Special Counsel John Durham is stepping in, filing a motion to stop a federal court from letting a criminal lawyer off of the hook.
On March 4th, in an attempt to stop the federal court from dismissing a charge against a lawyer who lied to the FBI about representing Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, John Durham has filed a motion.
This new development comes days after the lawyer, Michael Sussman, requested that the federal judge dismiss the criminal case against him.
Sussmann hid his relationship with the Clinton campaign when he presented the FBI with findings from a cybersecurity firm alleging suspicious internet activity between then-candidate Donald Trump’s business and a Russian bank.
Excerpt from the exclusive Epoch Times report:
Michael Sussmann was representing the Clinton campaign when in 2016 he passed along information to an FBI counsel. His lawyers say the documents “raised national security concerns” while prosecutors describe them as purportedly detailing a covert channel between a Russian bank and the business of Donald Trump, Clinton’s rival at the time.
Sussmann was charged with lying to the FBI because he falsely told the counsel he was not providing the allegations to the FBI on behalf of any client despite presenting the information on behalf of the Clinton campaign, prosecutors say.
In a filing in February, Sussmann’s lawyers moved to dismiss the charge, claiming their client “did not make any false statement to the FBI” but even if he had, “the false statement alleged in the indictment is immaterial as a matter of law.”
Sussmann’s lawyers filing stated:
“Allowing this case to go forward would risk criminalizing ordinary conduct, raise First Amendment concerns, dissuade honest citizens from coming forward with tips, and chill the advocacy of lawyers who interact with the government.
“The Special Counsel’s unprecedented and unlawful overreach should not be countenanced, and the single count against Mr. Sussmann should be dismissed.”
On Friday, Special Counsel John Durham and his team urged the court to reject the Sussmann filing:
“The defendant’s false statement to the FBI General Counsel was plainly material because it misled the General Counsel about, among other things, the critical fact that the defendant was disseminating highly explosive allegations about a then-Presidential candidate on behalf of two specific clients, one of which was the opposing Presidential campaign,” their filing said.
“The defendant’s efforts to mislead the FBI in this manner during the height of a Presidential election season plainly could have influenced the FBI’s decision-making in any number of ways,” Durham’s team argued.
More details from The Epoch Times report:
If the case proceeds to trial, the government expects the evidence to prove that the FBI could have taken steps prior to initiating a full investigation into the matter, including an assessment, and may have delayed a decision until after the 2016 election or ultimately declined to investigate the matter altogether.
Had Sussmann revealed he was working on behalf of clients, the FBI counsel and other FBI workers might have asked other questions, including whether those clients harbored biases or motives that might cast doubt on the reliability of the information, and the FBI would have likely conducted “additional, behind-the-scenes steps (database checks, case file searches, etc.) to assess the defendant’s potential motivations and those of his client,” the special counsel’s office said.
Unfortunately, the decision as to whether the charges against Sussmann will be dismissed is now left up to Obama-nominated District Judge Beryl Howell. Hopefully, her political views won’t affect the result of the case.