On Tuesday, former President Donald Trump posted a statement on Truth Social in response to the “not guilty” verdict in the trial of Michael Sussmann.
A jury has found Michael Sussmann not guilty of making false statements to the FBI. The charges were connected to a September 2016 meeting with FBI officials when he said he was not “working on behalf of any client.”
During this meeting with the FBI, Sussmann produced information alleging a covert communications channel between the Trump Organization and Russia’s Alfa Bank. That information has since been discredited and thought to be part of a disinformation campaign spearheaded by the Clinton campaign.
Sussmann’s trial lasted two weeks — juror deliberations took more than a day. In the end, the jury found that “Special Counsel John Durham’s team had not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Sussmann’s statement was a lie,” according to The Freedom Times.
Fox News reports the jury also determined that Durham’s team did not prove that Sussmann was working on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign or contracted with technology executive Rodney Joffe when he brought flash drives and a “white paper” to Justice Department officials, alleging a Trump-Russia connection.
Expressing frustration, Trump wrote:
“Our Legal System is CORRUPT, our Judges (and Justices!) are highly partisan, compromised or just plain scared, our Borders are OPEN, our Elections are Rigged, Inflation is RAMPANT, gas prices and food costs are ‘through the roof,’ our Military ‘Leadership’ is Woke, our Country is going to HELL, and Michael Sussmann is not guilty.”
Durham followed Trump’s post by issuing a curt statement expressing disappointment:
“While we are disappointed in the outcome, we respect the jury’s decision and thank them for their service,” Durham wrote. I also want to recognize and thank the investigators and the prosecution team for their dedicated efforts in seeking truth and justice in this case.”
The outcome of the trial mystifies many.
Durham’s team presented billing records showing that Sussmann repeatedly billed the Clinton campaign for services related to Alfa Bank opposition research against Trump, though the jury found that Sussmann was not working or speaking on behalf of Hillary Clinton when he provided false opposition research findings to the FBI.
In closing arguments, the government reminded jurors that Sussmann’s intent to lie to the FBI was expressed in a text message sent to Jim Baker the night before his meeting with the FBI — Sept. 19, 2016.
The text message stated:
“Jim — it’s Michael Sussmann. I have something time-sensitive (and sensitive) I need to discuss. Do you have availability for a short meeting tomorrow? I’m coming on my own — not on behalf of a client or company — want to help the Bureau. Thanks.”
The Freedom Times report notes that Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook testified that “Hillary Clinton herself approved the dissemination of materials alleging a covert communications channel between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank to the media, despite campaign officials not being ‘totally confident’ in the legitimacy of the data.”
Also indicted in connection with a smear campaign against Trump are Igor Danchenko and Kevin Clinesmith. Danchenko is a suspected key player in creating the anti-Trump (Steele) dossier and is charged with making a false statement to the FBI. His trial is set to begin on Oct. 11.
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