A new filing from Special Counsel John Durham suggests that officials from Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign could be called to testify as part of his probe into the origins of the federal government’s investigation into the Trump campaign.
In a document filed Friday, Durham’s team urges a federal court to determine whether or not lawyers representing Russia analyst Igor Danchenko have a conflict of interest due to the fact that attorneys at their law firm also represent the 2016 “Hillary for America” presidential campaign and a key campaign staffer. The filing was first reported by the Washington Examiner.
Danchenko, a former employee of the Brookings Institute, was the lead source for former MI6 agent Christopher Steele’s dossier, which alleged that former President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with the Russian government, and that Trump was personally compromised by Russian intelligence. The dossier’s key allegations have since been debunked. (RELATED: A Russia Analyst Living In The US Has Been Identified As Christopher Steele’s Primary Source)
Two lawyers representing Danchenko, Stuart Sears and Danny Onorato, work at the same law firm as Robert Trout, who represented Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta in his dealings with the House Intelligence Committee. As a result of this connection, federal prosecutors claim, “it is… likely that defense counsel’s firm already has obtained privileged information from the Clinton Campaign regarding matters involving or relating to the defendant, the Company Reports, and the conduct alleged in the Indictment.”
Notably, the filing suggests that Clinton campaign officials could be called to testify, which would also create a conflict of interest.
“In the event that one or more former representatives of the Clinton Campaign (who are represented by defense counsel’s firm) are called to testify at any trial or other court proceeding, the defendant and any such witness would be represented by the same law firm, resulting in a potential conflict,” the prosecutors write.
“The Clinton Campaign financed the opposition research reports, colloquially known as the ‘Dossier,’ that are central to the Indictment against the defendant,” leading “the interests of the Clinton Campaign and the defendant [to] potentially diverge,” they continued.
Other potential conflicts of interest could arise if Clinton Campaign and Danchenko attempt “to shift blame and/or responsibility to the other party for any allegedly false information that was contained within the Company Reports and/or provided to the FBI,” according to the filing.
Prosecutors note that Danchenko could waive any potential conflicts of interest.
Danchenko was indicted by the federal government in November. He pleaded not guilty to five counts of making false statements to investigators.
Read the filing here: