future on the bench,” Thomas said. “And you need to be concerned about that. And we never had that before. We actually trusted — we might have been a dysfunctional family, but we were a family.”

Thomas said the principle of stare decisis — which means that precedents are generally accepted — is a guideline, not a commandment.

“When someone uses stare decisis, that means they’re out of arguments,” he said. “They’re just waving the white flag.”

He later spoke about those who lack of courage, without being more specific.

 “Like they know what is right, and they’re scared to death of doing it. And then they come up with all these excuses for not doing it.”

During his remarks, he said that as a black conservative, he has had issues with one particular group.

“People assume that I’ve had difficulties when I’ve been around members of my race,” Thomas said. “It’s just the opposite. The only people with whom I’ve had difficulties are white, liberal elites who consider themselves the anointed and us the benighted. . . . I have never had issues with members of my race.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said Friday that the leak of a draft opinion that could lead to overturning the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion has severely damaged the court. “I do think that what happened at the court is tremendously bad… I wonder how long we’re going to have these institutions at the rate we’re undermining them,” Thomas said at the Old Parkland Conference, according to Fox News. He repeated the concern and elaborated further in remarks quoted by The Washington Post. “I wonder how long we’re going to have these institutions at the rate we’re undermining them. And then I wonder — when they’re gone or destabilized — what we’re going to have as a country,” he said, according to The Post. Thomas has spoken out previously about the pressures faced by the court to rule in ways liberals want. Last week, Thomas said Americans are “becoming addicted to wanting particular outcomes, not living with the outcomes we don’t like,” according to the Daily Mail. “It bodes ill for a free society,” he said, according to The Washington Post. “We can’t be an institution that can be bullied into giving you just the outcomes you want. The events from earlier this week are a symptom of that,” he said then.

Will the court pull back from the opinions expressed in the leaked draft?
Thomas said Friday that, until the leak took place, it was unimaginable that such a thing would happen. “The institution that I’m a part of — if someone said that one line of one opinion would be leaked by anyone, you would say, ‘Oh, that’s impossible. No one would ever do that,’” Thomas said, “There’s such a belief in the rule of law, belief in the court, belief in what we’re doing, that that was verboten.”  “And look where we are, where now that trust…

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Parents’ Group Speaks Out After Reportedly Being Targeted by FBI, Merrick Garland as Terrorist ‘Threats’

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The head of a parents’ organization — consisting mostly of concerned mothers — that was reportedly targeted by Attorney General Merrick Garland’s FBI said Garland himself is “the terrorist.”

Moms for Liberty co-founder Tiffany Justice told the Daily Caller she was concerned investigations into the group’s members might “intimate our moms” in a piece published Friday.

The remarks came two days after House Republicans said they’d found smoking-gun evidence the FBI was investigating parents’ groups that had engaged in protests at school board meetings, despite Garland’s protestations to the contrary.

(Here at The Western Journal, we’ve proudly supported parents standing up to woke ideology like critical race theory — and we’ve decried the interference at the federal level by President Joe Biden’s administration. We’ll continue fighting for parental rights. You can help us by subscribing.)

The letter to the Department of Justice, authored by Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan and signed by other Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee, noted the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division had created a threat tag for investigations into parents’ groups — EDUOFFICIALS.

“We have learned from brave whistleblowers that the FBI has opened investigations with the EDUOFFICIALS threat tag in almost every region of the country and relating to all types of educational settings,” the letter noted.

“The information we have received shows how, as a direct result of your directive, federal law enforcement is using counterterrorism resources to investigate protected First Amendment activity.”

Garland had come under fire after an Oct. 4, 2021 memo directed the FBI to look into “threats” against school personnel.

Should critical race theory be removed from the classroom?

The memo came after a wave of parental protests and contentious school board meetings — particularly in Loudoun and Fairfax counties in Virginia — over critical race theory in the classroom.

“In recent months, there has been a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff who participate in the vital work of running our nation’s public schools,” the memo read.

“The Department takes these incidents seriously and is committed to using its authority and resources to discourage these threats, identify them when they occur, and prosecute them when appropriate.”

During testimony later that month, Garland insisted the directive only involved “concerns about violence, threats of violence, other criminal conduct.”

That doesn’t seem to be the case. The House Judiciary Committee’s letter notes the FBI interviewed a Moms for Liberty member after an investigation that began when a tip submitted to the bureau through the National Threat Operations Center hotline, claimed she told a local school board “we are coming for you.”

The snitch said the mother was a threat because she was part of a “right wing mom’s group” and “is a gun owner.”

Jordan then noted that when the FBI interviewed the mom, they discovered she only meant Moms for Liberty sought “to replace the school board with new members through the electoral process” because of their stance on mask mandates.

Justice told the Daily Caller that she was “sad to see” the FBI investigations “happening to people that care most about this country.”

The mothers who show up at school board meetings, she said, were “genuinely concerned about their children’s education” — but Garland’s DOJ sees them as “the enemy.”

“This should not be happening and we are going to do everything we can to ensure that it stops,” she told the Daily Caller.

In a statement, Justice and her fellow Moms for Liberty co-founder Tina Descovich said this was “proof of what many of us suspected and some of us knew: that the Department of Justice was using counter-terrorism authority under the PATRIOT Act to investigate parents of schoolchildren.”

“We at Moms for Liberty knew first hand of the first example Jim Jordan cited, because she was – as the whistleblower letter says – one of our members,” the statement read.

“The mother was terrified. She had been contacted by the FBI. She had been told by the FBI not to say anything about that call. She had also been told that there were many other mothers being investigated.”

The letter was more confirmation of what Garland has strenuously denied: that FBI resources are being used to treat parents as potential domestic terror suspects without any specific threat.

The House Judiciary GOP had already blown the whistle on the EDUOFFICIAL tag last November. We now have a rough idea of how promiscuously it’s being applied and how little threat there actually is.

While no sinister, violent, far-right threat against school boards has, as of yet, been uncovered, we now have credible reports of the FBI harassing a member of a conservative mothers’ group based off of a cardboard-flimsy rationale.

When Garland’s memo was released, it seemed clear the FBI was being weaponized against a widespread parents’ revolt in which wholly rational anger was being unleashed — in a constitutionally protected manner — against school boards that were adopting woke ideology or prolonging mask mandates beyond reasonable limits. This anger led to, among other things, a Republican sweep of statewide offices in off-year elections in increasingly blue Virginia, including for governor.

Perhaps when Garland was talking about investigating “threats,” he wasn’t talking about any hazard to the well-being of school-board members or educational employees. Instead, it was about the Democrats’ 2022 electoral chances.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

The head of a parents’ organization — consisting mostly of concerned mothers — that was reportedly targeted by Attorney General Merrick Garland’s FBI said Garland himself is “the terrorist.” Moms for Liberty co-founder Tiffany Justice told the Daily Caller she was concerned investigations into the group’s members might “intimate our moms” in a piece published Friday. The remarks came two days after House Republicans said they’d found smoking-gun evidence the FBI was investigating parents’ groups that had engaged in protests at school board meetings, despite Garland’s protestations to the contrary. (Here at The Western Journal, we’ve proudly supported parents standing up to woke ideology like critical race theory — and we’ve decried the interference at the federal level by President Joe Biden’s administration. We’ll continue fighting for parental rights. You can help us by subscribing.) The letter to the Department of Justice, authored by Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan and signed by other Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee, noted the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division had created a threat tag for investigations into parents’ groups — EDUOFFICIALS. “We have learned from brave whistleblowers that the FBI has opened investigations with the EDUOFFICIALS threat tag in almost every region of the country and relating to all types of educational settings,” the letter noted. “The information we have received shows how, as a direct result of your directive, federal law enforcement is using counterterrorism resources to investigate protected First Amendment activity.” BREAKING: The Biden Administration has mobilized FBI counterterrorism resources to investigate parents, including at least one member of @Moms4Liberty, for expressing protected political speech at local school board meetings. This is a grave abuse of power. pic.twitter.com/MdK0vm51VN — Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) May 12, 2022 Garland had come under fire after an Oct. 4, 2021 memo directed the FBI to look…

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