Published:September 15, 2021
-Just The News
Special counsel John Durham reportedly is seeking a grand jury indictment against Michael Sussmann, a cybersecurity lawyer at a Democratic-allied law firm that represented Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
According to the New York Times, the charge is said to be related to an alleged false statement to the FBI about a client’s identity when Sussmann pushed now-debunked claims about secret communications between Russia’s Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election.
Durham “has told the Justice Department that he will ask a grand jury to indict a prominent cybersecurity lawyer on a charge of making a false statement to the FBI,” the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing “people familiar with the matter.”
Prior testimony and documents show Sussmann, who worked at Perkins Coie, delivered allegations about the Alfa server to then-FBI General Counsel James Baker in fall 2016. Baker has told invetsigators Sussman told him his approach was not on behalf of any client. But Sussmann told Congress he made the approach on behalf of a computer security client.
The newspaper said Durham’s team has obtained records showing Sussmann billed work on the Alfa Bank matter to the Clinton campaign, the newspaper said.
Sussmann’s lawyers, Sean M. Berkowitz and Michael S. Bosworth, acknowledged Wednesday that they expected him to be indicted, but denied wrongdoing.
“Mr. Sussmann has committed no crime,” they told the Times. “Any prosecution here would be baseless, unprecedented and an unwarranted deviation from the apolitical and principled way in which the Department of Justice is supposed to do its work. We are confident that if Mr. Sussmann is charged, he will prevail at trial and vindicate his good name.
Durham has until the weekend to charge Sussmann because of a five-year statute of limitations, the newspaper said.