Special Counsel John Durham investigates cybersecurity contractors and experts who held positions with the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security that gave them high-level security clearances. Durham focuses on alleged violations that assisted the Clinton campaign in 2016 to sustain links between the Trump campaign and Russian agents.
The investigation is reportedly looking into a scheme to misappropriate private data that the contractors had access to because of their work for the government for the benefit of the Clinton campaign.
The reports indicate that Durham has subpoenaed several contractors for documents and testimony before the federal grand jury he has convened. Potential charges could include defrauding the U.S. government and giving false statements to federal agents.
Some plot details were described in the indictment obtained last month by Durham charging former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann with giving a false report to the FBI. The indictment describes the involvement of eight persons involved with Sussmann but did not provide their identities.
Sources have identified the leader of the contractors as Rodney L. Joffe, who has also worked as an advisor to the Biden administration on cybersecurity issues. He was the chief cybersecurity officer with Neustar Inc. until last month. Neustar was a longtime client of Sussmann as well. Neustar has since removed Joffe’s posts and presence from its website.
With the identification of Joffe, it becomes clear that the Sussmann indictment alleges that Joffe exploited his access to government and private data at multiple companies to “conduct opposition research concerning Trump.” It also indicates that Joffe invited other contractors to assist in the conspiracy to misuse access to target the Trump campaign.
The indictment further states that the group of contractors knew the information they compiled and provided to the FBI was innocuous, “sending agents down a dead end.”
Joffe is alleged to have coordinated efforts with Jake Sullivan, who was acting as a foreign policy advisor to Clinton. He is now serving as President Biden’s national security advisor. Sullivan’s wife worked as a law clerk for Attorney General Merrick Garland as a federal judge. Garland controls the funding for Durham’s investigation and determines whether Durham’s report will be made public.
Sources also indicate that Durham is investigating whether some of the information provided to the FBI by Joffe and the other contractors was fabricated or forged to create an appearance of improper conduct by Trump in communications with a bank in Russia.