Statements Hillary Clinton made just one week before the 2016 presidential election resurfaced over the weekend after a damning new report from special counsel John Durham.
After a news report alleged in October 2016 that a server in Trump Tower was communicating with the Kremlin-linked Alfa Bank, the Clinton campaign seized on the moment and claimed it was proof that then-candidate Donald Trump was colluding with Russia.
"This could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow," said Jake Sullivan, the current national security adviser, who at the time worked as Clinton's senior policy adviser, in a statement after the story broke.
"This secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump's ties to Russia. It certainly seems the Trump Organization felt it had something to hide, given that it apparently took steps to conceal the link when it was discovered by journalists," Sullivan added. "This line of communication may help explain Trump's bizarre adoration of Vladimir Putin and endorsement of so many pro-Kremlin positions throughout this campaign."
In a second social media blast, Clinton's campaign claimed Trump "has a secret server" that was "set up to communicate privately with a Putin-tied Russian bank," the server was shut down when discovered, but a new one was later created under a new name with the same purpose as the first one.
The "smoking gun" story broke on Oct. 31, 2016. That is important because it came three days after then-FBI Director James Comey informed Congress the FBI was investigating new information related to the Clinton email scandal. Thus, Clinton's campaign seized on the story to distract from its own problems.
The allegations, of course, were completely false.
What is this important now?
According to an explosive new filing by Durham, who is investigating the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, lawyers connected to the Clinton campaign reportedly paid a technology company to penetrate servers in Trump Tower to fabricate a "narrative" linking Trump's campaign to Russia.
The filing was first reported by Fox News.
In a motion filed on Feb. 11, Durham revealed that Michael Sussmann — a lawyer who advised the Clinton campaign who has been charged with lying to the FBI — brought allegations to the FBI about a connection between Trump and Alfa Bank.
Sussmann, according to Durham, "assembled and conveyed the allegations to the FBI on behalf of at least two specific clients, including a technology executive (Tech Executive 1) at a U.S.-based internet company (Internet Company 1) and the Clinton campaign."
Durham alleged that Sussmann worked with the tech executive, a law firm retained on behalf of the Clinton campaign, and other cyber researchers in July 2016 to prepare the information that Sussmann eventually turned over to the FBI.
"In connection with these efforts, Tech Executive-1 exploited his access to non-public and/or proprietary Internet data," Durham's filing reportedly states. "Tech Executive-1 also enlisted the assistance of researchers at a U.S.-based university who were receiving and analyzing large amounts of Internet data in connection with a pending federal government cybersecurity research contract."
"Tech Executive-1 tasked these researchers to mine Internet data to establish 'an inference' and 'narrative' tying then-candidate Trump to Russia," the filing says. "In doing so, Tech Executive-1 indicated that he was seeking to please certain 'VIPs,' referring to individuals at Law Firm-1 and the Clinton campaign."
Kash Patel, who worked as the chief investigator on the Trump-Russia probe for the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News that Durham's filing shows that lawyers associated with Clinton's campaign worked to "infiltrate" Trump Tower and shows that "the Hillary Clinton campaign directly funded and ordered its lawyers at Perkins Coie to orchestrate a criminal enterprise to fabricate a connection between President Trump and Russia."