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Special Counsel John Durham is expected to call the former top lawyer for the FBI in a case involving a former attorney for a law firm that counted the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton as clients.
“Prosecutors working with special counsel John Durham’s team indicated on Tuesday they may call former FBI General Counsel James Baker to testify in the case of former Democrat attorney Michael Sussmann, who was indicted for allegedly lying to the FBI,” The Epoch Times is reporting.
“During a status hearing Tuesday, Durham prosecutor Andrew DeFilippis and his team said they plan to call Baker, who now works for Twitter, to testify as part of the case against Sussmann,” the outlet continued, citing reporting from Fox News and the Washington Examiner.
Sussman pleaded not guilty last month to charges that he lied to a federal agent.
Earlier, U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper ordered government prosecutors and Sussman’s defense attorneys to continue in their discovery process, which is likely to last for several more months.
Thus far, prosecutors have provided some 6,000 documents to Sussman’s defense team, bringing the total to around 80,000, The Epoch Times reported, adding:
Durham’s indictment against Sussmann, who previously worked for high-powered law firm Perkins Coie, is that he made false statements in September 2016 when he told Baker he wasn’t working for a client when he provided claims that alleged the existence of backchannel communications between the Trump Organization and a Russian bank. Perkins Coie has long represented the Democrat Party in election-related lawsuits.
The indictment alleges that Sussmann was actually working for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and was charging her team for it as well as a technology executive. Several reports have identified the executive as Rodney Joffee.
Documents were forwarded “in response to grand jury subpoenas issued to fifteen separate individuals, entities, and organizations—including among others, political organizations, a university, university researchers, an investigative firm, and numerous companies,” according to Durham’s office.
Perkins Coie was the firm that hired Fusion GPS, which was representing the Democratic National Committee and which then hired former MI6 spy Christopher Steele, author of the widely debunked “Russia dossier” that was used to fuel an FBI counterintelligence probe into the 2016 Trump campaign.
Baker testified before Congress in 2018, telling the House Judiciary Committee that Sussmann gave him information regarding alleged ties between server in NYC’s Trump Tower and Russia-based Alfa Bank.
“This false representation led the General Counsel to understand that the defendant was providing the information as a good citizen, rather than a paid advocate or political operative,” a Durham court filing said earlier this month.
“In fact, the defendant had assembled and conveyed the allegations to the FBI on behalf of at least two specific clients, including a technology executive at a U.S.-based Internet company and the Hillary Rodham Clinton Presidential Campaign,” the filing continued.
Prosecutors allege that in drafting “white papers” regarding the Trump-Russian bank allegations, Sussmann “used his access at multiple organizations to gather and mine public and non-public Internet data regarding Trump and his associates, with the goal of creating a ‘narrative’ regarding the candidate’s ties to Russia.”
He then “directed and caused employees of two companies in which he had an ownership interest” in two technology companies to “search and analyze their holdings of public and non-public internet data for derogatory information on Trump,” according to prosecutors.
Sussmann’s attorneys have pushed back on the allegations.
“The Special Counsel has brought a false statement charge on the basis of a purported oral statement made over five years ago for which there is only a single witness, Mr. Baker; for which there is no recording; and for which there are no contemporaneous notes by anyone who was actually in the meeting,” they said in a statement.
“Not only that, but the Special Counsel has brought this false statement charge even though Mr. Sussmann has consistently maintained—including in testimony under oath—that he met with Mr. Baker on behalf of a cyber expert client,” they added.