Attorney Michael Sussman pleads not guilty in Durham inquiry
Sussman is only the second defendant in Special Counsel John Durham’s two-and-a-half-year investigation that has previously inspired Donald Trump and his supporters to believe the FBI will The investigation into Trump and Russia actions was withdrawn.
But that didn’t happen. Instead, the case brought by Durham, with both misrepresentation charges centered on garbled details of peripheral figures, would not change the main focus of the Russia probe, which ended with the convictions of six Trump advisers, And found that the Trump campaign welcomed and exploited Russia’s 2016 election interference.
Still, Sussman’s allegations have some political resonance, giving the special counsel an opportunity to explain the connection between the Clinton campaign and the FBI’s cybersecurity research work in this week’s charging filing.
Sussman is accused of lying to FBI General Counsel James Baker at a 2016 meeting in which he provided information about data that appeared to link the Trump Organization to Russia’s Alpha Bank. The Justice Department alleges that Baker believed Sussman, as a “good citizen,” carried research papers and data about possible secret communication channels, and Sussman said he did not work for any clients. But the indictment alleges that the lawyer in private practice actually worked for tech industry executives and Trump’s opponent, Clinton’s campaign.
If Sussman admitted that he met with Baker on behalf of a client, the FBI may have taken more steps ahead of the investigation and could have allocated resources differently, prosecutors said.
Sussman has vowed to fight his charges, saying the prosecution was politically motivated. During Friday’s 20-minute court hearing, he stood motionless and answered the judge’s questions with short answers.
A magistrate agreed to release Sussman pending trial, subject to some travel restrictions. His next court appearance is Wednesday before DC District Judge Christopher Cooper, who will oversee his case.
The FBI finally investigated the Trump Organization-Alfa Bank and found “insufficient evidence” of covert communication channels and that a mass-marketing email company had been sending ads for Trump hotels on email servers, prosecutors said Thursday. , which has raised questions from cybersecurity researchers. Suspect.
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