Special Counsel Durham found the e-mails Fusion GPS tried to hide
Back in May, we reported on the fight brewing in a DC federal court, where Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson were trying to keep secret their internal correspondence and records relating to their role in pushing the Alfa Bank/Trump hoax. New court filings indicate Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson improperly failed to disclose some of their most damning e-mails.
For background, the fight arises out of a lawsuit – Fridman, et al. (Alfa Bank) v. Bean LLC a/k/a Fusion GPS, and Glenn Simpson, where the owners of Alfa Bank have sued Fusion GPS and Simpson for falsely accusing “the Plaintiffs—and Alfa (“Alfa”), a consortium in which the Plaintiffs are investors—of criminal conduct and alleged cooperation with the ‘Kremlin’ to influence the 2016 presidential election.”
The case was filed in October 2017. Litigation has been ongoing for over four years – with Alfa Bank still fighting to obtain written discovery from Fusion GPS that is material to its case. Our previous report had to do with that very discovery dispute. Back in May, Alfa Bank “filed a motion to compel, asking the Court to require Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson to produce nearly 500 critically important documents improperly withheld as privileged.” (More background here.)
These documents included e-mail correspondence within Fusion GPS regarding the “Alfa Playbook” and showed the early development of the Fusion GPS/Simpson work on Trump/Russia. One would assume this entails the early or emerging thought process of the “intelligence” group as they sought to falsely accuse the Trump campaign of colluding with Russia.
In a later post from July 2021, we observed that records indicated Fusion GPS had been in contact with Michael Sussmann of Perkins Coie regarding Alfa Bank. More communications Fusion GPS is trying to keep secret.
What nobody realized at the time, however, was the importance of these communications. Michael Sussmann – the DNC/Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer – would later face false statement charges and be basically accused of being part of a conspiracy to defraud the federal government with respect to the Trump/Alfa Bank allegations.
The Latest Developments
Today, the attorneys for Alfa Bank filed this their “Supplement to Plaintiffs’ Second Motion to Compel Defendants to Produce Documents Improperly Withheld as Privileged.” The motion was filed to inform the court that Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson (and/or their attorneys) “possess numerous documents responsive to Plaintiffs’ RFPs [requests for production] that [Fusion/Simpson] neither produced nor included in their privilege log.”
[Brief interlude: generally, the parties request and exchange documents in a federal civil case like this. A party can avoid producing documents where they claim a privilege – they just need to typically submit a “privilege log” to the other side. This doesn’t mean the privilege will ultimately prevail.]
What does the latest filing by Alfa Bank reveal?
Fusion GPS/Glenn Simpson (or their attorneys) failed to submit in the privilege log certain communications ultimately uncovered by Special Counsel John Durham. I’ll let the Alfa Bank motion explain:
In other words, Fusion GPS/Simpson deliberately withheld the disclosure of these e-mails in their privilege log. The very e-mails that very likely point to a conspiracy to push the Alfa Bank/Trump hoax by Perkins Coie, Glenn Simpson, and Rodney Joffe (“Tech Executive-1” listed in the Sussmann complaint), et al.
Once Alfa Bank discovered their misconduct, Fusion GPS/Simpson were quick to list these e-mails in their latest privilege log. An example:
This is a serious non-disclosure by Fusion and Simpson (or their attorneys). The consequences could include sanctions (such as reimbursing Alfa Bank for having to file various motions to compel). Or the court could determine this to be an abuse of the discovery process and outright force Fusion GPS/Simpson to produce all e-mails they are currently withholding relating to Alfa Bank and Perkins Coie.
From the outset of this dispute, we believed Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson would be forced to produce to Alfa Bank nearly all e-mails it possesses relating to the Alfa Bank hoax. These latest developments reinforce that belief - and the belief that they’re fighting to keep secret e-mails that are extremely important to understand their role in deceiving the public in the Trump/Russia hoax.