Breaking: Durham Issues More Subpoenas

Perkins Coie Is The Reported Recipient

CNN is reporting, in a lengthy overview of the Sussmann case, that Special Counsel John Durham has issued additional subpoenas in the investigation:

Durham issues fresh round of subpoenas in his continuing probe of FBI investigation into Trump, Russia

While the overview of the case is lengthy, it adds no new information beyond the matter of the subpoenas. The thing to note is that the subpoenas were apparently issued after the Sussmann indictment was made public. Also, while the article states as fact that Perkins Coie—”a law firm with close ties to Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign”— received subpoenas, it is not known whether other persons or organizations may also have received subpoenas. The article says the subpoenas include Perkins Coie but, of course, that doesn’t mean they’re limited to Perkins Coie. Finally, although Durham is said to be seeking “additional documents” from Perkins Coie, there is always the possibility that specific persons have been subpoenaed to testify before the Grand Jury.

Here’s the actual wording of the article, in relevant part:

Special Counsel John Durham has issued a new set of subpoenas, including to a law firm with close ties to Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign, an indication that Durham could be trying to build a broader criminal case, according to people briefed on the matter. So far, Durham's two-year probe into the FBI's Russia investigation hasn't brought about the cases Republicans has hoped it would.

The grand jury subpoenas for documents came earlier this month after Durham charged Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann with lying to the FBI in a September 2016 meeting. During that meeting, Sussmann handed over data purporting to show links between the Trump Organization and Russia's Alfa Bank. That tip became part of the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election but the FBI ultimately couldn't find evidence of a link.

In seeking additional documents from Sussmann's former law firm, Perkins Coie, investigators from the special counsel's office appear to be sharpening their focus on the Democratic political machinery during the 2016 campaign and efforts to tie Trump to Russia.

Perkins Coie's clients in 2016 included the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The law firm also hired on the campaign's behalf a research company that commissioned the dossier from ex-British spy Christopher Steele that alleged that Trump was compromised by Russia.

Obviously we can’t be certain that the subpoenas are limited to demands for additional documents from Perkins Coie. However, as regards Perkins Coie, two possibilities come to mind: 1) The law firm’s own efforts to assure Durham that it was not complicit in any wrongdoing by Sussmann, Marc Elias, or any other Perkins Coie lawyers or employees may have opened new avenues of inquiry. 2) The other possibility is that a cooperating witness could have tipped Durham off to those new avenues of inquiry.

Perhaps others will have more information or more informed speculation. The timing of the revelation is interesting. The new federal fiscal year begins tomorrow—October 1st. My understanding has been—subject to correction—that Merrick Garland was due to approve new funding for Durham’s investigation by yesterday, September 29th. Are you seeing what I’m seeing? If I’m wrong we’ll find out very quickly.