In the bombshell felony indictment made public this week, Special Prosecutor John Durham alleged that agents of the 2016 Clinton campaign knowingly concocted false allegations that President Donald Trump was receiving secret hi-tech communications from the Kremlin-linked Alfa Bank. The Durham indictment further alleged that Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann intentionally spread that hoax to the FBI, Democrat-friendly media and another undisclosed federal agency under false pretenses.
Moreover, the Durham indictment identifies the mastermind of the operation to create spread and spread the Alfa Bank Hoax as a Big Tech executive, who allegedly “exploited” privately-held data of several large tech companies to create a false “narrative” about Trump-Russia collusion. This person may be Eric Schmidt, the former Executive Chairman of Alphabet, the parent company of Google.
The conspiracy theory that Donald J. Trump’s 2016 campaign was secretly communicating with Russia-based Alfa Bank through a secret server has been an obsession of Anti-Trump circles for years, despite being debunked by both the FBI and the Mueller Investigation. Proponents still insist that, despite being repeatedly found baseless, federal authorities have simply failed to muster the technical expertise to expose the dastardly Russian plot.
However, according to the Durham indictment, the team which initially drafted the white paper outlining the conspiracy theory knew full well that it was nonsense – but disseminated it anyway to craft a “narrative” to trigger a federal investigation and publicly undermine President Trump.
Shortly after the felony indictment for making false statements to the FBI went public, Sussmann’s law firm – Perkins Coie – issued this statement: “In light of the Special Counsel’s action today, Michael Sussmann, who has been on leave from the firm, offered his resignation from the firm in order to focus on his legal defense, and the firm accepted it.”
Perkins Coie represented both the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee in 2016. The firm served a vital role in the fabrication and dissemination of the debunked Steele Dossier – a document which alleged, among other things, that Trump had urinated on Russian prostitutes in a hotel room the where the Obama family stayed.
More recently, Perkins Coie represented Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) in a failed lawsuit against National File, which claimed that Kelly had not dressed as Adolf Hitler and a Perkins Coie attorney argued in front of a judge to stop the upcoming Arizona Election Audit.
The white paper was allegedly the brainchild of one Clinton campaign confidant, who the Durham indictment refers to as Tech Executive-1, who “claimed to have been previously offered a position in government in the event Hillary Clinton won the Presidency” and “exploited his access to non-public data at multiple Internet companies to conduct opposition research concerning Trump … By virtue of his position at Internet Company-1 and other companies, Tech Executive-1 maintained direct or indirect access to, and the ability to provide others access to, large amounts of internet and cybersecurity data, including DNS data,” emphasis added by National File.
The Durham indictment refers to three tech companies which Tech Executive-1 leveraged influence over on behalf of the Clinton campaign:
Internet Company-1 “offers various Internet-related services and products, including Domain Name System (“DNS”) resolution services”; Internet Company-2 “among other things, collected DNS data from various points on the internet”; and Internet Company-3 “received data that had been collected by Internet Company-2 or its parent company, and then used and analyzed that data in order to advise its private sector customers on cybersecurity and business risks.”
It is unclear who the executive is, but Eric Schmidt seems to fit the description. At the time, he was Executive Chairman of Alphabet Inc, the parent company of Google, and an unofficial advisor to the Clinton campaign, who founded start-up The Groundwork to serve as a top-tier tech contractor for the campaign.
Alphabet is the parent company of Google, which owns the largest public DNS service in the world. Alphabet also had an ownership stake in Crowdstrike, which provided cybersecurity services to the DNC and took a leading role in investigating alleged Russian cyber-attacks against the DNC as well as the Clinton campaign.
Emails from 2014 published by Wikileaks revealed that John Podesta, chairman of the Clinton campaign, believed that Schmidt “clearly wants to be head outside advisor”.
National File spoke to Google whistleblower Zach Vorhies to scrutinize the document. “I strongly suspect that ‘Internet Company-1’ mentioned in the Durham indictment is Alphabet, ‘Internet Company-2’ is Google, and ‘Tech Executive-1’ is Eric Schmidt,” said Vorhies. “That would certainly fit the facts of the indictment, but I could be wrong. And, since we are speculating, could ‘Internet Company-3’ be CrowdStrike?”
Vorhies shot to prominence when, as a Google employee, he collected and released 950 pages of documents he says prove Google’s use of an “AI-Censorship” system called “Machine Learning Fairness” that merges Critical Race Theory and artificial intelligence to shape the views of Google users on its various platforms, including YouTube and its eponymous search engine.
Another key allegation, and the foundation of the Durham indictment’s sole criminal charge, is that Sussmann lied to then-FBI General Counsel James Baker by claiming not to have been disseminating this information on behalf of any client – but he was billing the Clinton campaign for time spent drafting the white paper, speaking with Tech Executive 1 and pitching the story to reporters.
Sussmann even billed his meeting with Baker to the Clinton campaign, along with the description, “work and communications regarding confidential project.”
Baker later claimed in sworn congressional testimony to not remember whether Sussmann had identified a client he was working for. Sussmann also denied this under oath to Congress in 2017, claiming to have been working on behalf of an unnamed cybersecurity expert. This may have been technically true in 2017 because, after the end of the Clinton campaign in 2016, Sussmann started billing hours worked on the disinformation project to Tech Executive-1.
Sussmann’s testimony took place on December 18th, 2017. Just four days later, Eric Schmidt resigned from his position as the executive chairman of Alphabet Inc. and, to date, nobody has given a detailed explanation why.
Regardless, the Durham indictment features an apparent smoking gun: a contemporaneous note taken by Bill Priestap, who was the assistant director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. Priestap’s notes explain that Sussmann explicitly said that he was not doing this on behalf of the Clinton campaign, the DNC or any other of his firm’s clients.
The notes further say that Sussmann identified the source of the Alfa Bank hoax as three concerned citizens in the tech sector – which was an apparent lie, as none of them seem to have had anything to do with the research or drafting of the white paper. According to Durham, the actual authors of the paper were Tech Executive-1, the originator of the hoax, two computer researchers and Sussmann himself.
The Durham indictment alleges that Tech Executive-1 assembled a massive tranche of private data from the technology companies he had influence over, then tasked researchers at a U.S. university to mine it for dirt on Trump. Tech Executive-1 also apparently leveraged his corporate authority to help the same U.S. university with a federal government contract.