Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

U.S. jury finds ex-Clinton campaign lawyer not guilty of lying to FBI

World May 31, 2022 02:37PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Attorney Michael Sussmann departs the U.S. Federal Courthouse after opening arguments in his trial, where Special Counsel John Durham is prosecuting Sussmann on charges that he lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) while providing

By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A jury in Washington on Tuesday found a former attorney for Hillary Clinton's U.S. presidential campaign not guilty of lying to the FBI when he met with the bureau in September 2016 to share a tip about possible communications between Donald Trump's business and a Russian bank.

The verdict to acquit attorney Michael Sussmann was a blow to Special Counsel John Durham, who was appointed by former Attorney General William Barr during Trump's administration to probe any missteps in the FBI's investigation into whether Trump's campaign was colluding with Russia.

“While we are disappointed in the outcome, we respect the jury’s decision and thank them for their service," Durham said in a statement.

Sussmann was accused of lying to the FBI's former top attorney James Baker at a Sept. 19, 2016, meeting when he said he was not representing any clients as he passed along technical data and white papers that claimed the Trump Organization was secretly communicating with Russia's Alfa-Bank.

His defense team showed seemingly exculpatory evidence that Sussmann billed his law firm, not the Clinton campaign, for his cab ride to the FBI, bolstering his argument that he was not representing the campaign for that meeting.

Durham's team, however, claimed that Sussmann was actually representing two clients: Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign and Rodney Joffe, a technology executive who personally oversaw the research into the tip tying Trump to Alfa-Bank. The research shared with the FBI was later debunked.

Trump, on his Truth social media platform, lambasted the jury's decision, claiming without evidence that the legal system is "corrupt."

The case against Sussmann was Durham's first to go to trial, and was seen as a crucial test because it rested on a single alleged false statement made in a room with only two people, neither of whom took any notes or recorded the meeting.

Baker, Durham's star witness, had previously given conflicting testimony to Congress and the Justice Department Inspector General about his recollection on whether Sussmann was meeting with him on behalf of any specific clients.

However, Baker testified during the trial that he was "100% confident" Sussmann told him he was not representing any clients - a recollection that was also bolstered by a text message Sussmann sent him a day before their meeting in which Sussmann told Baker: "I'm coming on my own - not on behalf of a client or company."

In a statement after the trial, Sussmann said: "I told the truth to the FBI, and the jury clearly recognized that with their unanimous verdict today.

"I am grateful to the members of the jury for their careful and thoughtful service. Despite being falsely accused, I am relieved that justice ultimately prevailed in this case," he said.

During the trial, prosecutors portrayed Sussmann, formerly a partner with the law firm Perkins Coie, as a privileged high-powered attorney who tried to exploit his political connections by planting damaging and false information about Trump in order to bolster Clinton ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Sussmann's billing records, they said, also showed that he was representing the Clinton campaign on the Alfa-Bank matter.

Sussmann's defense team, however, denied that he lied to Baker, and said he was never directed by the Clinton campaign to share the Alfa-Bank tip with the FBI.

Multiple witnesses including the Clinton campaign's former top lawyer Marc Elias testified that Sussmann never sought permission to share the tip, and that doing so was not in the campaign's best interest.

In a statement, Sussmann's attorneys on Tuesday called the case an example of "extraordinary prosecutorial overreach."

"Politics is no substitute for evidence, and politics has no place in our system of justice," they added.

U.S. jury finds ex-Clinton campaign lawyer not guilty of lying to FBI
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email