Court Filing Causes Ruckus in Trump, Clinton Camps

Conservatives say John Durham development suggests spying on the White House
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2022 9:25 AM CST
Trump Accuses Media of Burying New Clinton Story
In this Sept. 26, 2016, photo, Donald Trump stands with Hillary Clinton before a presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

A new narrative has emerged in the orbit of former President Trump, one that accuses the Hillary Clinton campaign of essentially spying on the former president. It's a tangled story that involves special counsel John Durham and Democratic-allied lawyer Michael Sussmann, who was previously charged with lying to the FBI as part of Durham's probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. The new development is the result of a legal filing made by Durham late last week. A sample of coverage:

  • Fox News: "Lawyers for the Clinton campaign paid a technology company to 'infiltrate' servers belonging to Trump Tower, and later the White House, in order to establish an 'inference' and 'narrative' to bring to government agencies linking Donald Trump to Russia, a filing from special counsel John Durham found." Full story here. The New York Post cover is more succinct: It blares "Hillary the Spy" in all caps.
  • Editorial: As that New York Post headline suggests, the narrative has gained much steam on the right. Here's the conservative editorial board of the Wall Street Journal assessing: "Special counsel John Durham continues to unravel the Trump-Russia 'collusion' story, and his latest court disclosure contains startling information. According to a Friday court filing, the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign effort to compile dirt on Donald Trump reached into protected White House communications." Read the editorial, headlined, "Trump Really Was Spied On."
  • CNN: Durham "accused a lawyer for the Democrats of sharing with the CIA in 2017 internet data purported to show Russian-made phones being used in the vicinity of the White House complex, as part of a broader effort to raise the intelligence community's suspicions of Donald Trump's ties to Russia shortly after he took office," reads the outlet's story. "The accusation—which Durham couched in vague, technical language in a court filing late Friday—has been seized upon by Trump and his supporters, who claim the former President was subjected to a smear campaign." Full story.

  • Not so much? Charlie Savage of the New York Times writes that "the entire narrative appeared to be mostly wrong or old news—the latest example of the challenge created by a barrage of similar conspiracy theories" from Trump and his supporters. "Upon close inspection, these narratives are often based on a misleading presentation of the facts or outright misinformation. They also tend to involve dense and obscure issues, so dissecting them requires asking readers to expend significant mental energy and time" and often leads to accusations of a media cover-up. Full story.
  • Trump: The former president was indeed quick to accuse the media of burying the news. "The press refuses to even mention the major crime that took place," he said in a statement on Monday, per the Times. "This in itself is a scandal, the fact that a story so big, so powerful and so important for the future of our nation is getting zero coverage from LameStream, is being talked about all over the world."
(More Hillary Clinton stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.