Prosecutors said the Durham team was still “looking closely” whether Rodney Joffe, a technology executive and prominent cybersecurity expert, defrauded the US government by misusing internet data from government contracts to search for derogatory information about Trump and Russia. .
“We have not yet been charged with a crime … but we cannot say that no crime was committed,” Prosecutor Andrew DePhillips told a judge on Wednesday, adding that the potential statute of limitations for Joffe’s conduct had not been committed. It has expired and the investigation is still ongoing.
Joffe worked on Trump and Russia material with Sussman, the Clinton campaign lawyer who was accused in September of lying to the FBI during a 2016 meeting where he passed the data. Prosecutors allege Sussman falsely told the FBI that he shared the data as a concerned citizen, but that he was actually there on behalf of his clients: the Clinton and Goofy campaigns.
Jovi’s lawyers attack Durham
In response to Wednesday’s hearing, a spokesman for Goofy said recent comments from prosecutors were “baseless and reckless” and accused Durham of pushing “a baseless political narrative through false innuendo” to link Goofy to a supposed anti-Trump plot.
“Mr. Joffe did not defraud or mislead any branch of the US government,” the spokesman said in a statement. “Moreover, the data in question does not belong to the government and does not contain private or personal information about any individual, and has not been tampered with in any way.”
Sussman’s lawyers say Joffe is an essential part of their defense and will provide testimony that helps clear Sussman. Shawn Berkowitz, Sussman’s attorney, accused the plaintiffs of making a “tactical decision” by conducting a criminal investigation of Jovi’s head as a way to prevent him from testifying at trial. Because of the potential criminal exposure, Joffe plans to plead against the V, according to his attorney.
“They’ve been looking at this forever,” Berkowitz said. “They have to be able to make a decision (impose).”
Berkowitz asked federal judge Christopher Cooper to dismiss the case if prosecutors did not grant Joffe immunity to testify. Cooper said Wednesday that he will try to make a judgment soon.
It has been known for some time that Sussman shared data from Joffe and his researchers with the FBI and later with the CIA after Trump’s inauguration in January 2017. Prosecutors said Wednesday for the first time that the material had subsequently been shared with Congress, we will.
Prosecutors previously said Jovi’s company at the time, Newstar, had access to Internet data through a contract with the Pentagon research agency, DARPA. The goal of the contract was to track down cyber intrusions by hostile nations. Durham said Joffe and his colleagues “exploited” their access to domain name system information to find dirt on Trump.
A spokesperson for Joffe previously said he is a “non-political Internet security expert with decades of service to the US government” and that his handling of the data was entirely legal. In court filings, Joffe’s lawyers said he received letters of harassment and threats in the wake of Sussman’s indictment, for which he was repeatedly referred to as “Chief Executive Officer.”