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Special counsel John Durham to seek indictment against lawyer in Russia origins probe

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The federal prosecutor named during the Trump administration to examine the origins of the Russia investigation is close to going to a grand jury to try to get an indictment against a lawyer with ties to the Democratic Party for lying to the FBI. 

Special counsel John Durham is focusing on Michael Sussmann’s Sept. 19, 2016, conversation with an FBI employee about a possible connection between a Russia-based bank and servers at the Trump Organization, Fox News reported Thursday.

But the statute of limitations expires Sunday on Sussmann’s meeting with FBI general counsel James Baker, and it’s unclear whether Durham’s probe will continue to be funded past the end of the government’s fiscal year on Sept. 30, the report said. 

Lawyers for Sussmann, a partner at Perkins Coie, a law firm that has represented the Democratic National Committee, told Fox News that he is a “highly respected national security and cyber security lawyer” who “served in the Justice Department during both Republican and Democrat administrations.”

John Durham.
John Durham is investigating whether Michael Sussmann was secretly working for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the DNC.
US Department of Justice via AP

“Mr. Sussmann has committed no crime,” ​the lawyers said. “Any prosecution here would be baseless, unprecedented, and unwarranted deviation from the apolitical and principled way in which the Department of Justice is supposed to do its work. We are confident that if Mr. Sussmann is charged, he will prevail and vindicate his good name.”

Former Attorney General William Barr appointed Durham, a ​US attorney for Connecticut, to the post in 2019 and tasked him with examining how the FBI and the intelligence community launched their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and any cooperation from members of the campaign of former President Donald Trump. 

Durham’s prosecutors have interviewed ​officials in the intelligence community and the Justice Department, but have yet to release an official report. 

Part of Durham’s probe is to uncover whether Sussmann was secretly working for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the DNC.

A report in the New York Times says Sussmann denied those claims.

The DNC contracted Fusion GPS, a research firm that eventually hired former British spy Christopher Steele, to find dirt on Trump. 

Steele’s dossier became the foundation for allegations linking the Trump campaign to Russian President Vladimir Putin and for the US intelligence community to obtain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants for former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. ​

Michael Sussmann.
Lawyers for Michael Sussmann claim “any prosecution here would be baseless, unprecedented, and unwarranted.”
Perkins Coie

During the meeting with Baker, Sussmann ​presented data from cybersecurity researchers who believed internet traffic showed a link between the Trump Organization’s servers and those of Alfa Bank, a Kremlin-connected institution, the Times reported. 

The FBI eventually disregarded those claims as having no merit, the report said. 

According to the Times, Baker told investigators that Sussmann said he was not representing a client.

But in a deposition to Congress, Sussmann admitted that he had asked for the meeting on behalf of an unnamed client, a cybersecurity expert who had crunched the internet data.

Durham uncovered billing records from Perkins Coie that show Sussmann billed the Clinton campaign when he was working on matters involving Alfa Bank, the Times reported.

He did not bill the campaign for the meeting with Baker, the report said. 

Sussmann’s lawyers argued that the billing records are “misleading” because Sussmann was not charging his cybersecurity expert client on the bank matter, “but needed to show internally that he was working on something,” the Times wrote. 

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These fatty foods could be destroying your memory, say scientists

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Ready meals and fast food could be destroying your memory.

Scientists say highly processed foods, crisps, and deli meats containing preservatives were linked with abrupt memory loss in older brains.

Researchers warn the amygdala — the part of the brain which regulates fear — is also affected.

So a bad diet could mean some dangerous decisions.

But diets with extra omega-3 fatty acid DHA, found in fish such as salmon, could ward off problems. Rather than supplements, researchers advised improved diets.

Scientists at America’s Ohio State University Institute for Behavioural Medicine Research did tests on lab rats.

Dr. Ruth Barrientos called the results “alarming”, adding: “Consumption of a processed diet can produce significant and abrupt memory deficits.”

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Biden and Lightfoot know mask rules are idiotic — so why haven’t they changed?

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It happened again because of course it happened again. The latest example of COVID hypocrisy, if you have enough hard-drive space to keep track, is a viral video of President Biden traipsing through a ritzy DC eatery with no mask, in defiance of the city’s strict rules. In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot was photographed at a basketball game, the only bare face in a sea of muzzled fans.

This kind of thing has been so common that it is hard to stay outraged, even though we should.

But there is another, deeper question at play here. Why won’t the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention update its masking guidance as vaccinations increase, case numbers diminish and politicians, among pretty much everyone else, ignore it across the nation?

The CDC website says that “If you are fully vaccinated, to maximize protection from the Delta variant, and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public, if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.” A handy map shows the location of these areas — it’s basically the entirety of the United States. This guidance is vague, and not followed by massive swaths of the nation.

Mask mandate hypocrite Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot attended a basketball game where everyone except her was wearing a mask.
Mask mandate hypocrite Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot attended a basketball game where everyone except her was wearing a mask.
Twitter

Why is it being ignored? Because much of its application is nonsensical on its face, so to speak. What possible health benefit is there for wearing a mask from door to the table then taking it off to eat and drink and talk all night? Every one of us knows that 10 seconds of following the hostess to your table is not a potential superspreader event. It’s such performative idiocy.

Meanwhile, CDC guidelines still say if you take a kid across state lines, say on vacation, you have to quarantine for 10 days. Is any parent in the country actually doing this? We should hope not, because it’s insane. Even Fauci the Merciful, who has relented and has now pronounced we can have holiday gatherings, isn’t mentioning this. Because he knows he would look like a fool.

President Joe Biden leaves Washington DC restaurant Fiola Mare without wearing a face mask.
President Joe Biden leaves Washington DC restaurant Fiola Mare without wearing a face mask.
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden went to Fiola Mare on October 16, 2021 for a date night.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden went to Fiola Mare on October 16, 2021 for a date night.
REUTERS/Tom Brenner

So why do these absurd rules, that most people don’t follow anyway, and seem to be based on about as much science as Tarot cards, still exist at all? And more importantly, what metrics do we need to hit for them to go away? That’s one query the exultant and high experts will never answer. When it comes to imposing restrictions the science is strict, settled, and exact, when it comes to easing restrictions it’s all a rich tapestry of who really knows.

Enough. When mask mandates made their first appearance in the Spring of 2020 many feared we would wind up wearing them forever. Those people were mocked as alarmists. Well, it’s almost 2022, what gives? Everyone over 12 can get a vaccine that we are promised gives fantastic protection, and young kids continue to only very rarely have significant illness.

People can decide for themselves whether they want to keep wearing masks, if they are high risk or nervous. As for the rest of us, what are we waiting for? We have long passed common sense. We need some answers about how and when these rules will end. And we need them now.

David Marcus is the author of “Charade: The COVID Lies That Crushed A Nation.”

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Cops face questions after missing Alabama woman’s body found in police van

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A missing Alabama woman’s body has been found in an unoccupied police van — prompting questions about her death and how she could go undetected as authorities were searching for her.

Christina Nance, 29, was discovered dead in a prisoner transport van Oct. 7, five days after she was reported missing, Deputy Police Chief DeWayne McCarver said.

The vehicle was parked at a public safety complex in Huntsville.

“The officer noticed shoes next to the van and approached, discovering Ms. Nance’s body inside. Windows on the van were observed to be opened and on this type of van they popped outward,” McCarver said on Friday at a press conference, CNN reported.

No cause of death has been determined, but preliminary autopsy results didn’t indicate that there was any foul play or bodily trauma.

“The official cause of death will be ruled by the state medical examiner once additional studies, including toxicology, are complete,” police said.

Police released surveillance footage of a woman believed to be Nance wandering through the parking lot on Sept. 25, then appearing to enter the van.

But her family — who reported her missing on Oct. 2 — said they have their doubts about the footage.

“The video was not clear enough to indicate that that was our sister Christina Nance,” Nance’s sister Whitney Nance told news station WAFF.

Police vehicles.
Police released surveillance footage of a woman believed to be Christina Nance wandering through the parking lot on Sept. 25.
Huntsville Police Dept. Facebook

“It was just very heartbreaking to know that we didn’t get the clarification that we really needed, that we wanted.”

Police have said it’s protocol for the vans to be kept locked.

“It is an accountability issue on our part,” McCarver said. “That should not have happened. And now we have to look at that, and we have to make sure that we have things in place so that does not happen again.”

It’s unclear how Nance went undetected in the busy police parking lot.

“Cars go by, people walk nearby the van. We just wish that she would have hollered out to someone or something, because there were plenty of … what we see as potential opportunities for this to not be a tragedy. And unfortunately, no one was able to realize she was in that van and that was the outcome,” McCarver said.

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