Washington — Michael Sussman, a prominent cybersecurity lawyer associated with the Democratic Party, shared tips on possible relationships between Donald J. Trump and Russia about the FBI’s lack of clients in 2016. He was acquitted on suspicion of a felony lying to him.
The ruling hit John H. Durham, a special counsel appointed by the Trump administration three years ago to scrutinize Trump-Russia’s investigation into misconduct.
The incident focused on strange internet data discovered by cybersecurity researchers in 2016 after Russia was announced. Hacked a Democrat And Mr. Trump is in the country Target Hillary Clinton Email..
Researchers said the data may reflect a secret communication channel using the servers of the Trump Organization and the Kremlin-linked bank Alfa Bank. The FBI briefly investigated the allegations and dismissed them.
On September 19, 2016, Mr. Sasman brought these allegations to FBI officials. The prosecutor misrepresented him not being there on behalf of the client, hiding that he was actually working for both Mrs. Clinton’s campaign and the technical executive who advised him. I blamed him.
Mr. Durham and his court team used court filings and testimony to tell reporters Alfa while Mr. Sasman worked at a Democratic-linked law firm and recorded time in the Clinton campaign. Allegedly elaborated on how he was trying to get him to write about the bank.
But trying to convince reporters to write about such allegations is not a crime. Mr. Sasman’s guilt or innocence is the narrow question of whether he made false statements to FBI officials at the 2016 meeting, saying he shared those allegations on behalf of anyone but himself. Caused.
Mr. Durham used this case to propose a larger conspiracy. There was a consortium that put Mr. Trump in a collusion with Russia by having the FBI investigate the allegations and let reporters write about them. This is a plan that includes the Clinton campaign. Its opposition research firm FusionGPS; Mr. Sasman; and a cybersecurity expert who brought him strange data and analysis.
The hint shared his view that the Russian investigation was a “hoax” and excited Mr. Trump’s supporters who tried to confuse the actual investigation with a thin or suspicious claim when it was developed by civilians. .. In reality, the problem with Alfa Bank was the side show, the tangent. The FBI had already begun an investigation for other reasons before Mr. Sasman handed over the tip, and did not mention the final report by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Alfa Bank suspicion.
However, the cases in which Mr. Durham and his team highlighted their broad hints were thin. One count of false statements made at meetings with no other witnesses or notes of the same period. Evidence and debate marshalled by Chief Prosecutor Andrew Defilippis and his colleagues leveled off with 12 juries who unanimously voted for Mr. Sasman’s innocence.
Some of Mr. Trump’s supporters have pointed out the reputation of the District of Columbia as a highly democratic region, with juries working for Trump-era prosecutors for the Clinton campaign.
The judge told the jury that their own political views should not be taken into account when determining the facts.
The defense, who portrayed the prosecutor’s hint as a “political conspiracy theory,” claimed to have brought the issue to the FBI only when he thought he was in the process of writing an article on the issue. Was there. The station raises its head so that it does not become lame.
Clinton campaign officials testified that they did not tell or allow him to go to the FBI during the trial. And it was against their interests because they didn’t trust the station and could delay the publication of the article.
This story is developing. Please check for updates.