A federal grand jury Thursday indicted Michael Sussmann, a lawyer that formerly represented the Democrat National Committee (DNC) and reportedly has ties to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Sussmann was indicted on a charge of lying to the FBI.
The Democrat lawyer, according to a CNBC report, “lied when he offered a tip that same year about the possible secret electronic channel between former President Donald Trump’s company and a Russian bank.”
The charge stems from an investigation by Special Counsel John Durham, appointed by former President Donald Trump, who was tasked with looking into the origins of the Russia collusion probe.
Sussmann’s lawyers have argued the indictment is politically motivated and their client denies having worked for the Clinton campaign.
The indictment itself contends that Michael Sussmann lied about providing information to the FBI on behalf of a client even though he “well knew” he was “acting on behalf of specific clients” including the “Clinton campaign.”
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 New York Times reported.
Sussmann lied, according to the indictment, when he “stated to the General Counsel of the FBI that he was not acting on behalf of any client in conveying particular allegations concerning a Presidential candidate, when in truth, and in fact, as the defendant well knew, he was acting on behalf of specific clients, namely, Tech Executive-1 and the Clinton Campaign.”
While Sussmann is certainly a lower-level target here, the indictment is sure to fuel controversy for supporters of former President Trump who have long contended a conspiracy existed between the DNC, Hillary Clinton, and the largely fictitious Russia collusion narrative.
Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, describes the indictment as “detailed and damning.”
“The alleged hiding of the connection to the Clinton campaign is notable because Sussmann’s co-partner Marc Elias was also accused of hiding the connection as part of the Clinton campaign’s denials before the election,” he writes.
Hillary Clinton, you may recall, outed her lawyer, Elias, as having paid for the infamous Steele dossier.
“It [the Steele dossier] was research started by a Republican donor during the primary, and then when Trump got the nomination for the Republican Party, the people doing it came to my campaign lawyer [Elias] and said, ‘would you like us to continue it?'” she confessed.
“He said yes,” Clinton continued during an interview on Comedy Central. “He’s an experienced lawyer, he knows what the law is, he knows what opposition research is.”
The Sussmann indictment states that he, like Elias, tried to frame a particular narrative through his actions by obtaining and handing over the data and analysis presented by cybersecurity researchers.
Those researchers allegedly mined that data “to establish ‘an inference’ and ‘narrative’ that would tie then-presidential candidate Donald Trump to Russia, and which the executive believed would please certain ‘VIPs,’” Durham’s office said.
Now, Sussmann is doing everything he can to run away from any connection to those ‘VIPs.’
Sussmann is due to appear in court on Friday.
It will be interesting to watch the media tie themselves in knots claiming the indictment is baseless and that lying to the FBI is an entrapment charge when they openly cheered anybody associated with Trump suffering a similar fate.
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