National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan revealed by Durham probe to have promoted Alfa Bank story

Following Special Counsel John Durham's indictment of Clinton-connected attorney Michael Sussmann, national security advisor Jake Sullivan was named in connection with Sussman's indictment.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Following Special Counsel John Durham's indictment of Clinton-connected attorney Michael Sussmann, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan was named in connection with Sussman's indictment.

According to the Washington Examiner, the Durham indictment of Sussman states that "on or about September 15, 2016, Campaign Lawyer-1 exchanged emails with the Clinton Campaign's campaign manager, communications director, and foreign policy advisor concerning the Russian Bank-1 allegations that SUSSMANN had recently shared with Reporter-1."

Durham wrote that "Campaign Lawyer-1 billed his time for this correspondence" to the Clinton campaign, with the billing entry of "email correspondence with [name of foreign policy advisor], [name of campaign manager], [name of communications director] re: [Russian Bank-1] Article."

Sullivan was Clinton's foreign policy advisor, according to the Washington Examiner. Her campaign manager was Robby Mook, and communications director was Jennifer Palmieri. Marc Elias was "Campaign Lawyer-1."

Sullivan has reportedly not been accused of any wrongdoing by Durham.

Back on Halloween of 2016, around a week before the presidential election, Clinton tweeted: "Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank." She shared a lengthy statement from Sullivan at that time.

"This could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow," Sullivan claimed. "Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank. This secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump's ties to Russia. ... This line of communication may help explain Trump's bizarre adoration of Vladimir Putin."

Sullivan added: "We can only assume that federal authorities will now explore this direct connection between Trump and Russia."

"It was reported by Slate at the end of October 2016 that researchers found 'a sustained relationship between a server registered to the Trump Organization and two servers registered to an entity called Alfa Bank.'" The New York Times reported, 'The FBI ultimately concluded that there could be an innocuous explanation, like a marketing email or spam, for the computer contacts,'" wrote the Washington Examiner.

In 2020, a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report failed to find "covert communications between Alfa Bank and Trump Organization personnel."

Despite DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz said in his December 2019 report that the FBI "concluded by early February 2017 that there were no such links," Sullivan had continued to promote the Alfa Bank story in numerous appearances following that February.

"I wasn't surprised because what we learned during the campaign was that very serious computer science experts, people who work closely with the United States government, had uncovered this secret hotline between the Alfa Bank — the Russian bank — and the Trump Organization," Sullivan said in an interview with CNN.

"Now, of course, we didn't know for sure if, in fact, that were the case, but we knew it should be investigated. And we knew that, given how serious these computer scientists were, they weren't just making up crackpot theories."

In March of 2017, Palmieri wrote for the Washington Post that she and Sullivan, while attending the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, "took to our golf carts one afternoon to make the rounds of the television networks' tents in the parking lot … to get the press to focus on something even we found difficult to process: the prospect that Russia had not only hacked and stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee, but that it had done so to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton." Palmieri claimed she and Sullivan "wanted to raise the alarm."

When asked about Alfa Bank during a House Intelligence Committee in December 2017 testimony, he said: "I knew that it was a series of just sort of computer data forensic experts who had found this and then have analyzed it, the traffic between the two sides, and that had gone and sat down with the author of the Slate story."


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