Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann found NOT GUILTY of lying to the FBI

Hillary Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann is ACQUITTED of lying to FBI in John Durham’s Russia probe: Trump tears into ‘corrupt’ legal system and ‘partisan’ compromised judges

  • The lawyer was accused of misrepresenting himself to the FBI in a meeting with a federal agent, not disclosing that he was working with Hillary Clinton
  • He was employed by her campaign when presenting purported links between the Trump Organization and a Russian bank to a federal agent in 2016
  • It’s the only case in Durham’s three-year probe to have gone to trial so far 
  • The Washington, DC jury deliberated for six hours before reaching the verdict
  • ‘Our Legal System is CORRUPT, our Judges (and Justices!) are highly partisan, compromised or just plain scared,’ Donald Trump wrote on Truth Social
  • Sussmann said outside of the courthouse after the verdict, ‘Despite being falsely accused, I’m relieved that justice ultimately prevailed in my case’ 

Former Hillary Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann has been found not guilty of lying to the FBI in the first trial of Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation into what sparked the investigation of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. 

It’s one of just two indictments and one guilty plea in Durham’s three-year inquiry into the origins of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, spurred by allegations that Trump’s 2016 campaign got help from Russia. 

After just six hours of deliberation, a jury rejected Durham’s claim that Sussmann lied to federal agents when sending them dirt on Trump’s alleged links to a bank backed by Moscow.

Trump slammed the verdict as the result of a ‘corrupt’ legal system. 

‘Our Legal System is CORRUPT, our Judges (and Justices!) are highly partisan, compromised or just plain scared, our Borders are OPEN, our Elections are Rigged, inflation is RAMPANT, gas prices and food costs are “through the roof,” our Military “Leadership” is Woke, our Country is going to HELL, and Michael Sussmann is not guilty,’ the ex-president fumed on his social media app Truth Social.

‘How’s everything else doing? Enjoy your day!!!’ 

Sussmann said outside of the courthouse on Tuesday, ‘I told the truth to the FBI, and the jury clearly recognized that with their unanimous verdict today. I’m grateful to the members of the jury for their careful, thoughtful service.’

‘Despite being falsely accused, I’m relieved that justice ultimately prevailed in my case.’

He said the past year had been ‘difficult’ on him and his family. 

‘But right now we are just grateful for the love and support of so many during this ordeal and i look forward to getting back tot he work I love,’ the attorney said.

Attorney Michael Sussmann’s trial was the first in Special Counsel John Durham’s three-year investigation into the 2017 Mueller probe

Durham said after the trial, ‘While we are disappointed in the outcome, we respect the jury’s decision & thank them for their service.’ 

‘I also want to recognize & thank the investigators & the prosecution team for their dedicated efforts in seeking truth & justice in this case,’ the investigator added. 

Prosecutors claimed that Sussmann misrepresented himself to former FBI General Counsel Jim Baker when he asked for a meeting in 2016, where he then presented purported evidence connecting the Trump Organization and a top Russian bank. 

Durham claimed the attorney posed himself as a concerned citizen when in reality he was working on behalf of Hillary Clinton and a tech executive named Rodney Joffe.

Durham was appointed to look into the government’s handling of the 2017 Russian election interference probe by Trump Attorney General Bill Barr

Baker told a jury earlier this month that denying acting on behalf of ‘any particular client’ was ‘part of [Sussmann’s] introduction to the meeting’ 

He said knowingly meeting with a campaign operative would ‘raise very serious questions’ in his mind ‘about the credibility of the source and the veracity of the info,’ according to the New York Post.

‘I think I would have said: Meet with case agents associated with the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Meet with the ‘Midyear Exam’ folks,’ Baker said. 

The special counsel also claimed in an April court filing that Sussmann worked with Joffe and his company and ‘numerous cyber researchers, and employees at multiple Internet companies’ to access damaging information about Trump. 

Trump fumed about the verdict on Truth Social shortly after the jury’s decision was announced


They claim Sussmann did not tell agents that he was working on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign 

John Durham, the former top federal prosecutor in Connecticut, was appointed in 2019 by then-Attorney General William Barr to examine whether anyone committed misconduct as federal agencies investigated Russian election interference in the 2016 election.

His investigation has gone on longer than Mueller’s did and he has charged three people, including Sussmann who was the first to be acquitted. 

Though Durham’s initial mandate was thought to focus on government officials, and though his team has interviewed FBI personnel, Justice Department lawyers and CIA officials, the investigation has also focused on private citizens such as Sussmann who came forward with information about Trump – such as the now debunked claims he had a secret back channel with the Vladimir Putin-linked Alfa Bank.

It is unclear how much longer the investigation will last, though Attorney General Merrick Garland has shown no public interest in curtailing the work and Durham was given a specific title of special counsel in the weeks before Barr resigned to ensure he could continue his work in a new administration.

In 2020, a former FBI lawyer named Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty to altering an email related to secret FBI surveillance of an ex-Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page. In applying for warrants to eavesdrop on Page, the FBI relied on a dossier of anti-Trump research known colloquially as the ‘Steele dossier’ that contained rumors and uncorroborated claims.

Last year, Durham charged a Russia analyst who was a source for that dossier with lying to the FBI about his own sources of information – among them, a longtime Hillary Clinton supporter. Igor Danchenko has pleaded not guilty. The case is pending and set for trial in October.

Durham’s filing alleges that Sussmann met with ‘the author of a now well-known dossier regarding Trump,’ believed to be Christopher Steele, at the offices of ‘Law Firm-1,’ believed to be Perkins Coie, his former employer.

Steele’s dossier had been seized upon by Democrats as proof that Trump was under the Kremlin’s influence but the former British spy’s purported evidence has since widely been questioned and discredited.

It was also used as the basis for the FBI to launch an investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, which led to the Mueller probe.

That investigation did not find collusion between Trump’s team and Moscow but uncovered Russia did make efforts to tip the scales in the ex-president’s favor. 

Sussmann’s lawyers denied that he lied to the FBI, and argue that his alleged misstatement would not have had any bearing on the bureau’s actions either way. 

During the trial they stressed that there was no proof the Clinton campaign directed Sussmann to go to the FBI. 

Durham had been appointed by Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr. His team indicted Sussmann in September 2021.

Barr criticized Mueller’s Russia investigation in a recent episode of conservative talk host Glenn Beck’s podcast.

‘I think whatever you think of Trump, the fact is that the whole Russiagate thing was a grave injustice. It was a – it appears to be a dirty political trick that was used first to hobble him and then potentially to drive him from office,’ Barr said. 

Asked by Beck if he believed the probe was ‘at least seditious’ if not ‘treason,’ Barr responded: ‘I believe it is seditious, yes.’

Durham’s probe faced a setback late last month when a judge refused to allow Clinton’s past tweets accusing Trump of working with Russia to be entered into the record.

Judge Christopher Cooper had ruled that the social media posts constituted hearsay and were ‘duplicative of other evidence.’

The GOP-appointed special counsel had tried to get a pair of tweets dated October 31, 2016 into the record ahead of Sussmann’s trial.

In one, Clinton linked a Slate article detailing alleged communication between Trump’s real estate business and Alfa Bank.

‘It’s time for Trump to answer serious questions about his ties to Russia,’ the Democrat captioned her post. 

The additional follow-up tweet read: ‘Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.’ 

From Bill Barr’s confirmation hearing to indictments and the crumbling of the Steele dossier: The timeline of Durham’s investigation leading up to bombshell Hillary claims

May 17, 2017 –  Then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoints Robert Mueller as special counsel. Among other things, Mueller is directed to investigate ‘any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with’ Trump’s presidential campaign.

January 15, 2019 – Bill Barr first alluded to what would become the Durham investigation in his Senate confirmation hearing. He promised then-Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham he would examine the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation against Donald Trump.  

On March 22, 2019 – Mueller closed his special investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and submitted his final report to Barr. 

March 24, 2019 –  Attorney General Barr issued his summary of the report. 

March 25, 2019 – Barr met with then-Connecticut Attorney General John Durham. Justice Department records show the two had 18 more meetings and three calls that year. 

April 10, 2019 – Barr testified before a Senate Appropriations panel where he announced a review on ‘the genesis and the conduct of intelligence activities directed at the Trump campaign during 2016.’ 

April 12, 2019 – A top Barr aide spoke with DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to explain what appeared to be the start of Durham’s probe. 

May 13, 2019 – It became public that Barr tapped Durham to probe issues related to the origins of the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation. 

May 23, 2019 – Trump said Barr asked him to direct intelligence officials to cooperate with the probe into surveillance during the 2016 election.’ Trump authorized Barr to declassify and downgrade information related to the probe.  

July 25, 2019 – Trump held his infamous phone call with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky, revealing Trump may have referred to the Durham probe when he asked Kyiv for help and insisted Zelensky speak with Barr and Rudy Giuliani. 

October 19, 2019 – Two articles came out indicating Durham interviewed two dozen FBI officials. 

October 24, 2019 – The New York Times broke the news that the Durham inquiry was now a criminal investigation. 

December 2019 – Durham was revealed to be examining the role of the Obama-era CIA director John Brennan in how the intelligence community assessed Russia’s 2016 election interference. 

April 2020 – Durham’s probe proceeded despite the pandemic. 

April 10, 2020 – Barr said Durham’s ‘primary focus… is looking to bring to justice people who are engaged in abuses if he can show that they were criminal violations.’

April 24, 2020 – Probe shifted to looking at leaks within the Trump administration that prompted chaos in his early years. 

May 18, 2020 – Barr said during a press conference that neither Obama nor Biden was the focus of Durham’s criminal probe. 

September 2021 – Durham issued new set of subpoenas, including to a law firm with close ties to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. 

September 17, 2021 – Cybersecurity lawyer Michael Sussmann pleaded not guilty in federal court. He was indicted for lying to the FBI in a 2016 meeting where he shared information related to ties between the Trump Organization and Russia’s Alfa Bank. He said he wasn’t working for a client but was hired by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. 

November 2021 – Durham charged Russian-born analyst Igor Danchenko with lying to the FBI in fabricating a sources for the Steele dossier. He pleaded not guilty to five counts of making false statements to a federal agent.

February 11, 2022 – Durham filing reveals Clinton paid tp have Trump Tower and White House servers hacked to ‘fabricate’ ties between Trump and Russia. 

February 2022 – Trump-era Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe reveals Durham thinks there is ‘enough evidence’ to indict ‘several more people.’ He also said Obama and Biden were briefed on the Clinton revelations in 2016. 

May 2022 – Jury finds Sussmann not guilty of lying to the FBI about misrepresenting himself when he provided debunked claims of a secret backchannel between Trump and the Kremlin-linked Alfa Bank. 

The Steele dossier ‘source’, an attorney linked to Hillary and a lawyer in Mueller’s probe: The accusations in Durham’s investigation

HILLARY CLINTON 

A recently revealed filing from Special Counsel John Durham alleged Hillary Clinton paid a lawyer to infiltrate Trump Tower and White House servers in the 2016 campaign and after. It claims she was seeking to fabricate a link between Trump and Russia’ Alfa Bank to distract from her email scandal at the time. 

Igor Danchenko

IGOR DANCHENKO

The 43-year-old Russian-born analyst was arrested in November 2021 in Virginia by federal agents assigned to Durham’s special counsel and charged with five counts of lying to FBI agents about the sources he used in collecting information for Michael Steele, who is identified in the indictment only as ‘UK Person-1’.

Danchenko was the primary researcher for Steele’s opposition research dossier alleging that Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign conspired with Russia in a covert operation to beat Clinton. He also informed Steele that Russia had the infamous ‘golden showers’ tape that could be used to blackmail Trump.  

Michael Sussmann

MICHAEL SUSSMANN 

In September 2021, Durham indicted the cybersecurity lawyer, accusing him of lying to the FBI during a September 2016 conversation when relaying concerns about potentially suspicious cyber contacts between a Trump Organization server and the server of a Russian bank.

When bringing the concerns to then-FBI general counsel James Baker, the indictment alleged that Sussmann lied and said he was not representing a client when he was actually hired by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign  

Sussmann has pleaded not guilty and his lawyers have claimed the case is driven by politics. 

On May 31, 2022, Michael Sussmann was found not guilty.  

Kevin Clinesmith

KEVIN CLINESMITH

The first criminal charges in Durham’s probe were against Kevin Clinesmith, an FBI attorney assigned to the Robert Mueller probe. 

Clinesmith, 38, pleaded guilty to altering an email during the process of acquiring a wiretap warrant renewal on former FBI lawyer Lisa Page. 

He was sentenced to probation.

JOHN BRENNAN

 The Obama-era CIA Director was questioned by Durham’s team for eight hours in August 2020 as part of the ongoing investigation. Specifically the special counsel was interested in whether Brennan pushed for a more blunt assessment of Russia’s motivations

Trump-era Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said Monday that Brennan did brief then President Barack Obama and Vice President at the time Joe Biden in 2016 about the allegations Clinton was trying to ‘fabricate’ a link between Trump and Russia.

Rodney Joffe

RODNEY JOFFE 

While a ‘key player’ in the Durham investigation, Rodney Joffe is not officially indicted or accused of any wrongdoing as of yet. He is, however, referred to as ‘Tech Executive-1’ in Sussmann’s indictment for allegedly lying to the FBI by withholding his connections to Clinton’s 2016 campaign. 

The indictment for Sussmann notes that Joffe ‘retained Sussman as his lawyer’ in February 2015 in connection with an unspecified ‘matter involving an agency of the US government.’ 

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