Jake Sullivan: Reports Say National Security Adviser Tapped as 'Foreign Policy Advisor' Mentioned in Durham Indictment

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan takes questions during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C., June 7, 2021. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

White House national-security adviser Jake Sullivan is the “foreign policy advisor” referred to in Special Counsel John Durham’s indictment of lawyer Michael Sussmann, Fox News reported on Wednesday, citing “two well-placed sources.”

“On or about September 15, 2016, Campaign Lawyer-1 exchanged emails with the Clinton Campaign’s campaign manager, communications director, and foreign policy advisor concerning the Russian Bank-1 allegations that SUSSMANN had recently shared with Reporter 1,” the indictment states. That foreign-policy adviser was Sullivan, who was serving as Hillary Clinton’s chief foreign-policy adviser on the campaign trail at the time, according to Fox.

There is no indication that Durham is looking into Sullivan as a target of his investigation, and the indictment describes Sullivan only as a recipient of information.

Durham indicted Sussmann for allegedly lying to the FBI, when he claimed in a September 19, 2016, meeting with FBI lawyer James Baker that he was not working for any client. The indictment alleges that Sussmann later billed the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign for the meeting.

At that meeting, Sussmann presented evidence of communications between Donald Trump’s campaign and Alfa Bank, a Russian firm. Durham’s indictment describes an alleged email correspondence between several people days before Sussmann’s meeting with Baker.

The report that the “foreign policy advisor” in the Sussmann indictment is Sullivan broke during a White House press briefing, leading a reporter to ask if there was “any conflict that would preclude Sullivan from carrying out his duties” as national-security adviser.

“I’m just now hearing this, so I don’t have a comment for you at this moment,” White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “I don’t know anything about what you’re just mentioning.”

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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