Clinton campaign tries to block Durham’s access to documents related to anti-Trump dossier

Failed 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign committee filed court documents Thursday in an attempt to block special counsel John Durham from accessing documents related to the campaign’s work with law firm Perkins Coie.

Durham was tasked in 2019 with investigating the FBI’s probe into unproven allegations of Trump campaign collusion with Russia. (Former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report ultimately found no evidence of collusion.)

Clinton’s campaign committee, Hillary for America, has tried to withhold certain documents from Durham, citing attorney-client privilege.

As Fox News noted, the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee used Perkins Coie to fund a dossier that included salacious, since-disproven allegations about then-candidate Donald Trump that tied him to Russia. Opposition research firm Fusion GPS was responsible for commissioning the dossier.

Earlier this month, Durham’s team asked for documents related to Perkins Coie’s work with the Clinton campaign, the DNC, and Fusion GPS, “and requested the non-party entities provide ‘further justification for the assertion of their privilege,'” Fox reported.

Hillary for America thus filed declarations Thursday from 2016 Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook and campaign chair John Podesta in an attempt to justify its attorney-client privilege claims.

The campaign “engaged Marc Elias and the law firm of Perkins Coie as its general counsel,” Mook said.

“It was my expectation that the law firm would be responsible for providing legal services and legal advice to HFA,” he added. “When HFA engaged Perkins Coie as its general counsel in April 2015, Donald Trump had not yet announced his candidacy for the presidency. He announced his candidacy in June 2015.”

By April 2016, Trump had a “significant lead in the delegate count for the Republican nomination, and it seemed highly likely that he would eventually be the Republican nominee for the 2016 Presidential election,” Mook said.

“One of the topics about which Perkins Coie provided legal services and legal advice to HFA involved fact-finding and research that the campaign conducted regarding candidate Donald Trump,” the declaration read.

“Although I was not aware during the campaign of any contractors that Perkins Coie engaged to assist it in providing legal services and legal advice regarding this work, I did believe throughout the campaign that whatever work Perkins Coie performed, either through its own professionals or through any contractors it may have engaged to assist it, the work was done for the purpose of providing legal services and legal advice to HFA.”

Podesta, meanwhile, said: “HFA asserts its attorney-client privilege and the attorney-work product protection with respect to all documents and information under the control of Perkins Coie or any of its consultants, including Fusion GPS.”

“HFA is not waiving any of its privileges, and it opposes the government’s motion to compel filed on April 6, 2022,” his declaration added.