Special Counsel John Durham is expected to ask a grand jury to indict Michael Sussmann, a former federal prosecutor that represented the Democrat National Committee (DNC) and reportedly has ties to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Durham notified the Justice Department that the case involves whether or not Sussmann lied to the FBI about who his client was when initially expressing suspicions about former President Trump and his alleged ties to Russia.
Who Was Sussmann’s Client
“The case against Mr. Sussmann centers on the question of who his client was when he conveyed certain suspicions about Mr. Trump and Russia to the FBI in September 2016,” the New York Times reports.
“Among other things, investigators have examined whether Mr. Sussmann was secretly working for the Clinton campaign — which he denies.”
While Sussmann denies the accusations, his lawyers admit they expect he’ll be indicted by the grand jury.
“Mr. Sussmann has committed no crime,” they told the Times. “Any prosecution here would be baseless, unprecedented and an unwarranted deviation from the apolitical and principled way in which the Department of Justice is supposed to do its work.”
NEW: Prosecutor John Durham has told a cyber lawyer — who works for the firm that repped Clinton campaign — that he wants to indict him on suspicion of lying about who he repped when he told F.B.I. in ’16 about potential ties b/w Trump and Russia. https://t.co/KiSUIeGuzh
— Michael S. Schmidt (@nytmike) September 15, 2021
Durham to Indict Clinton-Connected Lawyer
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Remarkably, the New York Times report goes on to note that Attorney General Merrick Garland, who has conducted himself as anything but ‘apolitical and principled,’ refused to intervene in the case.
“A spokesman for Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, who has the authority to overrule Mr. Durham but is said to have declined to, did not comment,” they write.
Durham has yet to submit an official report to the Department of Justice, however Fox News has learned through two sources familiar that some of it is expected to include unfavorable information about the FBI
— Sean Langille (@SeanLangille) September 16, 2021
Sussmann reportedly handed the FBI data obtained from cybersecurity researchers at a meeting in September 2016 which was supposed to have shown evidence of secret communications between then-candidate for president Donald Trump and Russia.
The FBI would eventually determine “those concerns had no merit.”
The bombshell report goes on to note that a lawyer at the FBI said they recalled Sussmann saying he was not handing over the information on behalf of any client, but he later testified that he was working on behalf of an “unnamed client.”
Durham however, obtained documents showing Sussmann worked certain hours regarding data and analysis of communications between Trump and a Kremlin-linked Russian financial institution and that he “billed the time to Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 campaign.”
The accusation against Mr. Sussmann focuses on a meeting he had on Sept. 19, 2016 with James A. Baker, who was the F.B.I.’s top lawyer at the time. https://t.co/jJk60Jf4Ti
— Adam Goldman (@adamgoldmanNYT) September 15, 2021
Sussmann’s lawyers have countered that he “was not there on behalf of or at the direction of the Clinton campaign.”
Significant Political Attention
The New York Times acknowledges that news of Durham seeking to indict a Democrat and Clinton-linked lawyer “is likely to attract significant political attention.”
“Donald J. Trump and his supporters have long accused Democrats and Perkins Coie — whose political law group, a division separate from Mr. Sussmann’s, represented the party and the Hillary Clinton campaign — of seeking to stoke unfair suspicions about Mr. Trump’s purported ties to Russia.”
The former President has repeatedly questioned where the Special counsel has been and why his report hadn’t yielded any results prior to the election.
“Where’s Durham? Is he a living, breathing human being? Will there ever be a Durham report?” Trump asked in a statement back in March.
Durham expected to indict Clinton Campaign/DNC lawyer Michael Sussman.
Rachel Sounds anxious 👇 pic.twitter.com/5fwE5x887J
— suzy (@Suzy1776_) September 16, 2021
Fox News previously indicated Durham had not produced any tangible results prior to the election because he did “not want this to be viewed [as] political.”
Prior to news of the Clinton-connected lawyer possibly being indicted, the Durham probe had produced one criminal charge thus far.
Kevin Clinesmith, one of the FBI officials involved in gathering evidence in the Russia investigation, pled guilty after he was accused by the Inspector General of altering an email about former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Sussmann now works as a partner at the Perkins Coie law firm and previously represented the DNC when Russia hacked its servers back in 2016.
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