A senior Democratic lawyer who worked for the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign is anticipated to be indicted by Special Counsel John Durham.
Durham says he’ll seek a grand jury to indict Michael Sussman for making false statements about a meeting he had with FBI lawyer James Baker on Sept. 19, 2016.
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Sussman allegedly revealed to the FBI the debunked assumption that the Trump Organization was engaging with Alfa Bank at this encounter.
According to the New York Times, any indictment of the lawyer — Michael Sussmann, a former federal prosecutor who is now a partner at the Perkins Coie law firm and who represented the Democratic National Committee on issues related to Russia’s 2016 hacking of its servers — is likely to draw significant political attention.
“Mr. Baker, the former F.B.I. lawyer, is believed to have told investigators that he recalled Mr. Sussmann claiming that he was not meeting him on behalf of any client,” according to the New York Times.
With his testimony to Congress and his own billing records, Sussman told a different story.
Sussman’s attorneys have admitted that “they expected him to be indicted.”
Durham convened a grand jury in 2020 to investigate the phony Alfa Bank/Trump Organization claim.
According to the New York Times:
According to people familiar with the situation, the complaint against Mr. Sussmann centers on a meeting he held on Sept. 19, 2016, with James A. Baker, the F.B.I.’s top counsel at the time. They agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity.
Because such charges have a five-year statute of limitations, Mr. Durham has until this weekend to file a charge of overactivity from that date.
Mr. Sussmann presented data and analysis from cybersecurity researchers who believed that strange internet traffic could be evidence of a secret communications channel between Trump Organization computer servers and Alfa Bank, a Kremlin-linked Russian financial institution, at the meeting.
The report went on to say:
Mr. Durham, on the other hand, appears to have discovered an inconsistency: Mr. Baker, the former F.B.I. lawyer, is alleged to have told investigators that Mr. Sussmann assured him that he was not meeting him on behalf of any client. However, Mr. Sussmann testified in a 2017 deposition before Congress that he requested the meeting on behalf of an anonymous client who was a cybersecurity specialist and had assisted in the data analysis.
Furthermore, internal billing records obtained by Mr. Durham from Perkins Coie are claimed to reveal that Mr. Sussmann billed time to Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 campaign when he logged specific hours as working on the Alfa Bank problem — but not the meeting with Mr. Baker.
NEW: Prosecutor John Durham has told a cyber lawyer — who works for the firm that repped Clinton campaign — that he wants to indict him on suspicion of lying about who he repped when he told F.B.I. in '16 about potential ties b/w Trump and Russia. https://t.co/KiSUIeGuzh
— Michael S. Schmidt (@nytmike) September 15, 2021