A tech executive has fired back at special counsel John Durham in response to claims that he "exploited" his access to computer data at White House to find "derogatory information" about President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia. Rodney Joffe, known to be "Technology Executive 1" in Durham's findings, who is also the former Neustar Senior Vice President, has issued a statement denying the "allegations."
Although not named in the filings, Joffe was identified first by the New York Times as "Technology Executive 1". Although Joffe is not officially indicated or accused of any wrongdoing, he has been named for allegedly lying to the FBI by withholding his connections to Clinton's 2016 campaign.
Joffe's name cropped up on Friday after Durham, appointed by then-Attorney General William Barr in 2020 to probe the origins of the FBI's investigation of Russian election interference, mentioned that "Technology Executive 1" misused his power to find "derogatory information" about Trump.
According to the filings, Joffe used his access to domain name system, or DNS, data to compile information about which computers and servers the White House servers were communicating with during Trump's 2016 campaign. However, Joffe, on Monday, fired back by issuing a statement wherein he refuted the claims made in the special counsel's recent court filing.
"Contrary to the allegations in this recent filing, Mr. Joffe is an apolitical internet security expert with decades of service to the U.S. Government who has never worked for a political party, and who legally provided access to DNS data obtained from a private client that separately was providing DNS services to the Executive Office of the President (EOP)," a spokesperson for Joffe said in a statement, according to an NBC News report.
Durham filed a motion in federal court in Washington, D.C., on Friday to investigate possible conflicts of interest involving Michael Sussmann's defense team.
Sussmann, an attorney, has been indicted in the special counsel's investigation on charges that he lied to the FBI in a meeting in which he shared since-debunked claims of a secret backchannel between the Trump Organization and Russia's Alfa Bank by claiming he was not representing any clients when he was actually acting on behalf of the technology executive and Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.
Fighting to Prove His Innocence
The filing doesn't make any claim that the material of any communications from the President's Executive Office, or EOP, or any other parties were hacked or read, and there's no indication that data collecting extended beyond identifying where internet traffic came from and went.
However, the disclosure Joffe's name has now given Trump and his allies to claim that he was being spied upon while he was in office. "They were spying on the sitting president of the United States," Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told Fox News on Sunday. "And it goes right to the Clinton campaign."
In a statement on Monday, Trump said the alleged spying was "the biggest story of our time, bigger than Watergate."
Trump and his allies are now particularly enraged after Durham statement that his team is gathering evidence to show that Joffe and his associates "exploited" a pending government contract to gain access to internet traffic at the White House, Trump Tower, and other locations to establish a narrative linking Trump to Russia.
According to Durham, Joffe's company "had come to access and maintain dedicated servers for the EOP as part of a sensitive arrangement" to provide tech services and then "exploited this arrangement by mining the EOP's [Internet] traffic and other data for the purpose of gathering derogatory information about Donald Trump."
Durham's claims stem from the indictment for Sussmann. The indictment notes that Joffe "retained Sussman as his lawyer" in February 2015 in connection with an unspecified "matter involving an agency of the US government."
The former chief investigator of the Trump-Russia probe for the House Intelligence Committee, Kash Patel, said that Friday's filing "definitively showed 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," according to Fox News.
While Joffe hasn't been directly named or accused of any wrongdoing and may not face any charges, legal experts believe Sussmann could face additional legal exposure if he failed to disclose his relationship to Joffe.