NYT: John Durham seeks indictment of Clinton Campaign Lawyer

The false statements of Michael Sussman

U.S. Attorney For Connecticut John Durham Resigns – NBC Connecticut

Breaking report from the New York Times (Savage and Goldman, et al.): Special Counsel John Durham “will ask a grand jury to indict” former DNC/Clinton campaign lawyer (and Perkins Coie partner) Michael Sussman for giving false statements. The false statement charges would relate to a September 19, 2016 meeting FBI lawyer James Baker had with Sussman, where Sussman relayed to the FBI the discredited theory that the Trump Organization was communicating with Alfa Bank.

The New York Times states:

Mr. Baker, the former F.B.I. lawyer, is said to have told investigators that he recalled Mr. Sussmann saying that he was not meeting him on behalf of any client.

This was contradicted by (1) Sussman’s testimony to Congress; and (2) Sussman’s own billing records. Sussman’s lawyers acknowledged “they expected him to be indicted.”

As to Sussman’s testimony, here is a portion where he discusses the Alfa Bank information was given to him by a client.

And here is the key part where Sussman admits under oath his client directed him to have the September 2016 meeting with the FBI.

As we have discussed, the New Yorker first reported back in 2020 that Durham had impaneled a grand jury relating to the false Alfa Bank/Trump Organization story. There is the potential that former Feinstein staffer Daniel Jones - as well as the researches behind the Alfa Bank matter - will also face charges of giving false information to federal officials.

More recently, we noted that Fusion GPS has been fighting to keep secret its communications about Trump/Alfa Bank secret in a civil suit. Court records we reviewed appear to show the degree with which Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, and their associates went in drafting and promoting the false Alfa Bank/Trump Organization story.

One court document of interest is this August 26, 2016 e-mail from Fusion GPS to Michael Sussman.

That Fusion GPS-Sussman correspondence occurred not long before Sussman met with FBI General Counsel James Baker.

The e-mails correspond to the dates the Alfa Bank/Trump Organization was getting media exposure. One has to wonder about the contents of other communications that Sussman - and others at Perkins Coie, including Marc Elias - had with Fusion GPS.

Questions have long been asked about Sussman’s involvement in the potential cover-up of the DNC hack in 2016. It was Sussman who brought in CrowdStrike (given his close relationship with founder Shawn Henry) to look into the DNC hack. According to Politico:

In late April [2016], the DNC's IT department noticed some suspicious behavior and contacted DNC chief executive officer Amy Dacey, according to a DNC official. Dacey reached out to DNC lawyer Michael Sussmann, a partner at the Perkins Coie law firm and a former federal prosecutor specializing in cybercrimes. Sussmann called Shawn Henry, the president of cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, to get his company's help. 

This CrowdStrike/Perkins Coie links put into perspective this information in the the New York Times article, where Durham

has been pursuing a theory that the Clinton campaign used Perkins Coie to submit dubious information to the F.B.I. about Russia and Mr. Trump in an effort to gin up investigative activity to hurt his 2016 campaign.

If that is the case, then we doubt it would be limited to the Alfa Bank allegations. With that in mind, recall a couple things:

First, the Christopher Steele meeting with FBI agents in London on July 5, 2016.

Second, think of Durham’s statement (made on 12/9/2019) disagreeing with IG Horowitz on the Crossfire Hurricane predicate: “Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.”

The focus on the Clinton campaign using Perkins Coie and Fusion GPS as a conduit to launder false information to the FBI might the most eye-raising part of the NY Times story. It would go to the inception of it all. Remember, the Fusion GPS/Perkins Coie relationship started with initial discussions in March 2016 and was formalized with a signed written contract on April 11, 2016.

Future Developments

We’ll be following the Sussman story closely and will post the charging documents and criminal information once - or if - Durham gets the indictment.