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Clinton Campaign Lawyer Indicted In Durham Investigation

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


Special Counsel John Durham has indicted a prominent lawyer who worked for the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Michael Sussmann was indicted for allegedly lying to FBI lawyer James Baker during a 2016 meeting about who he was representing when he gave information about Donald Trump and Russia to the bureau.

“Michael Sussmann, a partner with Perkins Coie who also represented the Democratic National Committee in connection with Russia’s hack of the organization, is accused of making false statements during a Sept. 19, 2016 meeting with former FBI General Counsel James Baker,” Reuters reported. “This marks the second criminal case Durham has filed so far since former Attorney General William Barr tapped him in 2019 to investigate U.S. officials who probed the Trump-Russia contacts.”

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At this meeting, Sussman reportedly relayed to the FBI the discredited theory that the Trump Organization was communicating with Alfa Bank.

“Any indictment of the lawyer — Michael Sussmann, a former federal prosecutor and now a partner at the Perkins Coie law firm, and who represented the Democratic National Committee on issues related to Russia’s 2016 hacking of its servers — is likely to attract significant political attention, the New York Times reported.

The NYT states: “Mr. Baker, the former F.B.I. lawyer, is said to have told investigators that he recalled Mr. Sussmann saying that he was not meeting him on behalf of any client.”

Sussman told a different story with his testimony to Congress and his own billing records.

Sussman’s lawyers have even acknowledged “they expected him to be indicted.”

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Back in 2020, Durham impaneled a grand jury relating to the false Alfa Bank/Trump Organization story.

The NYT reported:

The accusation against Mr. Sussmann focuses on a meeting he had on Sept. 19, 2016, with James A. Baker, who was the F.B.I.’s top lawyer at the time, according to the people familiar with the matter. They spoke on condition of anonymity.

Because of a five-year statute of limitations for such cases, Mr. Durham has a deadline of this weekend to bring a charge overactivity from that date.

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At the meeting, Mr. Sussmann relayed data and analysis from cybersecurity researchers who thought that odd internet data might be evidence of a covert communications channel between computer servers associated with the Trump Organization and with Alfa Bank, a Kremlin-linked Russian financial institution.

The report added:

But Mr. Durham did apparently find an inconsistency: Mr. Baker, the former F.B.I. lawyer, is said to have told investigators that he recalled Mr. Sussmann saying that he was not meeting him on behalf of any client. But in a deposition before Congress in 2017, Mr. Sussmann testified that he sought the meeting on behalf of an unnamed client who was a cybersecurity expert and had helped analyze the data.

Moreover, internal billing records Mr. Durham is said to have obtained from Perkins Coie are said to show that when Mr. Sussmann logged certain hours as working on the Alfa Bank matter — though not the meeting with Mr. Baker — he billed the time to Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 campaign.

Durham is presenting evidence to a grand jury regarding his investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation.

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Durham’s final report is expected to be completed in the coming months.

Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, argued a month ago that he expects Durham to release a “damaging report” on the FBI’s failed investigation into Donald Trump’s alleged ties with Russia.

Nunes asserted at the time that prison sentences could fall on a number of former senior Obama officials.

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