A grand jury indicted a lawyer who previously represented Hillary Clinton for allegedly lying to the FBI during a meeting where he presented information trying to connect the Trump campaign to a Russian bank.
The indictment was a part of special counsel John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the FBI probe of alleged Russian collusion with the 2016 Trump campaign.
Michael Sussman, a prominent cybersecurity lawyer with deep Democratic ties, was indicted on charges that he lied to the FBI in a meeting with a senior official in 2016. Sussman reportedly tried to present evidence to the FBI connecting the Trump campaign to the Kremlin-connected Alfa Bank.
The charging documents accuse Sussman of presenting himself as merely a concerned citizen without properly disclosing his connection to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. Sussman denies wrongdoing.
The alleged connection between Alfa Bank and the Trump campaign led to histrionic accusations from the left against Trump and members of his campaign. Clinton herself tweeted about the claims just days before the 2016 presidential election, which she lost.
“Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank,” tweeted Clinton, with a link to a statement from her campaign’s senior policy adviser detailing the accusations.
Former President Donald Trump and his allies have accused former President Barack Obama of illegally using the government’s powers of surveillance in order to damage the Trump presidential campaign. Obama officials have repeatedly denied the accusations and said the process played out in accordance with the rule of law.
In August, a group of 44 Republican senators demanded that the Durham report be made public once completed.
“The truth pursued by this investigation is necessary to ensure transparency in our intelligence agencies and restore faith in our civil liberties. Thus, it is essential that the Special Counsel’s ongoing review should be allowed to continue unimpeded and without undue limitations,” said the group of senators in the letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Durham had previously charged a former FBI lawyer for fabricating evidence against Carter Page, a former Trump campaign official, in the investigation into Russian collusion. Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty in August 2020 but received a slap on the wrist for what he said was a mistake made to simply avoid paperwork.
Here’s more about the Durham probe:
Republicans demand Durham report into Trump-Russia investigation be made public