Lawyer representing Clinton campaign indicted by special counsel investigating Russia probe
A lawyer whose law firm represented Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the 2016 presidential election was indicted Thursday by Special Counsel John Durham on one count of making false statements to the FBI.
Michael Sussman, an attorney with the law firm Perkins Coie who represented the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 campaign and previously represented the Democratic National Committee after Russia hacked its servers, is accused of “representing the Democratic National Committee in “about his filing with the FBI.” Lies about the ability of the accusation”. He met with a senior attorney at the bureau in September 2016 and provided him with information about potential links between Russian banks and Trump Organization computer servers.
“Specifically, Sussman lied that he did not deal with the aforementioned allegations for “any client,” which led the FBI General Counsel (James A. Baker) to understand that Sussman was just passing on a message, just as a good citizen Acting, not as a paid advocate or political person,” prosecutors wrote in the indictment.
Instead, they allege that Sussmamn deliberately misled the FBI general counsel because he was acting on behalf of an unnamed tech executive, an “American internet company” and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign at the time.
Before being charged Thursday, Sussman’s lawyers provided ABC News with a statement maintaining his innocence.
“Mr. Sussman did not commit a crime,” said attorneys Sean Berkowitz and Michael Bosworth of Latham and Watkins LLP. “Any indictment here is baseless, unprecedented, and a baseless departure from the apolitical and principled way that the Justice Department should be doing its work.”
“We believe that if Mr Sussman is charged, he will prevail at trial and maintain his good name,” they added.
Durham was appointed by former Attorney General William Barr in May 2019 to investigate allegations of misconduct by members of the FBI and the intelligence community in their investigation of potential ties between Russia and former President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Before resigning, Barr appointed Durham as special counsel, extending his term into a Biden administration.
Attorney John Durham is the prosecutor leading the probe into the origins of the 2018 Russia investigation.
Associated Press, file
While Durham’s investigation has long exceeded the total deadline of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, until Thursday he had only indicted a lower-level FBI lawyer who admitted to tampering with a letter with Yu sought to spy on emails of former Trump aides. Activity. The lawyer, Kevin Kline Smith, was given a suspended sentence earlier this year.
Durham was tasked with preparing a report outlining his findings, though it was up to Attorney General Merrick Garland to decide whether to make them public. Garland has publicly stated that he has no intention of interfering with Durham’s work.
The indictment alleges that Sussman began working with a U.S. tech executive and other cyber researchers in 2016, working with the Clinton campaign to gather information about potential communication channels between the Trump Organization and Russian-owned Alpha Bank. white paper”. Sussman later provided the documents to Baker at a meeting on September 19, 2016, where he allegedly made false statements about who he was representing at the time.
The links were later investigated by the FBI, but were never confirmed.
In testimony to House members in 2017, Sussman said he requested a meeting on behalf of a cybersecurity expert client who held data showing ties between Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization. In meetings with Durham’s team, his legal team denied that his meeting with Baker was coordinated or represented members of Clinton’s campaign, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The meeting between Sussman and Baker comes more than a month after the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation — an investigation into whether people associated with the Trump campaign were knowingly or unintentionally coordinating Russian government interference in the 2016 campaign Efforts – Opens July 31st.
A few days ago, on July 27, 2016, then-candidate Trump publicly stated on the campaign trail, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you can find the 30,000+ emails that were missing.” This apparently Refers to emails stored on private servers while Clinton was Secretary of State.
In the spring of 2016, Russian military intelligence hacked into the computer networks of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic National Committee. Emails and documents stolen by the Russians had already been leaked in June and July 2016, and Trump continued to encourage more leaks throughout the campaign.
The New York Times, which first reported Durham’s plans to sue Sussman, also reported that Garland refused to overturn Durham’s decision.
One source said Sussman’s legal team had communicated with Durham’s team and they believed his case would be reviewed for several different reasons. They note that Sussman’s alleged statement to Baker was made nearly five years ago in a private meeting without witnesses. They argued that the statements Durham identified were irrelevant because they likely had no material impact on any actual investigation the FBI was conducting at the time.
In the indictment, however, prosecutors argued that the statement was important “because, among other reasons, Sussman’s false statements misled the FBI General Counsel and other FBI personnel about the political nature of his work and deprived the The FBI may allow it to more fully assess and uncover sources of relevant data and technical analysis, including the identities and motives of Sussmann’s clients.”
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