Durham to indict a Clinton-connected lawyer for lying about Trump’s ties to Russia: report

John Durham plans to ask a grand jury to indict Democratic cybersecurity lawyer Michael Sussmann for making a false statement to the FBI

Michael Sussmann, a Clinton-connected attorney, is expected to be indicted by Special Counsel John Durham for lying to the FBI during a meeting about spurious connections between then-President Donald Trump and Russia, The New York Times reports.

  • John Durham plans to ask a grand jury to indict Democratic cybersecurity lawyer Michael Sussmann for making a false statement to the FBI
  • He alleged Michael Sussmann, a lawyer at Perkins Coie, gave FBI data from researchers who thought numbers might be evidence of secrets between Trump and Russia 
  • Michael Sussmann denied the accusations and claimed he arranged the meeting in Russia in 2016 to represent a cybersecurity expert 
  • His indictment is not guaranteed but only on rare occasions will grand juries decline a request such as Durham’s 
  • Durham’s team suggested a theory that Clinton campaign used Perkins Coie to submit information to FBI about Russia and Trump to hurt his 2016 campaign 
  • The FBI concluded the researchers’ concerns had no merit and Sussmann’s lawyers are expecting their client to be indicted

“The case against Mr. Sussmann centers on the question of who his client was when he conveyed certain suspicions about Mr. Trump and Russia to the FBI in September 2016,” the Times reports. Michael Sussmann was allegedly connected to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign through his work at law firm Perkins Coie.

“Among other things, investigators have examined whether Mr. Sussmann was secretly working for the Clinton campaign — which he denies.”

During the meeting with the FBI, “Sussmann relayed data and analysis from cybersecurity researchers who thought that odd internet data might be evidence of a covert communications channel between computer servers associated with the Trump Organization and with Alfa Bank, a Kremlin-linked Russian financial institution,” The New York Times reports.

“The FBI eventually decided those concerns had no merit. The special counsel who later took over the Russia investigation, Robert S. Mueller III, ignored the matter in his final report.”

During the 2016 meeting with the FBI, Michael Sussman initially told James Baker that he was not representing any client. When Sussman testified before Congress in 2017, he stated that he was representing an unnamed cybersecurity client, which was in direct conflict with what he told the FBI.

Internal billing records were also obtained, revealing that Sussman’s time spent on “the Alfa Bank matter” was actually billed to Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Sussman’s lawyers claim he was representing the cybersecurity expert he mentioned in Congress, and that he was not working “on behalf of or at the direction of the Clinton campaign.”

The billing records are “misleading” according to Sussman’s attorneys, because that time was spent on something other than Alfa Bank, and he was “not charging his client for work on the Alfa Bank matter, but needed to show internally that he was working on something.”

Michael Sussman was able to assign billable hours to that account line without increasing the client’s costs in 2016 because there was a flat monthly retainer for work with Clinton.

Durham is expected to indict Michael Sussmann on the grounds that the Clinton campaign used Perkins Coie to submit information to the FBI in order to harm Trump’s campaign, according to the report.

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