Former Hillary Clinton country lawyer Michael Susmanwho is accused of lying to the FBI when he claimed he was not passing on information about then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016, made false statements to CIA officers during a meeting after Trump was sworn in, according to new documents filed by Special Counsel John Durham‘steam.
Sussman told then-FBI general counsel James Baker that he had “time-sensitive (and sensitive)” information to share before the pair met, according to a text message. recently revealed by prosecutors. In the same post, Sussman claimed he “came on my own, not on behalf of any client or company,” even though he was instructed to provide the information by Rodney Joffe, a manager. technology, and billed the Clinton campaign for the work, prosecutors say.
Sussman provided Baker at a September 19, 2016 meeting with white papers alleging Trump’s company had a secret channel with a Russian bank, allegations the FBI later determined were false.
On February 9, 2017, Sussman met with CIA officers, where he also made false statements, according to the new documents.
A memorandum submitted by the special counsel team and written by a CIA official said Sussman provided documents and USB drives that he said contained data related to potential Russian activity linked to Trump.
Sussman “indicated that he did not represent any particular client,” according to the notes. Instead, he said he was passing on information from “contacts” who he said were “acting in good faith and out of a sense of loyalty to the USG,” or the US government.
This contradicts the way Sussman told a former CIA employee, who allegedly helped organize the February meeting, that he “represents a client who does not want to be known”, according to meeting notes taken by the former employee.
It also contradicts testimony Sussman gave to the House Intelligence Committee. Under oath, Sussman said (pdf) he received the information “from one of my clients”.
Sussman said he became aware of the information in the summer of 2016, but did not come forward until months later because President Barack Obama ordered an intelligence review into possible Russian interference in the election.
“That information seemed to roughly line up with that, so I thought it might be – or my client thought it might be something relevant to those gathering information on overseas-based actors” , Sussman said.
Another apparently false statement relates to what Sussman said during the CIA meeting regarding his previous encounter with the FBI.
Sussman gave the same information regarding the alleged secret channel to the CIA that he had to Baker. Sussman told officers he had contacted Baker before, but on a “similar, albeit unrelated, matter,” according to the memo.
Before the congressional panel, Sussman said he had already passed the information to the FBI before meeting with the CIA.
“In context, the defendant’s statement that he provided the FBI with ‘similar, albeit unrelated’ allegations is false or, at best, misleading,” Durham’s team said in one of the new documents.
In addition, the CIA later concluded that the allegation regarding the secret channel and a separate allegation, which was made to the CIA and not the FBI, regarding the Russian-made phones were “technically plausible”, did not “stand up”. to a technical examination”, “contents”. shortcomings” and “in conflict with [itself]”, according to the office of the special council.
Sussman’s attorneys at a separate folder stated that their client’s statement to the CIA “cannot be part of the offense charged (regarding a single different statement) and was not made at the same time as the crime charged”, adding: “In fact, it was made five months later, under different circumstances, to a different agency, in a way that contradicts the special counsel’s theory that Mr. Sussmann lied to Mr. Baker to help Hillary Clinton win the elections, because the elections had long since ended.
The lawyers do not object to admitting any of the statements Sussman made to the House panel regarding the CIA meeting, but do object to the introduction of any evidence regarding the accuracy of the data. that he provided to the CIA.
They also reserved the right “to introduce evidence refuting the claims of the special counsel, including evidence that will demonstrate that Mr. Sussmann disclosed to CIA personnel that he had a client and that he had worked with political clients”.
According to the CIA memo, Sussman mentioned his law firm was involved with Democrats, including Clinton, but also said the work was unrelated to his reasons for contacting the CIA.
Sussman’s trial is scheduled to begin May 16 in federal court in Washington.