In the upper echelons of our justice department, there exists a fantastical realm where nonsense and ambiguity thrive and straightforward justice dies.
Such is the case in the long-awaited Durham probe where it seems a slow-and-steady pace is the modus operandi.
Still, positive strides are being made, especially after a judge ruled against Michael Sussmann — Hillary Clinton’s top-secret lawyer.
[source: The Washington Examiner]
The judge presiding over the false statements case against Michael Sussmann shot down the defendant’s motion to dismiss special counsel John Durham’s indictment, denying the Democratic cybersecurity lawyer’s effort to avoid trial next month.
Sussmann was indicted last September for allegedly concealing his clients (Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and “Tech Executive-1,” known to be former Neustar executive Rodney Joffe) from FBI General Counsel James Baker when he pushed since-debunked claims of a secret backchannel between the Trump Organization and Russia’s Alfa Bank.
He has argued he did not lie to the FBI when passing along Trump-Russia collusion claims, and even if he did, the lie was “immaterial.” Durham argues that he has proof that the lie was absolutely material under U.S. Code § 1001. Judge Christopher Cooper said Wednesday this was an issue generally decided by a jury and that it should be dealt with at trial.
The judge said, “Sussmann’s sole argument for dismissal is that, even taking the allegations in the indictment as true, his purported misrepresentation to Baker was immaterial.”
Durham released a potential smoking gun in the case against Sussmann earlier this month, publishing documents showing the Democratic cybersecurity lawyer messaged the FBI general counsel the night before their meeting that he was not working on behalf of any client when, in fact, he was working for the Clinton campaign.
Sussmann has pleaded not guilty and called upon the judge to dismiss the case against him, even relying in part on legal analysis by fired FBI agent Peter Strzok.
Durham’s indictment against Sussmann made it clear the special counsel believes the defendant lied purposely, saying he “did willfully and knowingly make a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement or representation” to Baker.
In February, Durham said if Sussmann had told the truth, it could have affected how the FBI chose to proceed, noting that “the source and origins of the information” matter to the FBI.
Meanwhile, questions have been raised about what can be discussed during Sussmann’s trial, thus lengthening the entire process altogether.
Hillary being the cunning D.C. careerist that she is, insulated herself with many layers of henchmen to ensure she will face punishment. However, with Durham’s findings, we can already imagine the legal bloodshed on the horizon.
Author: Elizabeth Tierney