A former campaign lawyer for failed presidential candidate and former first lady Hillary Clinton involved in the creation of the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory was acquitted Tuesday on a charge of lying to the FBI.
Michael Sussmann had been accused of lying to James Baker, the general counsel of the FBI, in a 2016 meeting where he sought FBI investigation of then-candidate Donald Trump’s supposed ties to Russia, according to The Washington Post.
Sussmann allegedly told Baker that he wasn’t representing any client at the time — while actually representing Clinton.
Sussmann’s lawyers argued that there was no proof of the Democrat’s alleged lie to Baker. Sussmann and Baker were the only two individuals in the meeting in question, and there weren’t any notes.
In testimony, Baker said that he was “100 percent confident” that Sussmann lied about his representation of Clinton in the September 2016 meeting.
In the meeting, Sussmann tried to convince Baker that the FBI should investigate supposed links between Trump’s campaign and Alfa Bank, a Russian business owned by allies of Vladimir Putin.
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 FBI ultimately dismissed claims of a connection between Trump and Alfa Bank as bogus.
The jury in Sussmann’s trial included individuals with links to establishment Democrats.
Reminder that the jury in Michael Sussmann’s case included three Hillary Clinton donors, an AOC donor, and a woman whose daughter was on the same sports team with Sussmann’s daughter.
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) May 31, 2022
The trial pulled its jurors from the heavily Democratic area surrounding Washington, D.C., raising questions of partisan bias.
The case against Sussmann was the first trial involving John Durham in his role as special counsel appointed to investigate the creation of the Trump-Russia scheme.
Durham expressed his disagreement with the verdict while respecting the jury’s conclusions in a statement after the trial, according to the New York Post.
“While we are disappointed in the outcome, we respect the jury’s decision and thank them for their service.”
“I also want to recognize and thank the investigators and the prosecution team for their dedicated efforts in seeking truth and justice in this case,” Durham said.
Durham’s next case levies charges against a Russian national involved in publicizing the bogus “Steele Dossier” that alleged Trump was compromised by Russian intelligence.
CORRECTION, May 31, 2022: The spelling of Michael Sussmann’s last name has been corrected in the headline and multiple times in the body of this article. We apologize to Mr. Sussmann for the error.
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