In a blow to those connected with leading the Hillary Clinton for President campaign, a U.S. District Judge has denied a motion to dismiss charges against former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussman.
Sussman is facing several charges, including making false statements the FBI.
According to The Freedom Times, the Wednesday ruling was issued by Judge Christopher Cooper and noted that Special Counsel John Durham could proceed with prosecuting Michael Sussman.
Judge Cooper denied Sussmann’s February motion to dismiss charges stemming from a 2016 meeting with former FBI lawyer James Baker. At that meeting, Sussmann reportedly presented false evidence to secure FISA warrants, which were used to investigate candidate and, later, President Donald Trump.
Judge Cooper’s decision noted that Sussmann’s legal challenges to Durham’s Indictment may have some merit but cannot be ruled on in the pretrial stage.
An excerpt from Judge Cooper’s six-page decision reads:
“Sussmann’s sole argument for dismissal is that, even taking the allegations in the Indictment as true, his purported misrepresentation to Baker was immaterial as a matter of law and therefore cannot support a conviction under § 1001. The Court will deny the motion.”
Judge Cooper’s ruling provides an overview of the charges Durham and a Grand Jury brought forward last year. Cooper wrote:
“Specifically, Sussmann allegedly told Baker that he was not attending the meeting on behalf of any client when, in fact, he had assembled and was conveying the information on behalf of two specific clients: (1) a technology-industry executive named Rodney Joffe and (2) the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.”
Judge Cooper continued:
“The FBI opened an investigation based on the information Sussmann provided, but ultimately determined that there was insufficient evidence to support the existence of a communication channel between the Trump campaign and the Russian bank. Sussmann has pled not guilty to the charge and denies lying to the FBI.”
In a Feb. 11 filing, Durham alleged Sussmann provided two U.S. government agencies with knowingly false information from tech executive Rodney Joffe, in an attempt to tie then-candidate Donald Trump to Russia-based Alfa Bank.
According to the Freedom Times, Durham alleges that Sussmann, Joffe and Joffe’s associates “exploited” internet traffic about a “particular healthcare provider,” Trump Tower, Trump’s Central Park West apartment building and the Executive Office of the President of the United States to “establish ‘an inference’ and ‘narrative'” wrongfully tying Trump to Russia.
Durham alleges that billing records show that Sussmann “repeatedly billed the Clinton campaign for his work” on the Alfa Bank allegations.
Sussmann’s trial is scheduled to begin May 16.
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