Special Counsel John Durham’s team of prosecutors began to lay out their case against former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussman in court today.
In a blistering opening statement, Durham’s team alleged Sussman used the FBI by sharing unverified information that falsely showed a fictional link between a Kremlin-affiliated Russian bank and the Trump Organization in the homestretch of the 2016 presidential election.
The prosecution added that Sussman reportedly told then-FBI General Counsel Jim Baker the night before their meeting that “I’m coming on my own – not on behalf of a client or company – want to help the Bureau.”
Fox News further reports:
Sussmann is charged with making a false statement to the FBI when he told former FBI General Counsel James Baker in September 2016 — less than two months before the presidential election — that he was not doing work “for any client” when he requested and attended a meeting with Baker where he presented “purported data and ‘white papers’ that allegedly demonstrated a covert communicates channel” between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, which has ties to the Kremlin.
Durham’s team alleges Sussmann was, in fact, doing work for two clients: the Hillary Clinton campaign and a technology executive, Rodney Joffe. Following the meeting with Baker, Sussmann billed the Hillary Clinton campaign for his work.
American Liberty News recently reported that Durham alerted the judge presiding over the case that Sussmann’s clients (Hillary and the Democratic National Committee) “likely violated campaign finance laws” in an attempt to force them to disclose documents “relating to their conspiracy to smear Trump.”
Sussmann has pled not guilty.
Federal prosecutor Deborah Brittain Shaw delivered the government’s opening argument, saying the case is one “about privilege.”
The government told the jury that during the trial, it will present physical evidence, including handwritten notes from FBI officials, two thumb drives that Sussmann gave to the FBI containing the allegations against Trump and also testimony and documents to prove their charge against Sussmann.
Shaw repeated during her opening statement that the case was about privilege. “No one should be so privileged as to have the ability to walk into the FBI and lie for political ends,” she added.