The Sussmann Indictment Reads Like Overts Acts In Furtherance of a Conspiracy – Because That’s What It Is.


The Sussmann Indictment Reads Like Overts Acts In Furtherance of a Conspiracy – Because That’s What It Is.

It does not take 27 pages to allege a “false statement” charge — but it does if you are alleging a conspiracy to create false documents to influence a federal investigation.

What to make of the indictment by Special Counsel John Durham of former Clinton Campaign attorney Michael Sussmann, a one-time partner in the go-to-for-all-legal-needs Democrat Party law firm of Perkins Coie?

Typically, a “false statement” indictment will consist of a brief description of how the federal investigators came to ask the question, the answer given by the defendant which is alleged to be false, and what a truthful answer would have been.

If you want an example of what a typical such indictment might look like, it’s right there in Sussmann indictment — read paragraph 46:

That is all one needs for a single count indictment charging a defendant with a violation of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1001. That paragraph tells the defendant the date and location of the offense and the specifics of the offense conduct.

Paragraphs 1 through 44 were not necessary to charge Sussmann. That makes what Durham returned a “speaking indictment.” It discloses information in a public document that would not otherwise be known if the indictment set forth only facts needed to meet the requirements of due process.

A “false statement” charge does not require a litany of factual allegations regarding the conduct and statements of the defendant and numerous third parties over the course of weeks or months leading up to the making of the false statement. In over 30 years of practice as both a federal prosecutor and a defense attorney specializing in federal cases, I’ve never before seen anything remotely resembling the Sussmann indictment in a single count “false statement” case.

John Durham is far too serious of a career prosecutor, with a very long and established record of meticulous investigation and preparation, to have rolled out an indictment in this fashion if he was intending to wrap up the remainder of his work with a report to the Attorney General.

I’m going to save for another story a comprehensive look at what Durham has alleged in paragraphs 1 through 44. The allegations take my thinking in many different directions at the same time. There are probably a dozen or more “strings” hanging off the facts he has alleged — some legal and some more in the “court of public opinion.”

I waited four days to publish this first piece, spending much of that time going back over the entire “Alfa Bank” story since it first broke in late October 2016, less than 2 weeks before the election. Trying to understand the new information in the indictment against the backdrop of what was uncovered about the original story in 2016 and 2016 — and then cross-referencing the timeline and actors against what is now known about Crossfire Hurricane and the Mueller Special Counsel Investigation — is a task worthy of a book.

But rather than attempt to make that effort here in one Herculean task, I’m going to address issues that seem meaningful based on everything I’ve read, and roll them out one at a time as I can work through them.

In my view, some of the “hot takes” coming from folks without a working understanding of the process will not age well and I would caution you to take them with a “grain of salt.” For example, the guys at Powerlineblog initially judged the indictment as insignificant but now seem to be changing their view.

I’ve seen many questions raised on social media about why it has taken Durham so long to get to this point if this is the best he was able to come up with. The answer to this question becomes evident when you read the indictment with an eye towards the source material for some of the allegations set forth.

It is certainly true that Durham cast his net of grand jury subpoenas for email communications far and wide based on the number of individuals and entities identified — not necessarily by name — in the indictment. When a prosecutor seeks emails that are more than six months old, he only needs a grand jury subpoena with does not require a showing of “probable cause”.

The sourcing for some of the factual details set forth in the indictment explains at least one cause for why it has taken Durham so long to get to this point. Among the documents referenced in the indictment are billing records and emails of Perkins Coie. I’m confident these were not simply handed over to Durham when he sent a grand jury subpoena to the firm. I’m confident there was a fierce battle over whether Perkins Coie had to produce these records as they involve attorney-client communications and attorney work-product information, both of which would typically be insulated from disclosure to a grand jury.

But you can see from the allegations of the indictment how vital the records were to laying the foundation for the charge — the billing records and emails show Sussmann was working for the “Tech Executive-1” and the Clinton Campaign when he met with FBI General Counsel James Baker on September 19, 2021.

There are a couple angles to this issue, some of which I have covered on Twitter.

First, as part of this fight, I believe it’s highly likely that Durham suggested to the Perkins Coie law firm that the firm itself might be — or is/was — a “target” of the investigation. Sussmann and “Campaign Attorney-1” — presumably Marc Elias based on the description — were doing legal work for firm clients as part of their employment when that legal work crossed the boundary into criminal conduct as alleged with regard to Sussmann at least.

Any corporation can be subject to criminal liability for crimes committed by managers or employees performing work within the course and scope of their employment. One way a corporation can seek to avoid criminal liability is to cooperate completely in the government’s investigation into the suspected criminal conduct of the employees.

There is a DOJ policy on the question of when a business entity should itself be a target of criminal prosecution, and how it might help itself avoid being charged. Among the “Factors to be Considered” are the following:

  • the corporation’s willingness to cooperate, including as to potential wrongdoing by its agents;
  • the corporation’s timely and voluntary disclosure of wrongdoing;
  • the corporation’s remedial actions, including, but not limited to, replacing responsible management, and disciplining or terminating wrongdoers;
  • the adequacy of the prosecution of individuals responsible for the corporation’s malfeasance.

One way a business organization is tested with regard to these factors is the timing and extent of cooperation the corporation provides to the government investigators:

Thus, when the government investigates potential corporate wrongdoing, it seeks the relevant facts. For example, how and when did the alleged misconduct occur? Who promoted or approved it? Who was responsible for committing it?… If a corporation wishes to receive credit for such cooperation … then the corporation … must disclose the relevant facts of which it has knowledge.

… A corporation is an artificial construct that cannot, by definition, have personal knowledge of the facts. Some of those facts may be reflected in documentary or electronic media like emails, transaction or accounting documents, and other records. Often, the corporation gathers facts through an internal investigation…. Whichever process the corporation selects, the government’s key measure of cooperation must remain the same as it does for an individual: has the party timely disclosed the relevant facts about the putative misconduct?

Given that Marc Elias departed Perkins Coie in a very public manner on August 22, 2021, opening his own law firm with approximately 10 other Perkins Coie attorneys who left with him, and that Michael Sussmann was on leave from the firm until offering his resignation on the day of his indictment, it seems possible that Perkins Coie “passed” the test of “replacing responsible management, and disciplining or terminating wrongdoers.”

It might very well be the case that Perkins Coie — the law firm — did not engage in any protracted fight on its own behalf with the Durham investigation over the firm’s business records. But that would not have been the end of the battle.

The indictment alleges that the DNC, the Clinton Campaign, and Tech Executive-1 were all clients of the Perkins Coie firm for whom Sussman and others did legal work. To one degree or another, the Attorney-Client and Attorney Work-Product privileges would have applied to many/most of the records that Durham references in the indictment. The “privilege” belongs to the clients. Waiving privilege in order to show cooperation with Durham was not something that Perkins Coie could do on its own — the clients had the legal right to assert the privilege and attempt to keep the records out of Durham’s hands.

In no universe I can imagine would the DNC, Clinton Campaign, and/or Tech Executive-1 have waived Attorney-Client privilege and allowed Perkins Coie to turn over privileged documents and communications.

You might wonder how such a battle might play itself out in the courts without anyone knowing it was taking place. I haven’t seen this question posed, but unless you have worked inside this process the answer is not obvious.

This indictment was returned in the District of Columbia. But it has been reported that Durham had more than one grand jury convened, including one across the Potomac River in the Eastern District of Virginia. Depending on where activity making up his investigation took place, he could have grand juries in other districts as well — such as maybe the EDNY or SDNY.

A grand jury subpoena for Perkins Coie records could have originated from any district where Durham had a grand jury convened. Any fight over compliance with such a subpoena would have taken place in the district of the grand jury issuing the subpoena. Given the total silence about this aspect of the investigation until just recently, my guess is that a fight over Perkins Coie documents did not take place in the District of Columbia.

Disputes over the production of documents to a federal grand jury — and I was involved in just such a matter earlier this year — take place behind closed doors. Pleadings filed by each side are not part of the court’s public docket, and hearings are conducted in closed proceedings.

The age of COVID makes this easier as attorneys don’t even come to the courthouse for hearings. To conduct a hearing the court simply issues a notice and password for a Zoom meeting or some other videoconference. Only the attorneys and court personnel are part of the call. All references to the dispute — including the outcome and the Court’s order — are sealed.

Appeals from district court orders are handled in the same fashion when it comes to fights over grand jury records — everything is done under seal and out of public view.

On what basis then was it likely determined by a court that the attorney-client privilege did not apply and Perkins Coie had to disclose the records? That is the proverbial “$64,000 Question” that we won’t know the answer to for some time. But the most likely justification for ordering production of the records to Durham was the “crime-fraud” exception to the Attorney-Client privilege.

Simply stated, the exception applies when the communications or records at issue involve a future crime or fraud under consideration or a crime or fraud that is currently underway and continuing. The focus of the inquiry is on the client’s intent, not the attorney’s intent. The attorney-client privilege will be negated by the crime-fraud exception regardless of whether the attorney is aware of, or involved in, the client’s crime or fraud.

Noteworthy is the fact that the exception only applies, and records or communications are not protected by the privilege, if the CLIENT is engaged in planning future crimes or frauds, or is seeking legal assistance in ongoing crimes or frauds.

That means that if Durham obtained privileged records on the basis of the crime-fraud exception, whatever court sustained his subpoena would have done so because Durham demonstrated to the court’s satisfaction that the Clinton Campaign and Tech Executive-1 were themselves engaged in the criminal conduct along with Sussmann, their attorney.

And maybe the DNC too. Think about that.

The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure allow grand jury materials obtained as part of an investigation in one federal judicial district to be made available to investigators and prosecutors involved in another investigation in a different judicial district. The fact that the Perkins Coie records might have been obtained by a grand jury outside the District of Columbia does not limit the use of those records, and they could be used by a grand jury in the District of Columbia.

Buried in the indictment was a reference I first pointed out on Twitter — I have not seen any Tweet that noted it earlier than I did — what is a likely indicator of another investigation in a different judicial district.

  1. On or about February 8, 2017, SUSSMANN met with two Agency-2 employees …at a location outside the District of Columbia…

The indictment goes on to allege that at this meeting Sussmann repeated the same false statement to these two individuals that he made to the FBI in September.

If this second misrepresentation is to be charged by Durham as another “false statement”, such a charge would be in an indictment obtained in the federal district court for the location where it was made — outside the District of Columbia.

It is entirely possible — more likely probable — that fights over Durham’s grand jury subpoenas have taken place in a federal district court other than the District of Columbia.

Final note for this first article — and as a tease for the second one I have in mind — venue for a conspiracy charge can be had in any federal judicial district where any act in furtherance of the conspiracy occurred.

What that means is that it does not matter if most of the conduct involved in a conspiracy that Durham might charge hereafter took place in the District of Columbia. Any overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy, taken by any conspirator, provides a basis for venue of a criminal indictment in the federal district court where the act took place.

My supposition from all I’ve read is that “Agency-2” referenced in the Indictment is likely the CIA. CIA Headquarters is located in Langley, Virginia. That location is in the Eastern District of Virginia. Any criminal act at or near the CIA Headquarters would be “outside the District of Columbia” as noted in Paragraph 42 above.

There is no obvious purpose for this specificity or a reference to a second false statement other than to suggest another overt/criminal act by Sussmann which takes the conspiracy outside the District of Columbia and extends the timeline for the continuing existence of a conspiratorial agreement into early 2017 — at least.

Next — a primer on the law of “conspiracy” in federal criminal prosecutions.

Remember this blast from the past?

Page 12 of Internet Research Agency Indictment

“The conspiracy had as its object impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful governmental functions of the United States by dishonest means in order to enable the Defendants to interfere with U.S. political and electoral process, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”

This is from one of the indictments secured by the Mueller SCO. According to their theory, if two or more people worked together to obstruct the functions of the FBI by submitting knowingly false information in order to cause the FBI to initiate a baseless investigation in order to attract publicity about the investigation to interfere with the 2016 presidential election, that is a federal crime.

To be continued….

Evergrande Implosion

The China Evergrande Group Royal Mansion residential development under construction in Beijing, China.

How do you say “too big to fail?”

How big?

Well, we can see just how big real soon as China slides into deflation.

Here’s IICS:

China Land Sales Collapse, Deflation Cometh

I outlined China’s credit trouble here: The Quick and Dirty Summary of China’s Credit Bubble yesterday. It’s a quick overview touching some of the major points. Short summary: Evergrande may or may not be a big deal, but the housing market and credit bubble are a huge deal. If they’re gonne blow, it will show up in the currency markets.

With that in mind, this report on ZeroHedge is flashing a warning signal: Goldman Issues A Dire Warning On China’s Property Sector

So before we go further, a quick reminder of the sharp deterioration observed in the past few months which has been a direct (if reflexive) contributor to Evergrande’s downfall and which we touched on last week in “Chinese Data Dump Confirms Hard Landing Imminent” in which we noted something stunning: according to WIND, growth in land sales in value terms in the 100-city sample, a proxy for land purchases by property developers, slumped to -90.4% Y/Y during 1-12 September form -65.0% in August. In volume (floor space) terms, it also dropped sharply to -38.3% y-o-y from -21.9%.

Local governments fuel investment with land sales. If land sales stall, they cannot repay existing debt. They either cut investment or they inflate with unbacked credit. Local government debt was described, along with the housing market, as a time bomb. It goes without saying that the CCP will not allow a deflationary collapse and will instead opt for an rescue, but they’ve been intentionally squeezing the property sector because more printing always flows straight into housing, not unlike how the Fed’s efforts get funneled right into stocks. China also doesn’t have a clean balance sheet to park bad assets on. It could easily refinance the banking system in 2000, but if it did the same now, it could end up with a higher debt-to-GDP than the United States.

Even if the numbers all square, the illusion of Chinese economic invincibility will burst. In the immediate present, China is in worse shape that the United States. It doesn’t have the political or legal flexibility to handle a crisis. Everyone thinks authoritarianism benefits the system, but really it benefits the CCP. They can control how events play out to a degree, but they cannot control how foriegn and domestic investors perceive a crisis.

Finally, the cycles! China’s housing market is rapidly slowing as it did in wjen QE 2 ended in 2011, and when QE3 was tapered in 2014.

Speaking of things that could blow, there’s La Palma which blew and things a picking up:

Unpacking the Russia Lie


The Atlantic’s Franklin Foer Allegedly Identified As “Reporter-2” In The Sussmann Indictment


Authored by Jonathan Turley,

I have a column today in the Hill on the indictment of former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann by Special Counsel John Durham.

The indictment fills in a great number of gaps on one of the Russian collusion allegations pushed by the Clinton campaign: Alpha bank.

Sussman and others reportedly pushed the implausible claim that the Russian bank served as a conduit for communications between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

The indictment removes the identity of key actors like a “Tech Executive” who used his connections with an Internet company to help the Clinton campaign (and said he was promised a top cyber security position in the widely anticipated Clinton Administration).

One of those figures however may have been identified: “Reporter-2.”

 Atlantic staff writer Franklin Foer wrote an article for Slate that seems to track the account of the indictment and, as such, raises questions over his role as a conduit for the Clinton campaign’s effort to spread the false story.

The indictment discusses how Fusion GPS pushed for the publication of the story, telling Foer that it was “time to hurry” on the story:

“The Investigative Firm Employee’s email stated, ‘time to hurry’ suggesting that Reporter-2 should hurry to publish an article regarding the Russian Bank-1 allegations. In response, Reporter-2 emailed to the Investigative Firm Employee a draft article regarding the Russian Bank-1 allegations, along with the cover message: ‘Here’s the first 2500 words.’”

The indictment states Reporter-2 published the article “on or about the following day, October, 31, 2016.”

That is when Slate published a piece written by Foer headlined, “Was a Trump Server Communicating With Russia?”  The story then was pushed by the Clinton campaign.

Foer has not addressed this close coordination with Fusion, including the showing of an advanced copy of his article. He later stated the following in the Atlantic:

“Every article is an exercise in cost-benefit analysis; each act of publication entails a risk of getting it wrong, and sometimes events force journalists to assume greater risk than they would in other circumstances. Before I published the server story, I asked myself a fairly corny question: How would I sleep the next week if Donald Trump were elected president, knowing that I had sat on a potentially important piece of information? In the end, Trump was elected president, and I still slept badly.”

The cost behind this article is getting it wrong but relying too greatly on a biased source without independent research. Foer states that he was more concerned with missing a chance on the story only to have Trump elected. We have been discussing the rise of advocacy journalism and the rejection of objectivity in journalism schools.

In this case, Foer allegedly coordinated with investigators paid by the Clinton campaign to publish a story that had little or no basis.

Even the researchers quoted in the indictment objected that the theory was unsupported and could bring public ridicule. Yet, the campaign continued to push the story and Foer ran it after allegedly sending an advance copy of his article to Fusion.

The next question is who is the “Tech executive”?

“Seven Days in May”: Treasury and Sedition

Before the facts, here’s the law:

18 U.S. Code § 2381 – Treason

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 807Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(2)(J), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2148.)

18 U.S. Code § 2384 – Seditious conspiracy

If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 808; July 24, 1956, ch. 678, § 1, 70 Stat. 623Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(N), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2148.)

18 U.S. Code § 2387 – Activities affecting armed forces generally

(a)Whoever, with intent to interfere with, impair, or influence the loyalty, morale, or discipline of the military or naval forces of the United States:

(1) advises, counsels, urges, or in any manner causes or attempts to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty by any member of the military or naval forces of the United States; or

(2) distributes or attempts to distribute any written or printed matter which advises, counsels, or urges insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty by any member of the military or naval forces of the United States

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.

(b) For the purposes of this section, the term “military or naval forces of the United States” includes the Army of the United States, the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, and Coast Guard Reserve of the United States; and, when any merchant vessel is commissioned in the Navy or is in the service of the Army or the Navy, includes the master, officers, and crew of such vessel.(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 811; May 24, 1949, ch. 139, § 46, 63 Stat. 96Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147Pub. L. 109–163, div. A, title V, § 515(f)(2), Jan. 6, 2006, 119 Stat. 3236.)

Now the alleged facts per ZeroHedge:

Book Reveals Gen Milley Secretly Sabotaged Trump, Called China, Sparking Talk Of Treason


Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley – who just facilitated the transfer of billions of dollars of US military hardware to America’s enemies during the botched Afghanistan pullout – engaged in a ‘top-secret’ mission to undermine President Trump’s ability to order military strikes or launch nuclear weapons following the Jan.6 Capitol riot, according to a new book by Bob Woodword and the Washington Post‘s Robert Costa.

Milley’s treasonous effort allegedly stemmed out of fears that Trump could ‘go rogue,’ according to CNN.

“You never know what a president’s trigger point is,” said Milley – who just separated an entire family of Afghan civilians from their mortal coils in a haphazard drone strike.

Milley took extraordinary action, and called a secret meeting in his Pentagon office on January 8 to review the process for military action, including launching nuclear weapons. Speaking to senior military officials in charge of the National Military Command Center, the Pentagon’s war room, Milley instructed them not to take orders from anyone unless he was involved. -CNN

“No matter what you are told, you do the procedure. You do the process. And I’m part of that procedure,” said Milley, unconstitutionally, before going around the room and ‘looking each officer in the eye, asking them to verbally confirm they understood.’

Milley considered it an oath,” wrote the authors.

The book also claims that Trump signed a military order after he lost the 2020 election to pull the US military out of Afghanistan by January 15, 2021 – days before he left the White House. The memo, drafted by ‘two Trump loyalists,’ was reportedly nullified, “but Milley could not forget that Trump had done an end run around his top military advisers,” and “felt no absolute certainty that the military could control or trust Trump and believed it was his job as the senior military officer to think the unthinkable and take any and all necessary precautions” according to the book.

Milley’s actions against a sitting president have sparked outrage and calls for his ouster. 

Perhaps if Trump runs (and wins) in 2024, he’ll surround himself with less treasonous advisers.

California Republicans Shocked To Discover They’ve ‘Already Voted’ In Recall Election


California Republicans Shocked To Discover They’ve ‘Already Voted’ In Recall Election


Residents of San Fernando Valley, California were shocked after showing up to vote in the state’s gubernatorial recall election, only to be told by polling station workers that they had already voted.

88-year-old Estelle Bender, a Republican, said she wasn’t the only person who was told incorrectly that they had already voted.

“The man next to me was arguing the same thing,” said Bender, who was given a provisional ballot that she filled out and then “left really angry.”

I’d still like to know how I voted,” Bender told KTLA.

In response to the reports, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder said “The voters who experienced this issue were offered and provided a provisional ballot – the failsafe option to ensure no one is turned away from voting. Provisional ballots are regular ballots and once the eligibility of the voter is verified, they are processed and counted.” 

This is just the latest in a string of odd happening surrounding the California recall election between Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and top Republican contender, Larry Elder. As Twitter user @libsoftiktok notes:

Let’s not forget about the California ballots with holes in the envelope – revealing one’s vote from the outside.

And remember this guy? 

Experts Bought and Paid by the PRC

Peter Daszak fist-bumps fellow Covid-19 investigators in Wuhan, China


“Extreme Cover-Up” – Scientists Who Penned Lancet Letter To Bat Down Lab Theory Have Links To China


An investigation by The Daily Telegraph reveals that all but one scientist who wrote a letter in The Lancet medical journal dismissing even the slightest possibility COVID-19 originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, have ties to Chinese researchers. This stunning revelation suggests that 26 of the 27 scientists listed in the letter might of had a conflict of interest. Peter Daszak fist-bumps fellow Covid-19 origins investigator in Wuhan, China

The letter, published in March of last year, sought to quash any debate among the scientific community or the media over the origins of the virus – until international intelligence findings in 2021 brought the matter back to the spotlight. 

The man who orchestrated the article is Dr. Peter Daszak, CEO of EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit which was armed with millions in NIH funding to work with Wuhan scientists to experiment with coronaviruses and ‘gain of function‘ research. Last week, a FOIA email release by The Intercept revealed that EcoHealth Alliance was absolutely engaged in gain-of-function research to make chimeric SARS-based coronaviruses, which they confirmed could infect human cells.

Peter Daszak (left), Anthony Fauci

Daszak – a noted friend and colleague of Fauci – was also tapped to head up The Lancet’s UN backed commission to investigate the origins of the coronavirus that caused a global pandemic, according to Summit News.

The British scientist was picked despite the fact that he was intimately associated with the Wuhan lab, had repeatedly dismissed the lab leak hypothesis a ‘dangerous conspiracy theory’, and created a pressure campaign via a letter published by The Lancet to force the scientific community into avoiding looking into the lab as a potential source of the outbreak.

Daszak was also the lead investigator for the World Health Organisation investigation that determined within 3 hours of visiting the Wuhan lab in February 2021 that there was no leak purely based on the word of researchers there.

Daszak was later employed as an ‘expert fact checker’ by Facebook when it was monitoring and removing ‘misinformation’ about the origins of COVID on its platform, much of which was credible scientific research. Facebook has since reversed the policy of banning any posts containing information suggesting COVID-19 was “man-made”.

Besides Daszak, 25 other scientists listed in the letter have connections with either the lab or Chinese researchers. Below, the Daily Mail takes The Telegraph’s investigation and dives deeper into those who wrote the letter. A few examples (truncated, emphasis ours):

Dr Jeremy Farrar

Tropical medicine expert and SAGE adviser & The Wellcome Trust, London

The newspaper also found that three of the signatories were from Britain’s Wellcome Trust, which has also previously funded research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Signatory Sir Jeremy Farrar, a member of the UK’s Sage and the director of the Trust, has in the past published work with George Gao, the head of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, whom he has described as ‘an old friend’.

Dr Gao, who studied at Oxford University, is a former research assistant at the Wellcome Trust. Mr Daszak has claimed Dr Gao supported his nomination to the National Academy of Sciences, according to The Telegraph.

The Chinese scientist also has connections to Shi Zhengli, the scientist who has become known as ‘batwoman‘ on account of her research into bat coronaviruses in Wuhan. Her team discovered a virus in 2013 which is the closest ever previously found to Sars-Cov-2 – the virus that causes Covid-19.

Two other signatories – Dr Josie Golding and Professor Mike Turner – are known to have current or past connections with the Wellcome Trust. Professor Linda Saif

Microbiology expert, The Ohio State University

Microbiology expert Professor Linda Saif, another signatory, spoke at a workshop in Wuhan in May 2017 along with Dr Shi and Dr Gao. The workshop was partly organised by the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The level of security in Chinese labs was among the topics discussed at the workshop, while Professor Saif’s talk covered animal coronaviruses. 

The Global Virome Project

Two more signatories on The Lancet letter are in the leadership team of the Global Virome Project – an organisations whose goal is to detect and identify 99 percent or more of potential zoonotic viral threats.

Mr Daszak is the treasurer of the Global Virome Project, while Dr Gao helped launch it, with EcoHealth Alliance as one of its partners.

The Global Virome Project took over from the Predict project, which discovered more than 1,000 unique viruses in animals and humans.

But according to The Telegraph, the Predict project was also found to have part-funded contentious work by Wuhan researchers on bat coronaviruses, which were altered to see if they could infect humans.

The funds for the research were provided by the EcoHealth Alliance.

Professor John Mackenzie

Tropical infectious diseases expert, Curtin University, Perth, Australia

Tropical infectious disease expert Professor John Mackenzie who works out of Curtin University in Perth, Australia, was another of the signatories.

The investigation has found that he did not disclose that he was still listed as a committee member of the the Scientific Advisory Committee of Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Wuhan institute. 

Professor Kanta Subbarao

Virology expert, The University of Melbourne, Australia

Professor Kanta Subbarao, another signatory from the University of Melbourne, spoke at a conference on emerging diseases in Wuhan in 2016 which was part-organised by the the Wuhan Institute of Virology. 

Prof. Subbarao was still chief of the US-based National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAD) Emerging Respiratory Viruses Section.

Five more of the letter’s signatories have all been found by the investigation to have published articles with Professor Ralph Baric. 

Professor Prof Ralph Baric 

While Prof Baric was omitted from the list of signatories, he was collaborating with Shi Zhengli and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, researching genetically manipulated coronaviruses to see if they could be made to infect humans. 

Earlier this year, Republicans in the US argued that the virus was possibly genetically modified, and cite an interview with Baric in which he said it was possible to engineer a virus, ‘without leaving a trace.’ 

Baric was initially asked to add his name to the letter by Mr Daszak, with emails between the pair recently coming to light ahead of The Lancet letter’s publication, showing that the pair decided to mask their association with the Wuhan institute to avoid looking ‘self-serving’.

Mr Daszak told Prof Baric that he would publish the letter in such a way that it doesn’t ‘link it back to our collaboration so we maximise an independent voice’.

Professor Peter Palese

Microbiology expert, Icahn School of Medicine, New York

A number of those who signed the letter have since changed their stance with some calling for a full inquiry into the origins of Covid-19.

Speaking to the MailOnline in June, Professor Peter Palese – a microbiology expert from Icahn School of Medicine, New York, said: ‘I believe a thorough investigation about the origin of the Covid-19 virus is needed. 

‘A lot of disturbing information has surfaced since the Lancet letter I signed, so I want to see answers covering all questions.’

Asked how he was originally approached to sign the letter and what new information had come to light specifically, Professor Palese declined to comment.

Angus Dalgleish, professor of oncology at St Georges, University of London, and Norwegian scientist Birger Sorensen, who worked hard to publish work showing a strong link between the lab and virus outbreak, said this new revelation proves there was an “extreme cover-up.” 

Dalgleish and Sorensen said The Telegraph’s investigation “is the first to show beyond reasonable doubt that our entire area of virus research has been contaminated politically. We bear the scars to show it.”

Molecular biologist Prof Richard Ebright, of Rutgers University, another scientist who attempted to uncover the truth behind the origins of the pandemic, said: 

“For the June addendum, the Lancet invited the 27 authors of the letter to re-evaluate their competing interests.

“Incredibly, only Daszak appears to have done so. Conflicts of interest were not reported for any of the other 26 signers of the letter – not even those with obviously material undisclosed conflicts such as EcoHealth employees and Predict contractors.

“The standard remedy for fraudulent statements in scientific publications is retraction. It is unclear why retraction was not pursued.”

To sum up, the letter identified anyone as a ‘conspiracy theorist’ for even mentioning the possibility the virus originated from a lab that was penned by scientists who had some sort of conflict of interest with Chinese researchers and or the lab. Could this be evidence of an extensive cover-up by the scientific community of an accidental release of the virus from a lab?

Even America’s top virologist, Anthony Fauci, has had to admit the virus might have come from a lab. 

Two Years Ago Today – Wuhan Erases 22,000 Specimens


ore than three months before Covid-19 officially ‘broke out’ in Wuhan, China, the Wuhan Institute of Virology mysteriously took its bat and rodent pathogen database offline – suddenly making over 22,000 specimens unavailable.

Shi ‘Bat Lady’ Zhengli, Wuhan Institute of Virology

This is the same China that ordered virus samples destroyed after a ‘rogue lab’ published the genome for Covid-19 (48 hours after the WIV database was further altered), and deleted more than 300 studies encompassing “hundreds of pages of information”

We’re reminded of this by biologist and writer Matt Ridley, who said in a Sunday Twitter thread:

he fact sheet describing the database was not taken down but it was edited, on or before 30 December, to change the key words, and alter some terms from “wildlife” to “bat and rodent”. Why?The database remains inaccessible to the world to this day. We know it contains unpublished samples and sequences of bat viruses but we have never been told what they are. Shockingly,@peterdaszak has excused this lack of transparency, while other virologists have ignored it…There has been no call from the Royal Society, the US National Academy of Sciences or western governments for this database to be shared with the world, even though it could be vital to understanding how this pandemic started or how the next one may start. Why not?

 And as Paul Graham notes, “Perhaps it would be a useful exercise to try to pinpoint, if Covid-19 escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, exactly which day it did so. Perhaps “reconstructing the crime” would help ascertain whether it happened.”

We aren’t going to hold our breath for any answers from the CCP.

Going even deeper down the rabbit hole… (click tweet to jump in)

Yet Another Update on Murderous Lab Leaks Involving Gain of Function Research Recklessly Funded by NIAID

Former FDA head and current Pfizer board member Scott Gottlieb reacted to further revelations this week regarding the funding of dangerous gain of function research by Anthony Fauci, noting that a previously unknown fact has emerged that lab tampering was undertaken on MERS-like coronaviruses, which are even deadlier than their SARS-like relatives.

Gottlieb noted that documents obtained under the FOIA also show that the viruses were made more deadly to humans in several labs around Wuhan, including a level three biocontainment facility, which has lesser security that the level four labs previously mentioned in relation to the outbreak.

“Whether or not this was gain-of-function is a political and legal discussion,” Gottlieb said in an interview with CNBC.

He added, “The bottom line is they were doing research on viruses in that institute that was making those viruses potentially more dangerous to humans. And handling the viruses in ways that could potentiate their release, particularly by infecting transgenic animals that have fully-humanized immune systems.”

“They were doing things in that lab that could have led to circumstances where a virus that was purposefully evolved in ways that it could be more dangerous to humans could have escaped,” Gottlieb further emphasised.

He continued, “What’s revealed by these documents are two interesting details I previously didn’t know. First, there was experimentation being done on MERS-like coronaviruses, not just SARS-like coronaviruses. Second, they affirmed what we suspected about coronavirus research being done at other institutes around Wuhan… at a level three biocontainment facility. 


Gottlieb previously noted that “These kinds of lab leaks happen all the time,” further warning that “in China, the last six known outbreaks of SARS-1 have been out of labs, including the last known outbreak, which was a pretty extensive outbreak that China initially wouldn’t disclose that it came out of lab.”

“It was only disclosed finally by some journalists who were able to trace that outbreak back to a laboratory,” Gottlieb explained back in May.


Gottlieb also recently revealed that Fauci briefed world health leaders in the spring of 2020 that a lab leak was a possible cause of the COVID outbreak.

Appearing on CBS News, Gottlieb admitted that Fauci told government health advisors that the virus “looked unusual,” and that scientists he was working with “had suspicions” that it was manipulated.

For almost 18 months now, the former FDA head has been calling for a robust investigation into China’s cover up of the outbreak:

It also recently emerged that there was an outbreak of a DIFFERENT virus from another Chinese bio-facility at around the same time as the COVID outbreak.

Reports also indicate that China is planning on opening scores of bio-facilities over the next five years.

The Financial Times reports that “some Chinese officials have warned about poor security at existing facilities. In 2019 Yuan Zhiming, the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s BSL-4 lab, wrote a review of the safety deficiencies in China’s laboratories. ‘Several high-level BSLs have insufficient operational funds for routine yet vital processes,’ Yuan wrote, adding that maintenance costs were ‘generally neglected.’”

The report adds that Yuan warned “Due to the limited resources, some BSL-3 laboratories run on extremely minimal operational costs or in some cases none at all.”

As both Senator Rand Paul and former CIA director and secretary of state Mike Pompeo also warned recently, the Wuhan Institute of Virology is still up and running, and there is evidence pointing to its involvement with the Chinese military in bioweapons research.

The accumulating scientific evidence that points to a potential coronavirus lab leak, as well as China’s record on bio-security, and its constant stonewalling, warrants an adequate independent investigation, which hasn’t happened.

He Repeatedly Lied … But You Knew That All Along

FOIA Release: Fauci Funded Construction Of ‘Chimeric Coronaviruses’ In Wuhan


When Dr. Anthony Fauci confidently screamed at Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) in July – calling him a liar for accusing him of funding so-called “Gain-of-Function” (GoF) research in Wuhan, China to make coronaviruses more transmissible to humans, the argument ultimately faded due to Fauci’s unsupported claim that the research didn’t technically fit the definition of GoF.

Now, thanks to materials (here and here) released through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by The Intercept against the National Institutes of Health (which were unredacted enough to toss Fauci under the bus), we now know that Fauci-funded EcoHealth Alliance, a New York-based nonprofit headed by Peter Daszak, was absolutely engaged in gain-of-function research to make chimeric SARS-based coronaviruses, which they confirmed could infect human cells.

Peter Daszak (left), Anthony Fauci

While evidence of this research has been pointed to in published studies, the FOIA release provides a key piece to the puzzle which sheds new light on what was going on.

This is a roadmap to the high-risk research that could have led to the current pandemic,” said Gary Ruskin, executive director of U.S. Right To Know, a group that has been investigating the origins of Covid-19 (via The Intercept).

Wuhan Institute of Virology Shi ‘Bat Lady’ Zhengli toasts with Fauci-funded EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak (emerging viruses group photo)

And as Rutgers University Board of Governors Chemistry Professor Richard H. Ebright notes, “The documents make it clear that assertions by the NIH Director, Francis Collins, and the NIAID Director, Anthony Fauci, that the NIH did not support gain-of-function research or potential pandemic pathogen enhancement at WIV are untruthful.

In short, Fauci lied to Congress when he denied funding Gain-of-Function (GoF) research.

Ebright summarized The Intercept‘s reporting in a Monday night Twitter thread:

Continued (emphasis ours):

“The trove of documents includes two previously unpublished grant proposals that were funded by the NIAID, as well as project updates relating to the EcoHealth Alliance’s research, which has been scrutinized amid increased interest in the origins of the pandemic.”

The materials show that the 2014 and 2019 NIH grants to EcoHealth with subcontracts to WIV funded gain-of-function research as defined in federal policies in effect in 2014-2017 and potential pandemic pathogen enhancement as defined in federal policies in effect in 2017-present.

(This had been evident previously from published research papers that credited the 2014 grant and from the publicly available summary of the 2019 grant. But this now can be stated definitively from progress reports of the 2014 grant and the full proposal of the 2017 grant.)

The materials confirm the grants supported the construction–in Wuhan–of novel chimeric SARS-related coronaviruses that combined a spike gene from one coronavirus with genetic information from another coronavirus, and confirmed the resulting viruses could infect human cells.

(Recombinant DNA includes molecules constructed outside of living cells by joining natural or synthetic DNA segments to DNA molecules that can replicate in a living cell, or molecules that result from their replication. –Science Direct)

The materials reveal that the resulting novel, laboratory-generated SARS-related coronaviruses also could infect mice engineered to display human receptors on cells (“humanized mice”).

The materials further reveal for the first time that one of the resulting novel, laboratory-generated SARS-related coronaviruses–one not been previously disclosed publicly–was more pathogenic to humanized mice than the starting virus from which it was constructed…

…and thus not only was reasonably anticipated to exhibit enhanced pathogenicity, but, indeed, was *demonstrated* to exhibit enhanced pathogenicity.

The materials further reveal that the the grants also supported the construction–in Wuhan–of novel chimeric MERS-related coronaviruses that combined spike genes from one MERS-related coronavirus with genetic information from another MERS-related coronavirus.

The documents make it clear that assertions by the NIH Director, Francis Collins, and the NIAID Director, Anthony Fauci, that the NIH did not support gain-of-function research or potential pandemic pathogen enhancement at WIV are untruthful.

*  *  *

When asked in the replies where to find specific evidence on GoF research, user @SnupSnus replied:

Alina Chan, a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute, said the documents show that the EcoHealth Alliance has reason to take the lab leak theory seriously. “In this proposal, they actually point out that they know how risky this work is. They keep talking about people potentially getting bitten — and they kept records of everyone who got bitten,” Chan said. “Does EcoHealth have those records? And if not, how can they possibly rule out a research-related accident?” -The Intercept

In response to inquiries from The Intercept, EcoHealth communications manager Robert Kessler replied: “We applied for grants to conduct research. The relevant agencies deemed that to be important research, and thus funded it. So I don’t know that there’s a whole lot to say.”

Stay tuned, things should get really interesting for Fauci and Daszak in the near future.

To review the history of EcoHealth, Fauci and Gain-of-Function research which we noted in March

In 2014, Peter Daszak, president of New York-based nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance, received a grant from Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) to work with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) and others to research how bat coronaviruses can ‘evolve and jump into the human population.’

Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance

The grant’s initial funding of $666,442 began in June 2014 with an end date of May 2019, and had paid annually to the tune of $3.7 million under the “Understanding The Risk Of Bat Coronavirus Emergence” project. Notably, the Obama administration cut funding for “gain-of-function” research in October, 2014, four months after Daszak’s contract began, while the Wuhan Institute of Virology “had openly participated in gain-of-function research in partnership with U.S. universities and institutions” for years under the leadership of Dr. Shi ‘Batwoman’ Zhengli, according to the Washington Post‘s Josh Rogin.

One of the grants, titled “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence,” outlines an ambitious effort led by EcoHealth Alliance president Peter Daszak to screen thousands of bat samples for novel coronaviruses. The research also involved screening people who work with live animals. The documents contain several critical details about the research in Wuhan, including the fact that key experimental work with humanized mice was conducted at a biosafety level 3 lab at Wuhan University Center for Animal Experiment — and not at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, as was previously assumed. The documents raise additional questions about the theory that the pandemic may have begun in a lab accident, an idea that Daszak has called “heinous.”

The grant was initially awarded for a five-year period — from 2014 to 2019. Funding was renewed in 2019 but suspended by the Trump administration in April 2020. -The Intercept

After Rogin exposed diplomatic cables last April expressing grave concerns over safety at WIV, he says: “many of the scientists who spoke out to defend the lab were Shi’s research partners and funders, like the head of the global public health nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance, Peter Daszak; their research was tied to hers, and if the Wuhan lab were implicated in the pandemic, they would have to answer a lot of tough questions.”

In short, Daszak – who has insisted the ‘lab escape’ theory is impossible, and that random natural origin via intermediary animal species is the only answer – has a massive conflict of interest.