Sunday, September 19, 2021

Russiagate: Durham Delivers

At least a little. It's been a couple of days since Special Counsel John Durham indicted Perkins Coie cyber lawyer Michael Sussman on charges of lying to the FBI when he denied working for the Clinton campaign when he brought them largely bogus evidence that Trump was in contact to Russia through the Alfa Bank, and the news has had time to ferment a bit. Let's see what has been brewed.

At NYPo, Attorney linked to Hillary Clinton campaign indicted in Durham Russia origins probe

Sussmann is accused of a single count of making a false statement to federal authorities on Sept. 19, 2016. The indictment was returned just three days short of the expiration of the five-year statute of limitations.

According to the indictment, Sussmann met with then-FBI General Counsel James A. Baker on that date to pass along information indicating that servers at the Trump Organization were communicating with servers at Alfa-Bank, a Moscow-based financial institution.

The bank is not named in the indictment, but the allegations were the subject of several contemporaneous media reports ahead of the 2016 election.

During their conversation, Sussmann allegedly told Baker that “he was not acting on behalf of any client, which led the FBI General Counsel to understand that Sussmann was conveying the allegations as a good citizen and not as an advocate”.

“In fact …” the indictment states, “in assembling and conveying these allegations, Sussmann acted on behalf of specific clients,” including the Clinton campaign.
Note that the charge has nothing to do with the fact that Sussman brought a charge he knew was bogus to the FBI, only that he lied to the FBI about if, and who was paying him to do so. I'm pretty sure the FBI was not, in fact, fooled. Techno Fog does an adequate job of cutting through the legal fog and explaining why the lie mattered in The Michael Sussmann Indictment "No surprise: Trump/Russia was a Hillary Clinton operation all along." Nick Arama at Red State, Durham Indictment Is in and It's Big After All
That sounds like dead-to-rights to me. And they finally drop the name of Marc Elias. Can we expect to hear more there, as well?

You had stuff like this coming full circle — Hillary Clinton then using the information that she allegedly paid for against Donald Trump, pushing the myth of Russia collusion.
Tristan Justice at Da Fed, Clinton Campaign Lawyer Indicted For Role In Peddling Bogus Russiagate Hoax To FBI. At Da Caller, Dem Lawyer At The Center Of Major Trump-Russia Conspiracy Theory Indicted For Allegedly Lying To FBI. Also at NYPo, Fresh proof the Russiagate ‘scandal’ was created by the Hillary Clinton campaign. Dan Chaitin at WaEx, 'Clinton indictment' blows Russia collusion conspiracy wide open, top GOP investigator says. At this point it's already pretty open, this just points out how part of it was criminal. At Fox, Dan Bongino raises questions about the Russia investigation's origins following first Durham indictment, "Bongino questions whether the conspiracy was larger than we thought." I dunno, I already thought it was pretty big. But then, I've documented a lot of it in these posts. Sundance at CTH brings us Devin Nunes Reacts to the Clinton Lawyer, Michael Sussmann, Indictment

Slowly over five years, the Russia collusion story has been exposed for what it was: a three-legged political dirty trick in which highly credible figures with deep law enforcement, intelligence and news media ties were paid by the Clinton campaign to flood the FBI with unproven allegations that Trump was secretly colluding with Russia to steal the election from Clinton.

Twitchy, ‘Russiagate in a nutshell’: Glenn Greenwald sums up the latest on John Durham’s investigation, pulls Hillary Clinton’s old tweet about Trump’s ‘covert server’

Jonathon Turley on Da Hill, who has apparently tired of being invited to Washington DC parties, says Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks'

The 26-page indictment of former cybersecurity attorney and Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann by special counsel John Durham is as detailed as it is damning on the alleged effort to push a false Russia collusion claim before the 2016 presidential campaign. One line, however, seems to reverberate for those of us who have followed this scandal for years now: “You do realize that we will have to expose every trick we have in our bag.”

That warning from an unnamed “university researcher” captures the most fascinating aspect of the indictment in describing a type of Nixonian dirty tricks operation run by — or at least billed to — the Clinton campaign. With Nixon, his personal attorney and the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP) paid for operatives to engage in disruptive and ultimately criminal conduct targeting his opponents. With Clinton, the indictment and prior disclosures suggest that Clinton campaign lawyers at the law firm of Perkins Coie helped organize an effort to spread Russia collusion stories and trigger an investigation.

Fox, Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann pleads not guilty after allegedly lying to FBI "Attorney Michael Sussmann faces up to five years in prison if convicted"

Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui released Sussmann on his own recognizance and set a court date of September 22 for a status conference before D.C. District Court Judge Christopher Cooper.

Attorney Michael Sussmann entered a not-guilty plea in D.C. federal district court after his indictment on one count of making a false statement to the FBI. (Court sketch by William Hennessy Jr.)

Sussmann faces up to five years in prison if convicted of the charge. His guilty plea comes despite his attorneys saying in a statement that he was working "on behalf of a cyber expert client" when he met with FBI General Counsel James Baker. Nevertheless, attorneys Sean Berkowitz and Michael Bosworth of the law firm Latham & Watkins claimed that the prosecution was "baseless and politically-inspired."

And this one bothers me, as Politico chortles,  Durham prosecution faces hurdles in D.C. court

For Special Counsel John Durham, obtaining an indictment of D.C. lawyer Michael Sussmann for allegedly lying to the FBI during its investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia may turn out to be the easy part.

Getting a Washington jury to convict Sussmann could be far harder, judging by a case with significant parallels: the 2019 prosecution of former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig.

Craig, too, went to trial on a single felony false-statement count unaccompanied by any other substantive charge. The case had strong political overtones and came down, largely, to a swearing contest between the defendant and a longtime government lawyer.

It took the jury less than five hours to acquit Craig after a two-and-a-half-week trial, with some jurors saying they suspected politics were at work in the decision to go after the longtime Democratic lawyer.

It bothers me that in any trial with political implications tried in Washington DC (and most of them are), the jury is heavily biased in favor of Democrats, with Joe Biden winning 86.7% of D.C.'s vote in 2020. A Democrat has to do something really bad to be convicted, and Republicans (see Roger Stone) have a very difficult time finding a fair jury. And the judges seem almost as biased. Another argument in favor of my father's plan to move the national Capital to Fargo, North Dakota.

Dan Chaitin at WaEx also hears Durham is not expected to bring charges tied to intel assessment on Russian election interference: Report, also at WSJ, Durham not expected to charge anyone for 2017 intel analysis that Russia tried to help Trump, even though it was clearly a partisan hit job.  He's probably allergic to assassination.

Don Surber calls the  Media, the unindicted co-conspirators

Speaking of Roger Stone, he's still being harassed, for being a friend and confidant of Donald Trump, HE Roger Stone Served Legal Papers During Live Radio Interview  and at Da Hill,  Roger Stone served with Capitol riot lawsuit during radio interview.

The latest lawsuit filed against Stone was by seven Capitol Police officers, who allege he was among those responsible for the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Other defendants include, Trump's former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and InfoWars' Alex Jones.

And, a little off the line here, from sundance, Grant Stinchfield and John Solomon Report Trump Declassified Documents January 19th and White House Counsel Withheld Them

According to Stinchfield, speaking of ‘high level’ Trump administration sources, thousands of documents were declassified with instructions to release them to the public and also provide them to journalist John Solomon. The public release never took place; and Stinchfield as well as other Trump allies blame Pat Cipollone for withholding them. After explaining what his sources said took place, John Solomon joined as a guest to confirm the basic outline as presented. WATCH: 

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