How Durham Bombshell Made a ‘Birther’ Out of Me

Upon reading special counsel John Durham’s 27-page indictment of attorney Michael Sussman, I found myself asking, “Is there anything Perkins Coie lawyers would not do to keep their Democrat clients in power?” Thanks to Durham, we know they launched a cyberwar against candidate Donald Trump that makes their work on the Steele dossier seem half-hearted. What we need to know is whether their work in producing Barack Obama’s birth certificate was any more legit than these other misadventures.  

As to Sussman, he stands accused of lying to the FBI, “to wit, on or about September 19, 2016, the defendant stated to the General Counsel of the FBI that he was not acting on behalf of any client in conveying particular allegations concerning a Presidential candidate, when in truth, and in fact, and as the defendant well knew, he was acting on behalf of specific clients, namely, Tech Executive-I and the Clinton Campaign.”

Durham could have summed up the charge in a page. Instead, he spent 27 pages outlining the skullduggery behind the deep state war on Donald Trump. According to Durham, Sussman worked with at least three high-tech firms, two university researchers, and several media outlets on a cyber smear campaign against candidate Trump that dwarfed the Steele dossier both in scope and in sophistication.

The Steele dossier was commissioned by Perkins Coie attorney Marc Elias, managed by Fusion GPS, and executed by international man of mystery, Christopher Steele. Elias makes a cameo appearance in the Durham report as “campaign lawyer 1” as does Fusion GPS, here labeled “U.S. Investigative Firm.”

The real star of the indictment, however, is not Sussman but the still-unidentified “Tech Executive-1.” Sussman was billing time, ample time, both to the tech exec and to the Clinton campaign. According to the indictment, the exec used “his access at multiple internet companies to conduct opposition research and create a ‘narrative regarding Trump.’”

The “narrative” in question is that Trump’s people were using the Russian Alfa Bank as a backchannel to the Kremlin. What becomes shockingly clear in the Durham document is that none of the key players cared a whit whether the narrative was true. In an email to Sussman, the tech exec called the idea of “a secret communications channel” between Trump and the Alfa Bank “a red herring,"

Red herring or not, the conspirators persisted. Their goal was to create a story “plausible” enough to seduce a much too credulous FBI and a lapdog media. As a former Justice Department attorney, Sussman knew what strings to pull. He sought out then FBI general counsel James Baker and shared his bogus intel, all the time denying he was working as a political operative. Choosing to believe Sussman, the FBI launched an investigation into the Trump-Alfa allegation, the news of which was promptly leaked to the media.

Durham has Sussman dead to rights. Only a D.C. jury can save him at this point. The tech exec may be just as culpable. If the exec is who I think he is, his involvement would bring the murdered DNC staffer, Seth Rich, back into the mix, but that is a story for another day. The story for today, the one alluded to in the headline, involves a third Perkins Coie attorney, Bob Bauer, and a fourth, Judith Corley.

In 2008, Bauer worked with the Barack Obama campaign and the DNC not so much to “create a narrative” regarding Obama as to sustain the narrative Obama had already created. Beginning with his keynote speech at the 2004 Democrat Convention, Obama repeatedly told the story of his parents’ “improbable love.” Obama biographer David Remnick called the use of this multicultural love story Obama’s “signature appeal.” To help preserve the integrity of that appeal, Bauer fended off requests to see Obama’s long-form birth certificate. The tenacity of his and Obama’s resistance to sharing that document created the impression they had something to hide. Democrat Philip Berg certainly thought so. A former Pennsylvania deputy attorney general and a lifetime member of the NAACP, Berg initiated the first serious suit to see the certificate in August 2008.

In November 2009, the United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, ruled that Berg lacked standing to bring the suit. “I was deprived of my due process rights to be heard,” Berg would later write. “Judge Surrick made some outlandish comments claiming Obama had been properly vetted, and that was completely untrue.” Berg’s claim here is accurate. The media’s failure to investigate Obama’s background is a scandal in its own right.

In a March 2019 article in the Atlantic, Bauer tried to explain why he and Obama resisted Berg and other litigants. “By acquiring and releasing [the long-form birth certificate],” wrote Bauer, “the White House might have been taken to be conceding that what it had previously put out was not adequate or reliable.” Bauer was referring here to a digitally scanned image of a short-form birth certificate the Obama campaign released in June 2008. Berg obviously thought it less than adequate. Two months after the image was posted, he put his money and reputation on the line to see the real thing.

One thing Bauer did prove in the Atlantic article was his willingness to lie to protect his candidates. In attempting to make the case that President Trump was a “committed racist” Bauer presented evidence that would have gotten him laughed out of any court, if not charged with perjury.

Exhibit 1 in his case against Trump involved Obama’s origins. Said Bauer, “Trump repeatedly hawked the lies that Obama was born in Kenya.” This was false. Trump did question the mystery surrounding Obama’s origins, but despite their digging, the media could find no instance in which Trump claimed Obama was born in Kenya. As reported in 2012, it was the young Obama who -- falsely, I believe -- claimed Kenyan birth when first positioning himself in the literary marketplace.

As Exhibit 2 in his presentation, Bauer claimed Trump “had gone out of his way to defend the white supremacists rampaging in Charlottesville.” Trump did no such thing. As reported by CNN, what Trump actually said about white supremacists was this: “Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.” In fact, CNN headlined the article, “Trump calls KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists ‘repugnant’.” It was hard to miss.

A month after Bauer’s article, Joe Biden launched his campaign around the very same lie. Said Biden, “When [Trump] said after Charlottesville that there were, quote, ‘very fine people on both sides,’ he gave license and safe harbor for hate to white supremacists, Neo-Nazis and the KKK.” This parallel spin was not a coincidence. Bauer’s wife Anita Dunn was running Biden’s campaign, and Bauer was actively advising.

Having established that Bauer is capable of lying and that his law firm is capable of much worse, I think it fair to question everything Bauer and Obama said or did in regard to the birth certificate. None of it rings true. In April 2011, under pressure from Trump and a reluctant media, Obama and Bauer elected to produce a document. “Finally I decided I’d had enough,” Obama wrote in his 2020 memoir, A Promised Land. He told Bauer, then-White House counsel, “to go ahead and obtain the long-form birth certificate from its home in a bound volume, somewhere deep in the bowels of the Hawaii Vital Records office.”

In the Atlantic, Bauer wrote, “I asked the president’s personal attorney, Judith Corley, to travel to Hawaii to obtain a copy of the long-form and return with it by Monday.” In that Bauer makes no mention of when Corley left for Hawaii, the “Monday” reference just hangs in space like some vestigial talking point.

According to official White House documents, Corley wrote a letter to Hawaii’s Director of Health, Loretta Fuddy, dated Friday, April 22, 2011. Using Perkins Coie stationery, Corley requested two copies of Obama’s original certificate of live birth and concluded the letter saying, “I will be coming to your offices to pick up the copies of the certificates.” Obama sent an accompanying letter to verify the request. It too was dated April 22. In a letter dated Monday, April 25, Fuddy granted Obama’s and Corley’s request, saying, “Enclosed please find two certified copies of your original Certificate of Live Birth.” Bauer claimed Corley returned to D.C. with these copies on that same Monday. Even before reading the Sussman indictment, I was suspicious of this timeline. How could anyone not be? Now, I would bet the Perkins Coie birth certificate is as fraudulent as its Steele dossier or its Trump-Alfa Bank connection. For Bauer, as he showed in his attack on Trump. “Kenya” was always a red herring. To preserve Obama’s “signature appeal,” I believe he and Obama needed to conceal not the where of Obama’s birth, but the when.

The details of this theory I explore in my new book, Barack Obama’s Promised Land: Deplorables Need Not Apply, Knowing what I know now about Perkins Coie’s culture of corruption, I would raise my level of confidence in the theory from very possible to highly probable. Too bad Loretta Fuddy is no longer around for John Durham to depose.

Jack Cashill’s latest book, Barack Obama’s Promised Land: Deplorables Need Not Apply, is now widely available. See for more information.

Image: Post Hill Press

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