September 16, 2021
Bill Barr-appointed DOJ special prosecutor, John Durham, filed a criminal indictment against Michael Sussmann, Perkins Coie attorney and former attorney for the Clinton Campaign, today, September 16, 2021. The following excerpt from an article published in Politico on September 16, 2021, provides the basic context for the indictment. (The complete article may be found at this link: “Special prosecutor John Durham charges ex-attorney for Clinton campaign with lying to FBI.“)
“The special prosecutor probing the origins of the federal investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, John Durham, has charged Washington lawyer Michael Sussmann with lying to the FBI during the early stages of the inquiry.
Sussmann, who worked through his firm as an attorney for the Hillary Clinton campaign, is accused in a grand jury indictment returned Thursday of a single felony count of making a false statement during a September 2016 meeting with FBI General Counsel James Baker.
Prosecutors allege Sussmann lied by denying that he was representing any client as he told the FBI about digital evidence allegedly linking computers in Trump Tower to Russia’s Alfa Bank. The FBI subsequently investigated the purported link but found ‘insufficient evidence’ to support it, prosecutors say.
Shortly after the indictment was announced, the law firm where he was a partner, Perkins Coie, said it had accepted Sussmann’s resignation. In a statement issued prior to the indictment, Sussmann’s lawyers insisted that their client was innocent and they suggested that politics were at work in the decision to charge their client.
‘Mr. Sussmann has committed no crime,’ defense attorneys Sean Berkowitz and Michael Bosworth said in the statement. ‘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.’
Sussmann’s lawyers also contend that he never made such a statement, that the evidence in the case is weak and that there’s no sign the alleged falsehood affected the FBI’s work.”
Durham’s indictment is not only legally flimsy, based on a single alleged misreprentation made by Sussmann in 2016, it also appears to be politically motivated. One motivation was Donald Trump’s paranoia over the FBI’s investigation of links between the Trump campaign and Russian election interference and his attempts to thwart it, by whatever means available. That motivation is detailed in the Daily Beast article “William Barr Delivers Chilling Message to FBI for Trump,” by MSNBC contributor and former U.S. attorney Barbara McQuade on May 15, 2019. An even more devilishly cunning political motivation can be attributed to Trump henchman and political thug, former U.S. AG Bill Barr. As explained in the article “How Do You Solve a Problem Like John Durham?” published in Lawfare on December 4, 2020, Barr’s appointment of Trump acolyte John Durham to the high powered position of special prosecutor within the DOJ was always intended to monkeywrench the DOJ for its successor, in this case Merrick Garland. That Garland had the authority to override Durham’s indictment of Sussmann today and yet did not, a decision for which Garland is already taking media fire, can be construed as evidence that Barr’s plan has proven successful if even on a small scale.
The full text of the DOJ’s criminal indictment of Michael A. Sussmann can be viewed in your browser by clicking on the link below titled “Sussmann Indictment.” Other links allow the full text to be downloaded to your device and shared on Twitter and Facebook.