Sussmann defense, in closing argument, slams Durham case as ‘misdirection’ & More Trending News

 

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Defense attorneys for Michael Sussmann delivered their closing argument Friday, casting the federal government’s case in opposition to their consumer as weak and one in every of “misdirection” and “smoke and mirrors.” 

Sussmann protection lawyer Sean Berkowitz opened his closing by evaluating Special Counsel John Durham’s case in opposition to his consumer to a well-known phantasm by magician David Copperfield the place he made the Statue of Liberty “disappear” by shifting the viewers’s consideration elsewhere.

Berkowitz introduced to the jury a poster studying: “The Special Counsel’s Smoke and Mirrors.” 

“The special counsel’s office bought a snow-making machine and blew that over the lawn, and they want you to think it snowed,” Berkowitz mentioned.

SPECIAL COUNSEL JOHN DURHAM’S TEAM SAYS EVIDENCE HAS ‘PROVEN’ SUSSMANN IS GUILTY

Sussmann has been charged with one depend of constructing a false assertion to the FBI when he met with then-FBI General Counsel James Baker on Sept. 19, 2016. The authorities alleges Sussmann instructed Baker that he was not bringing allegations tying then-candidate Donald Trump to the Kremlin-linked Alfa Bank on behalf of any consumer, however fairly, as a citizen involved with nationwide safety.

Special Counsel John Durham departs the U.S. Federal Courthouse after opening arguments in the trial of Attorney Michael Sussmann, where Durham is prosecuting Sussmann on charges that Sussmann lied to the FBI while providing information about later discredited allegations of communications between the 2016 presidential campaign of former President Donald Trump and Russia, in Washington, May 17, 2022.  REUTERS/Julia Nikhinson

Special Counsel John Durham departs the U.S. Federal Courthouse after opening arguments in the trial of Attorney Michael Sussmann, the place Durham is prosecuting Sussmann on costs that Sussmann lied to the FBI whereas offering details about later discredited allegations of communications between the 2016 presidential marketing campaign of former President Donald Trump and Russia, in Washington, May 17, 2022.  REUTERS/Julia Nikhinson
(REUTERS/Julia Nikhinson)

Sussmann has pleaded not responsible to the cost.

Berkowitz described Sussmann as a “serious national security lawyer who received what he believed to be credible data from a world-leading DNS expert,” in reference to his consumer, Rodney Joffe.

Berkowitz went on to say that Sussmann “provided the data to a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist at the New York Times,” and mentioned the New York Times “vetted” the information and “decided to run the story.”

“Sussmann went to the FBI to give them a heads-up,” Berkowitz mentioned. “He didn’t ask for anything on behalf of anybody.”

The authorities, in its closing argument, introduced numerous billing data and emails to the jury Friday, starting on July 29, 2016 and thru October 2016, revealing Sussmann repeatedly billed the Clinton marketing campaign for work on the Alfa Bank opposition analysis in opposition to Trump.

Michael Sussmann, a cybersecurity lawyer who represented the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign in 2016, leaves federal courthouse in Washington, Monday, May 16, 2022. A jury was picked Monday in the trial of a lawyer for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign who is accused of lying to the FBI as it investigated potential ties between Donald Trump and Russia in 2016. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) 

Michael Sussmann, a cybersecurity lawyer who represented the Hillary Clinton presidential marketing campaign in 2016, leaves federal courthouse in Washington, Monday, May 16, 2022. A jury was picked Monday in the trial of a lawyer for the Hillary Clinton presidential marketing campaign who’s accused of mendacity to the FBI as it investigated potential ties between Donald Trump and Russia in 2016. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) 

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One invoice was to “Hillary for America” on Sept. 19, 2016, which the federal government claims was for the assembly Sussmann had with Baker at FBI headquarters.

On the invoice, additionally dated Sept. 19, 2016, the Clinton marketing campaign is listed as the consumer, the time is listed as 3.3 hours, and the memo states: “work and communications regarding confidential project.” Other testimony revealed Sussmann charged roughly $800 per hour.

But Berkowitz, as a substitute, pointed to totally different billing data for various conferences in which Sussmann really “wrote the words FBI.” Berkowitz harassed that Sussmann “did not write FBI” when he billed the Clinton marketing campaign for the work on Sept. 19, 2016.

PROSECUTION, DEFENSE SPAR OVER BILL ALLEGEDLY PROVING SUSSMANN CHARGED CLINTON CAMPAIGN FOR 2016 FBI MEETING

The authorities additionally produced a receipt from Staples close to his legislation agency, Perkins Coie in Washington D.C., from Sept. 13, 2016. On the receipt was a two pack of flash drives.

Sussmann allegedly introduced two flash drives and white papers with knowledge alleging the Trump-Alfa Bank connection to the FBI for the assembly with Baker.

“They come here with a Staples receipt and a Google map, and say you guys are all set,” Berkowitz mentioned sarcastically, slamming the federal government’s argument, and noting that Sussmann didn’t request the FBI assembly till Sept. 18, 2016.

Sussmann first requested the assembly in a textual content message. Durham’s workforce alleges Sussmann put his “lie in writing” in his Sept. 18, 2016 textual content to Baker.

The textual content message acknowledged: “Jim — it’s Michael Sussmann. I have something time-sensitive (and sensitive) I need to discuss,” the textual content message acknowledged, in line with Durham. “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.”

Baker replied, “OK. I will find a time. What might work for you?”

FBI LEADERSHIP DURING RUSSIAGATE MAKES DURHAM’S JOB IN SUSSMANN TRIAL VERY TRICKY

Berkowitz additionally went on to remind the jury that Baker didn’t take notes through the assembly with Sussmann on Sept. 19, 2016, and tried to discredit Baker as a witness.

“One hundred and sixteen times Baker says, ‘I don’t remember,’” Berkowitz instructed the jury about Baker’s testimony throughout trial.

Berkowitz went on to name the FBI’s investigation into the Trump-Alfa Bank data “shoddy,” slamming the bureau for not calling Sussmann for an interview on the data he introduced forth.

The FBI investigated whether or not there was a covert communications channel between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, and located that there was “nothing there.” 

Meanwhile, in the federal government’s closing rebuttal, prosecutor Andrew DeFilippis mentioned the case “is not a close case.” 

“It is appropriate the defense started by presenting you a magic trick,” DeFilippis mentioned, noting that Berkowitz’s argument was, in itself, “a magic trick.” 

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“They wanted to make the evidence disappear,” he mentioned. “When you look at the actual evidence, your common sense tells you what happened here.” 

He added that the protection is “trying to lawyer away the defendant’s lie.” 

“Don’t let them do that,” DeFilippis mentioned. “The government has met its burden…You do have proof beyond reasonable doubt.” 

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