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Tweets sent by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that accused former President Donald Trump of colluding with Russia during the 2016 presidential election cannot be admitted as evidence in court, a federal judge has decided.
On Wednesday, Judge Christopher Cooper denied Special Counsel John Durham’s request to allow them as evidence in the coming trial of Clinton’s former campaign attorney Michael Sussmann who is accused of lying to the FBI, The Washington Examiner reported.
“Donald Trump has a secret server,” she said in a tweet. “It was set up to communicate privately with a Putin-tied Russian bank.”
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 31, 2016
“Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank,” she said in another tweet.
Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank. pic.twitter.com/8f8n9xMzUU
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 1, 2016
The Democrat 2016 presidential candidate then shared a statement by President Joe Biden’s current national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, who was then her campaign advisor.
“This could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow,” he said. “This secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump’s ties to Russia.”
“We can only assume that federal authorities will now explore this direct connection between Trump and Russia,” he said.
But Judge Cooper, who was appointed by former President Obama, said he would dismiss the tweets as “as hearsay” and that “it’s likely duplicative of other evidence.”
Durham argued that the tweets should be allowed as evidence because Clinton had presented them as “truth” and because they “show the existence of the defendant’s attorney-client relationship with the Clinton Campaign, which is directly relevant to the false statement charge.”
But Sussman’s attorneys argued against that.
“The tweet, which was posted on October 31, 2016, does not reveal anything about Mr. Sussmann’s state of mind over a month earlier, when he purportedly made the alleged false statement,” it said.
“There is a real danger that if the tweet were admitted, the jury would believe that Hillary Clinton herself was part of the Special Counsel’s uncharged conspiracy and that she had a direct interest or involvement in Mr. Sussmann’s efforts.
“Drawing the candidate herself into this matter in this way would be unfair to Mr. Sussmann,” they said.
Durham revealed in court filings that staffers at the political research firm at the center of the so-called “Russiagate” scandal sent hundreds of emails to journalists containing unsubstantiated allegations against and claims about then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.
The purpose of leaking the claims was to generate negative news coverage about the Republican candidate, the filing stated.
Durham’s filing came in response to efforts by lawyers with ties to Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential campaign to keep potentially explosive evidence out of his hands ahead of an upcoming trial involving Michael Sussmann, a Clinton campaign attorney who has been accused of lying to the FBI.
In a late Monday court filing, Durham said the wave of emails undermines claims by the Clinton campaign that Fusion GPS’s research on behalf of her presidential effort ought to remain confidential as part of attorney-client privilege.
According to the Washington Times, the stories peddled to media included:
- A Wall Street Journal article about a Trump adviser meeting with a former KGB official close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- A Washington Post story about a Trump campaign adviser investing in Russia.
- New York Times and Reuters articles about the FBI investigating a secret communications setup between Mr. Trump and Russia’s Alfa Bank.
GOP Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said the special counsel is exposing the Clinton campaign’s “political dirty tricks.”
“We’ve known for quite some time what happened here. And what the Durham indictments are just proving is how not only complicit but the Clinton campaign did this. They literally did this,” he told the Times.
“What the Clinton campaign did in terms of political dirty tricks, we are still putting up with the repercussions. Would Vladimir Putin have invaded Ukraine if Trump was still in office? That’s an interesting question,” he added.