Politics Lawyer who allegedly advised Clinton campaign charged with lying to FBI in tip about possible Trump-Russia bank link
Russia opposition stifled but unbowed as Duma election nears
MOSCOW (AP) — In the months before Sunday's parliamentary election in Russia, authorities unleashed an unprecedented crackdown on the opposition, making sure that the best-known and loudest Kremlin critics didn’t run. Some were barred from seeking public office under new, repressive laws. Some were forced to leave the country after threats of prosecution. Some were jailed. Pressure also mounted on independent media and human rights activists: A dozen news outlets and rights groups were given crippling labels of “foreign agents” and “undesirable organizations” or accused of ties with them.
- A lawyer who allegedly advised the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign was indicted Thursday on a charge of lying to the FBI.
- Federal prosecutors say the lawyer, Perkins Coie law firm partner Michael Sussmann, 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
A lawyer who allegedly advised the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign was indicted Thursday on a charge of lying to the FBI.
Trump-appointed counsel said to be seeking to indict Michael Sussmann
John Durham plans to ask a grand jury to indict Democratic lawyer Michael Sussmann for making a false statement to the FBI. He alleged Sussmann may have been secretly working for Clinton.Former federal prosecutor Michael Sussmann, 57, who now works as a partner at the Perkins Coie law firm, represented the Democratic National Committee when Russia hacked its servers back in 2016.
Federal prosecutors say the lawyer, Perkins Coie law firm partner Michael Sussmann, 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 against Sussmann was filed as part of special counsel John Durham's investigation into the origins of a prior probe by the FBI and former special counsel Robert Mueller into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. Then-Attorney General William Barr put Durham in charge of the investigation in early 2019 after Trump had railed about the Russia inquiry for several years.
Sussmann, a 57-year-old former federal prosecutor, has reportedly denied working for the Clinton campaign. He is accused in the indictment of lying to the FBI's general counsel during a September 2016 meeting by falsely stating he was not representing any legal client as he relayed the information about a possible electronic link between the Trump Organization and the Alfa Bank.
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"In fact, Sussmann assembled and conveyed the allegations to the FBI on behalf of at least two clients, including a U.S. technology executive and the Clinton Presidential Campaign," Durham's office said in a statement announcing the indictment by a Washington, D.C., federal court grand jury.
The indictment says that beginning in July 2016, Sussmann worked with the tech executive, other cyber researchers, and an American investigative firm to assemble data and documents that Sussman later gave the FBI and media.
"The technology executive, for his part, exploited his access to non-public data at multiple internet companies and enlisted the assistance of researchers at a U.S.-based university who were receiving and analyzing internet data in connection with a pending federal government cybersecurity research contract designed to identify the perpetrators of malicious cyber-attacks and protect U.S. national security," Durham's office said.
Special counsel Durham's probe into origins of Trump-Russia investigation nears end
Special counsel John Durham is nearing the conclusion of his more than two-year-long probe into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation and faces a looming deadline on whether to seek charges over the handling of evidence used in the probe, according to people briefed on the matter. © U.S. Department of Justice/AP This 2018 portrait released by the U.S. Department of Justice shows Connecticut's U.S. Attorney John Durham.
The indictment charges that those researchers 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.
Sussmann, his law firm, and the technology executive also allegedly coordinated with members of Clinton's campaign in those efforts, according to the indictment.
Durham's office noted in its statement that after getting Sussmann's tip, "The FBI ultimately determined that there was insufficient evidence to support the allegations of a secret communications channel between the Trump Organization and the Russia-based bank."
Sussmann, a former federal prosecutor, is due to appear in court as soon as Friday. His profile page on the Perkins Coie website delivered a "page not found" message to viewers on Thursday.
A spokesman for the firm did not immediately return a request for comment.
Sussmann's lawyers,and of Latham & Watkins,
"Mr. Sussmann has committed no crime," the statement said.
"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. We are confident that if Mr. Sussmann is charged, he will prevail at trial and vindicate his good name."
Sussmann judge was previously 'professional acquaintances' with lawyer indicted by Durham .
The judge presiding over the case against Democratic lawyer Michael Sussmann said he was “professional acquaintances” at the Department of Justice with him in the 1990s, and the judge’s wife represents former FBI lawyer Lisa Page — issues special counsel John Durham’s team has not raised to push for recusal. © Provided by Washington Examiner The grand jury indictment against Sussmann, a former DOJ veteran, centers on a September 2016 meeting between him and then-FBI General Counsel James Baker in which Sussmann passed along allegations claiming there was a secret backchannel between Russia’s Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization.