July 5, 2022

Michael Sussman was acquitted in a case brought by a Trump-era lawyer

Washington – Donald J. Michael Zusmann, a key Democrat lawyer linked to the Democrats, was acquitted Tuesday of lying to the FBI that he was not a 2016 client about possible links between Trump and Russia.

John H., a special adviser appointed by the Trump administration three years ago. For Durham, the ruling was a blow to whether there was anything wrong with the Trump-Russia investigation.

In 2016, a case centered on odd Internet data discovered by cybersecurity researchers went public in Russia. The Democrats had been hacked And Mr. Trump encouraged the country Hillary Clinton targeted emails.

The researchers said the data could reflect a secret communications channel using servers for the Trump organization and the Kremlin-affiliated bank Alpha Bank. The FBI looked at the suspicions briefly and dismissed them.

On September 19, 2016, Mr. Sussman brought the suspicion to a senior FBI officer. Prosecutors allege he lied to the officer that he was not there on behalf of any client, who was actually Ms. He hid his work for Clinton’s campaign and for a technical administrator who brought him a tip.

Mr. Using court filings and investigative evidence, Durham and his investigative team, Mr. Sussman described how he worked for a law firm affiliated with the Democratic Party and recorded his time in the Clinton campaign, trying to get reporters to write about Alpha Bank. Doubts.

But it is not a crime to try to force journalists to write such suspicions. Mr. Sussmann’s guilt or innocence became a narrow issue: whether he made a false statement to a senior FBI officer at the 2016 meeting, and he did not share those suspicions with anyone.

Mr. Durham used the case to plot a major conspiracy: by obtaining the FBI to plot a joint venture with Russia, reporters would write about it – a plot involving the Clinton campaign. ; Its anti-research firm, Fusion GPS; Mr. சுஸ்மான்; And an internet security expert who brought him odd data and analysis.

Sharing his view that Russia’s investigation is a “hoax”, Mr. That provocation thrilled Trump supporters and sought to link the actual investigation to sometimes subtle or dubious allegations. In fact, the Alpha Bank affair is a neglect: Mr. Even before Sussmann issued the tip, the FBI had begun its investigation for other reasons, and Special Adviser Robert S. M இறுதிller III’s final statement made no mention of this. Alpha Bank Suspicion.

But Mr. The case that Durham and his team used to float their broader intentions was thin – a false statement issued at a meeting with no other witnesses or contemporary references. The evidence and arguments made by Attorney General Andrew Tbilipis and his colleagues Marshall have been reconciled with the 12 judges, who have stated that Mr. They unanimously voted that Sussman was not guilty.

Mr. Some of Trump’s supporters have pointed to the reputation of the District of Columbia as a more democratic area, raising the expectation that a jury might be politically biased against a Trump-era lawyer. Clinton works for the campaign.

Mr. Durham expressed disappointment about the verdict, but said he appreciated the arbitral award, which lasted about six hours.

“I would like to acknowledge and thank the team of investigators and prosecutors for their dedicated efforts in seeking truth and justice in this case,” he said in a statement.

Shortly after the verdict was announced, Mr. Sussmann read out a brief statement to reporters outside the court, thanking the jury, his defense team and those who supported him and his family during the difficult year. He took no questions.

“I told the FBI the truth and today the arbitral tribunal has clearly recognized their unanimous decision,” he said: “I am relieved that justice has finally been done in this case, despite the false accusations.”

The judge told the jury not to take their own political views into account when deciding the facts.

The defense, which has portrayed the lawyers’ motives as “political conspiracy theories”, said the New York Times was already considering writing an article on the subject. Sussman argued that he had brought the matter to the FBI. The console raises the head so it does not get caught on the flat foot.

Clinton campaign officials testified during the trial that they did not tell or authorize him to go to the FBI – and that doing so was against their interests because they did not trust the Bureau and that it would slow the publication of any article.

In a statement, Shawn Bergowitz and Michael Bosworth, Mr. Susman’s two attorneys, Mr. Criticized Durham.

“Michael Sussman should not have been the first to be charged,” they said. “This is an extraordinary litigation case. We hope that today’s verdict sends a clear message to anyone who wants to hear it: there is no substitute for political evidence and there is no place for politics in our justice system.

This story is evolving. Check back for updates.