A former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer involved in the creation of the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory was acquitted on a charge of lying to the FBI on Tuesday.
Michael Sussman had been accused of lying to James Baker, the general counsel of the FBI, in a 2016 meeting where he sought FBI investigation of then-candidate Donald Trump’s supposed ties to Russia, according to the Washington Post.
Sussman allegedly told Baker that he wasn’t representing any client at the time — while actually representing Clinton.
Sussman’s lawyers argued that there wasn’t hard proof of the Democrat’s alleged lie to Baker. Sussman and Baker were the only two individuals in the meeting in question, and there weren’t any notes.
In testimony, Baker said that he was “100 percent confident” that Sussman lied about his representation of Clinton in the September 2016 meeting.
In the meeting, Sussman tried to convince Baker that the FBI should investigate supposed links between Trump’s campaign and Alfa Bank, a Russian business owned by allies of Vladimir Putin.
Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank. pic.twitter.com/8f8n9xMzUU
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 1, 2016
The FBI ultimately dismissed claims of a connection between Trump and Alfa Bank as bogus.
The jury in Sussman’s trial included individuals with links to establishment Democrats.
Reminder that the jury in Michael Sussman’s case included three Hillary Clinton donors, an AOC donor, and a woman whose daughter was on the same sports team with Sussmann’s daughter.
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) May 31, 2022
The trial pulled its jurors from the heavily Democratic Washington, D.C., area, raising questions of partisan bias.
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The case against Sussman was the first trial involving John Durham, a prosecutor appointed as a special counsel to investigate the creation of the Trump-Russia scheme.
Durham expressed his disagreement with the verdict while respecting the jury’s conclusions in a statement after the trial, according to the New York Post.
“While we are disappointed in the outcome, we respect the jury’s decision and thank them for their service.”
“I also want to recognize and thank the investigators and the prosecution team for their dedicated efforts in seeking truth and justice in this case,” Durham said.
Durham’s next case levies charges against a Russian national involved in publicizing the bogus “Steele Dossier” that alleged Trump was compromised by Russian intelligence.