‘Fake Scandal’: Hillary Clinton Responds To Durham Report Spying Accusations

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Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dismissed accusations that her campaign spied on Donald Trump as a “fake scandal” ginned up by the former president and Fox News on Wednesday.

The accusations arose from a new report from Special Counsel John Durham that alleges a tech firm paid by Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign spied on servers housed within Trump Tower and later at the Executive Office of the President (EOP).

“Trump & Fox are desperately spinning up a fake scandal to distract from his real ones. So it’s a day that ends in Y,” Clinton quipped on Twitter. “The more his misdeeds are exposed, the more they lie. For those interested in reality, here’s a good debunking of their latest nonsense.”

Clinton’s statement linked to an article from Vanity Fair arguing that Durham’s report did not, in fact, implicate any spying from the Clinton campaign. (RELATED: John Brennan Says There Was ‘No Spying’ On Trump’s Campaign)

Durham’s filing came from the case of Michael Sussmann, a former Perkins Coie attorney charged with lying to federal agents about his work for the Clinton campaign.

Durham’s report states that lawyers from a firm enlisted by the Clinton campaign, referred to as “Law Firm-1,” paid a tech firm run by one Rodney Joffe that “exploited” access to private servers that were kept at Trump Tower and later at the White House. Durham’s document refers to Joffe as “Tech Executive-1.” Sussmann worked with Joffe on the effort and then subsequently “assembled and conveyed the allegations to the FBI on behalf of at least two specific clients,” one of which was the Clinton campaign, according to the filing.

“In connection with these efforts, Tech Executive-1 exploited his access to non-public and/or proprietary Internet data,” Durham’s report alleges. “Tech Executive-1 also enlisted the assistance of researchers at a U.S.-based university who were receiving and analyzing large amounts of Internet data in connection with a pending federal government cybersecurity research contract.”

“Tech Executive-1 tasked these researchers to mine Internet data to establish ‘an inference’ and ‘narrative’ tying then-candidate Trump to Russia,” Durham alleges in the filing. “In doing so, Tech Executive-1 indicated that he was seeking to please certain ‘VIPs,’ referring to individuals at Law Firm-1 and the Clinton campaign.”

The report alleges that Clinton operatives then used the information they garnered and went to the CIA and FBI in an attempt to get the organizations to legitimize phony allegations by opening formal investigations.

Trump released a furious statement Saturday following the report’s release, arguing that it proved Clinton and Democrats “completely fabricated” accusations that he had colluded with Russia in the 2016 presidential election.

“The latest pleading from Special Counsel Durham proves indisputable evidence that my campaign and presidency were spied on by operatives paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign in an effort to develop a completely fabricated connection to Russia,” Trump wrote in a statement. “This is a scandal far greater in scope and magnitude than Watergate and those who were involved in and knew about this spying operation should be subject to criminal prosecution.”

“In a stronger period of time in our country, this crime would have been punishable by death. In addition, reparations should be paid to those in our country who have been damaged by this,” he added.