OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Special counsel John Durham has filed a motion asking a federal court not to dismiss charges against a lawyer once associated with the 2016 Democratic presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.
The filing comes after attorneys for the lawyer, Michael Sussman, asked the court to throw them out.
The Epoch Times reports:
Michael Sussmann was representing the Clinton campaign when in 2016 he passed along information to an FBI counsel. His lawyers say the documents “raised national security concerns” while prosecutors describe them as purportedly detailing a covert channel between a Russian bank and the business of Donald Trump, Clinton’s rival at the time.
Sussmann was charged with lying to the FBI because he falsely told the counsel he was not providing the allegations to the FBI on behalf of any client despite presenting the information on behalf of the Clinton campaign, prosecutors say.
In a filing in February, Sussmann’s lawyers moved to dismiss the charge, claiming their client “did not make any false statement to the FBI” but even if he had, “the false statement alleged in the indictment is immaterial as a matter of law.”
“Allowing this case to go forward would risk criminalizing ordinary conduct, raise First Amendment concerns, dissuade honest citizens from coming forward with tips, and chill the advocacy of lawyers who interact with the government,” the filing stated.
“The Special Counsel’s unprecedented and unlawful overreach should not be countenanced, and the single count against Mr. Sussmann should be dismissed,” it continued.
In its reply on Friday, Durham’s team urged the court to reject the Sussmann filing.
“The defendant’s false statement to the FBI General Counsel was plainly material because it misled the General Counsel about, among other things, the critical fact that the defendant was disseminating highly explosive allegations about a then-Presidential candidate on behalf of two specific clients, one of which was the opposing Presidential campaign,” their filing said.
“The defendant’s efforts to mislead the FBI in this manner during the height of a Presidential election season plainly could have influenced the FBI’s decision-making in any number of ways,” Durham’s team argued.
If the case does go to trial, Durham will likely argue that the evidence proves the bureau could have done something prior to starting a full investigation into the matter, to include an assessment, and should have delayed making a decision until after the 2016 election or declined to have launched a probe at all.
Last month, Just The News’ John Solomon predicted who he believes Durham’s next target will be.
In an interview with Fox News, he explained that he believes Durham is dealing with “two buckets.”
In one “bucket,” there are the last two indictments against officials who were connected to Hillary Clinton and their plan to feed the FBI false information about Trump-Russia conspiracies.
He then said the other “bucket” focuses on the FBI and whether agents knowingly mislead the FISA court to obtain warrants to spy on members of Trump’s 2016 campaign.
“Pete Strzok’s opening electronic communication which starts the Crossfire Hurricane investigation states they are looking at whether individuals associated with the Trump campaign were coordinating conspiring with Russia,” Solomon told Maria Bartiromo.
“When they put the first FISA in, in October, the Trump campaign is mentioned a dozen times in the first FISA, and as I mentioned in the last segment, the allegation is a well-developed conspiracy between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and Russia to hijack the election,” he added, noting further that Strzok’s claim a day earlier in an interview with MSNBC that the probe was not about the Trump campaign is false.
“Of course, it was about the campaign,” he said, adding:
But Durham developed really significant evidence that red flags, the stop-now warning signs go all the way back to August when Bruce Orr, in 2016 came to the FBI and said Christopher Steele is dumping a dossier. He hates Trump. He’s hired by Hillary Clinton and most of his information is raw and uncorroborated.
A month after the CIA sends a warning to the FBI, this is something John Ratcliffe declassified, saying Hillary Clinton is trying to play a dirty trick on Donald Trump to tie him to Russia to get out of her e-mail thing. All through the fall, they keep a spreadsheet of what’s right and wrong of the Steele dossier. It’s all wrong. Can’t corroborate, they can’t collaborate the information. The FBI never should have started the investigation and I think that’s where John Durham’s investigation is focused right now.