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Durham team reveals damning text from Hillary Clinton lawyer Sussmann to FBI

Durham team reveals damning text from Hillary Clinton lawyer Sussmann


A damning text message shows former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann told the FBI’s top lawyer that he just wanted to “help the Bureau” by sharing since-debunked computer data involving Donald Trump and Russia.

The message, revealed in court Wednesday, was sent by Sussmann to then-FBI general counsel James Baker on the night of Sept. 18, 2016, Baker testified at Sussmann’s trial in Washington, DC, federal court.

“Jim — it’s Michael Sussmann. I have something time-sensitive (and sensitive) I need to discuss. Do you have availability for a short meeting tomorrow? I’m coming on my own — not on behalf of a client or company — want to help the Bureau. Thanks,” he wrote in the message displayed in court.

Baker said he agreed to meet with Sussmann at FBI headquarters the next day, when Sussmann handed over information that purportedly showed a secret back channel between a Trump Organization computer server and Russia’s Alfa Bank.

Sussmann sent the text messages to then-FBI general counsel James Baker.
Twitter
Alfa Bank sign is seen on a building in Minsk, Belarus September 7, 2017.
There is an alleged shared the backchannel between a Trump Organization computer server and Russia’s Alfa Bank.
Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko

Sussmann, 57, is charged with lying to the government because he was allegedly working on behalf of the Clinton campaign and another client, tech executive Rodney Joffe, who told him about the supposed Trump-Russia data.

Baker testified that he was “a bit surprised” Sussmann had his cellphone number before adding,  “But Michael’s a friend — it didn’t really freak me out.”

The key prosecution witness said that he knew Sussmann from when they both worked as Justice Department lawyers and that they grew closer after attending the funeral of a mutual friend.

Sussmann
Michael Sussmann, a cybersecurity lawyer who represented the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign in 2016, leaves federal court.
AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Baker also testified that he didn’t turn over the text message to special counsel John Durham following Sussmann’s Sept. 16 indictment because no one asked for it before the discovery phase of the case began.

“It’s frankly — I’m not out to get Michael and this is not my investigation. This is your investigation,” he said during questioning by prosecutor Andrew DeFilippis.

When Baker found the message in March, he alerted his lawyer, who contacted the government, he testified.

FBI agents went to Baker’s house to seize it the same day, he said.

Baker was set to continue testifying on Thursday.

Shortly before Baker took the witness stand, Sussmann lawyer Sean Berkowitz said the defense might seek a mistrial based on earlier prosecution questioning of former Clinton campaign general counsel Marc Elias.

The issue appears tied to an exchange in which DeFilippis pressed Elias on his assertion that he didn’t know whether Sussmann went to the FBI on behalf of the campaign.

“You’d have to ask Michael Sussmann that,” Elias said.

Judge Christopher Cooper said he would address the matter Thursday morning but told both sides to be prepared for additional testimony because he’s not inclined to declare a mistrial.



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