John Durham says evidence shows Michael Sussmann lied when pushing Trump-Russia claims
Added 12-08-21 12:23:02pm EST - “John Durham pushed back on Michael Sussmann's claims that former FBI general counsel James Baker undermined the special counsel's false statements indictment against the Democratic lawyer, contending evidence from five government…” - Washingtonexaminer.com
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John Durham pushed back on Michael Sussmann’s claims that former FBI general counsel James Baker undermined the special counsel’s false statements indictment against the Democratic lawyer, contending evidence from five government employees, including Baker, supports the charge.
The indictment against Sussmann centers on a Sept. 19, 2016, meeting between him and Baker in which Sussmann pushed debunked allegations of a secret back channel between Russia’s Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization. Durham contends that while Sussmann told Baker he was not working for any particular client, Sussmann was secretly doing the bidding of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and billing his services to her, as well as working on behalf of technology executive Rodney Joffe.
As part of its effort to push for an early May 2022 trial date instead of the late July 2022 trial date preferred by prosecutors, Sussmann’s team claimed on Monday that last week, Durham’s team handed over documents about Baker’s statements about the 2016 meeting that it said “directly contradict the Special Counsel’s allegation that Mr. Sussmann affirmatively told Mr. Baker that he was not meeting with him on behalf of any clients.” The team pointed to excerpts of interviews Baker gave to DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz’s investigators in 2019 and to Durham’s team in 2020.
“As the defendant is aware from discovery, both of those interviews occurred years after the events in question, and Mr. Baker made these statements before he had the opportunity to refresh his recollection with contemporaneous or near-contemporaneous notes that have been provided to the defense in discovery,” Durham’s team said. “Indeed, the defendant’s motion entirely ignores law enforcement reports of Mr. Baker’s subsequent three interviews with the Special Counsel’s Office in which he affirmed and then re-affirmed his now-clear recollection of the defendant’s false statement.”
Sussmann’s team noted to the court that Baker said in an excerpt of an interview from 2019 that Sussmann talked about “his clients, who were, he described as I recall it, sort of cyber-security experts.” Durham’s team also wrote in an excerpted summary in 2020 that “Baker said that Sussmann did not specify that he was representing a client regarding the matter, nor did Baker ask him if he was representing a client. Baker said it did not seem like Sussmann was representing a client.”
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