(PresidentialHill.com)- Will former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and the DNC monkey-wrench Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation into RussiaGate and the case against former Clinton attorney Michael Sussmann?
According to Josh Gerstein and Kyle Cheney from Politico, there’s a possibility it might.
Currently, the parties targeted in Durham’s investigation are fighting to keep their communications with opposition research firm Fusion GPS secret claiming they fall under attorney-client privilege.
And in a recent court filing in connection to Durham’s prosecution of Michael Sussmann, the Clinton campaign’s general counsel, Marc Elias is arguing that Fusion GPS was working to help protect the Clinton campaign and the DNC from a litigious adversary, namely Donald Trump. Therefore, any communications with the opposition research firm fall under attorney-client privilege.
Trump’s lawsuit against Clinton and the DNC is being used to bolster this claim.
In a brief submitted in the case against Sussmann, Fusion GPS attorney Joshua Levy argued that Marc Elias had reasonable concerns about Donald Trump’s litigiousness given his track record of threatening to sue his critics. In his brief, Levy pointed to Trump’s current lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and the DNC as proof.
So while the attorney-client privilege claim is a weak one in this particular case, Trump’s lawsuit provided ammunition for those making the claim.
Typically, attorney-client privileges are respected by the courts if the communications are in connection to ongoing or anticipated litigation, but not if the communications have nothing to do with potential court action.
The special counsel’s office has argued that Elias hiring Fusion GPS had nothing to do with legal advice on behalf of a client, but was opposition research. That argument was recently fortified by the Federal Elections Commission’s recent ruling fining both the Clinton campaign and the DNC for violating campaign finance law by reporting the payments to Fusion GPS as “legal and compliance consulting” when, in reality, it was opposition research.
US District Court Judge Christopher Cooper, who is overseeing the trial of Michael Sussmann is expected to hear arguments on the question of attorney-client privilege this week.