Michael Sussmann, Hillary Clinton’s former campaign lawyer, was found not guilty of lying to the FBI in a case related to the Russiagate scandal.
Sussmann was charged with lying to the government because, before the 2016 presidential election, he gave an FBI official information about alleged collusion between Trump and Russia. Clinton’s campaign lawyer assured the FBI that the information he offered was not on behalf of a client or a company.
“I have something time-sensitive (and sensitive) I need to discuss,” Sussmann wrote to FBI lawyer James Baker in a text message before the meeting. “I’m coming on my own—not on behalf of a client or company—want to help the Bureau.”
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Both Sussmann and his firm later acknowledged that he was bringing the information on behalf of a client, though they claimed it was not on behalf of Clinton, Trump’s 2016 presidential rival. However, it was learned that he also represented Neustar executive Rodney Joffe, whose firm was hired to monitor DNS traffic for the Executive Office and said he was promised a position in a potential Clinton administration.
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook testified that Hillary Clinton approved the plan to disseminate to reporters allegations that the Trump Organization had a secret channel to Russia’s Alfa Bank, but said campaign officials did not approve of Sussmann taking them to the FBI because they were concerned it would cause the media to delay reporting on them.
Sean Berkowitz, Sussman’s attorney, said that his client “as a serious national security lawyer” gave “what he believed to be credible data” to the FBI to tip them off.
However, Jonathan Algor, a prosecutor on special counsel John Durham’s team said that “it wasn’t about national security,” but “it was about promoting opposition research against the opposition candidate — Donald Trump.”
Irregularities in the trial
But although Sussmann was found not guilty, there were several irregularities in the trial. As reported by The Epoch Times, there are reports that the jury included several Clinton donors, who were retained despite prosecutors’ objections.
“There are bigger things that affect the nation than a possible lie to the FBI,” one of the jurors told reporters, despite the fact that federal law prohibits making false statements or representations to the government and that the charge carries up to five years in prison, or up to eight years if the lie is related to international or domestic terrorism.
The case was the first brought by special prosecutor John Durham, who was appointed during the Trump administration to investigate the origins of the government’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia.
“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 in a statement obtained by The Epoch Times.
Donald Trump’s reaction
“Our legal system is CORRUPT,” Trump said in a post on Truth Social, adding that “our Judges (and Justices!) are highly partisan, compromised, or just plain scared.”