Durham Court Filing on DNC Attorney: ‘Active, Ongoing Criminal Investigation’

Durham Court Filing on DNC Attorney: 'Active, Ongoing Criminal Investigation' DNC Logo Stage hands work on affixing the DNC logo to the podium at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Monday, July 25, 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

By Eric Mack | Tuesday, 25 January 2022 05:15 PM

A filing by special counsel John Durham's probe Tuesday made three mentions to an "active, ongoing criminal investigation," including matters not currently charged.

The filing comes in the case of Democratic National Committee attorney Michael Sussmann, who was charged in September with lying to the FBI — "making a materially false statement to an FBI official" — during the original special counsel Robert Mueller investigation into alleged Russian ties to the Trump campaign.

The filing laid out the special counsel's argument for additional time for discovery before trial, requesting a March 18 extension from nonclassified date of Jan. 28 and a classified materials date in February.

"The court should grant the government's request to permit the production of any residual discovery on or before March 18, 2022," Durham's filing concluded.

Sussmann's defense has also requested "any and all documents including the FBI's communications with The New York Times regarding any of the [Russian Bank-1] allegations in the fall of 2016," on pages nine and 10 in the filing.

"In a subsequent Jan. 20, 2022 letter, the defense also asked for information relating to a meeting attended by reporters from The New York Times, the then-FBI General Counsel, the then-FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence, and the then-FBI Assistant Director for Public Affairs."

The filing makes the case Durham's ongoing investigation should get more time for discovery, arguing it is "both reasonable and consistent with the government's practices in other cases."

Also, the filing notes the discovery timeline has been set back by multiple spellings of Sussmann's name in documents.

"In a step that is extraordinary in a criminal case, the Special Counsel's Office also previously directed the FBI to query the defendant's last name and a common misspelling of the defendant's name ('Sussmann' and 'Sussman') over all FBI email and instant messaging systems — including Unclassified, Secret, and Top Secret systems — for the time period Jan. 1, 2016 through April 30, 2017," page 12 of the filing read. "The FBI then provided the results of these searches — totaling approximately 79,000 items — to the Special Counsel team. The FBI also searched its case management system for the names 'Michael Sussmann' or 'Michael Sussman.'

"The Special Counsel team is reviewing each of these more than 79,000 documents to eliminate duplicates and false hits (e.g., documents pertaining to individuals named 'Sussman' or 'Sussmann' other than the defendant) and to identify further potentially relevant materials. To date, the government has produced to the defense approximately 1,099 of the documents that resulted from this search. The Special Counsel team expects to complete its review of these documents within approximately the next two weeks."

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