Special Counsel John Durham's team says evidence has 'proven' Sussmann is guilty


Special Counsel John Durham’s team delivered its closing argument in the trial of Michael Sussmann Friday morning, saying the evidence has "proven beyond a reasonable doubt" that Sussmann made a false statement to the FBI. Sussman had said he was not bringing the debunked allegations of a covert communications channel between the Trump Organization and a Russian bank to the bureau on behalf of any client, when he, in fact, billed Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign for his time and work on the matter.

Federal prosecutor Jonathan Algor delivered the government’s closing argument Friday morning, presenting their final case to the jury.

Sussmann has been charged with one count of making a false statement to the FBI when he met with then-FBI General Counsel James Baker on Sept. 19, 2016. The government alleges Sussmann told Baker that he was not bringing allegations tying then-candidate Donald Trump to the Kremlin-linked Alfa Bank on behalf of any client, but rather, as a citizen concerned with national security.

Sussmann has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

But the government argued that billing records, testimony and other written evidence prove that Sussmann was charging the Clinton campaign for his work on the matter, and has said throughout the trial that he billed the Clinton campaign for the FBI meeting.

"The evidence has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant Michael Sussmann made a false statement to the FBI," Algor said. "The defendant used his privilege as a high-powered Washington lawyer, a former DOJ prosecutor… to bypass normal channels and expedite a meeting with the FBI general counsel."

"He knew he had to conceal his connection to the Clinton campaign and to Rodney Joffe," Algor said. "He knew if he told Baker he was there on behalf of the Clinton campaign, the chances of an FBI investigation would be diminished."

Algor went on to stress that the allegations were "not about national security" but "about opposition research against candidate Donald Trump."

Algor laid out the false statement charge, alleging that Sussmann’s statement to Baker during the meeting was the false statement, saying the evidence shows the statement was "untrue when it was made and he knew it was untrue."

Algor referenced the "materiality" ... (Read more)

Submitted 33 days ago

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