Newly unearthed emails undercut a key argument in an indictment from Bill Barr's appointed prosecutor: NYT

Newly unearthed emails undercut a key argument in an indictment from Bill Barr's appointed prosecutor: NYT
Fox News screenshot

Emails unearthed by the New York Times undercut a key allegation made by John Durham, the prosecutor appointed by former Attorney General Bill Barr to investigate the FBI's 2016 probe of the Trump campaign.

Specifically, the indictment alleged that former Hillary Clinton attorney Michael Sussman alerted the FBI to allegedly suspicious computer traffic between a Trump Tower server and a server connected to a Russian bank despite the fact that the people who uncovered the traffic did not think it was anything nefarious.

However, the Times report shows that emails between the researchers suggest that they took the possibility of Trump officials having back-channel communications with the Russian bank very seriously at the time of their investigation.

As evidence, the indictment cited an email from one researcher that said "it was 'plausible' in the 'narrow scope'" that the Trump campaign and the bank had used the servers to obfuscate their communications.

However, the full email obtained by the Times puts the quotes cited in the Durham indictment in a much different context.

"In the narrow scope of what you have defined above, I agree wholeheartedly that it is plausible," wrote the researcher. "If the white paper intends to say that there are communications between at least Alfa and Trump, which are being intentionally hidden by Alfa and Trump I absolutely believe that is the case."

Another example comes from an email written by David Dagon, a Georgia Institute of Technology data scientist who was one of the researchers investigating the server traffic.

"The indictment also suggests Mr. Dagon's support for the paper's hypothesis was qualified, describing his email response as 'acknowledging that questions remained, but stating, in substance and in part, that the paper should be shared with government officials,'" writes the Times. "The text of that email shows Mr. Dagon was forcefully supportive. He proposed editing the paper to declare as 'fact' that it was clear 'that there are hidden communications between Trump and Alfa Bank,' and said he believed the findings met the probable cause standard to open a criminal investigation."

Read the whole report here.


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