Trump-Era special advocate secures indictment of lawyer for firm with democratic ties

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He has been a cybersecurity lawyer for 16 years at the law firm Perkins Coie, which has close ties to the Democratic Party. A colleague of Mr. Sussmann, Marc Elias, was the legal advisor to the Clinton campaign. He left the law firm last month.

The cabinet said in a statement on Thursday that Mr Sussmann had also left: “In light of the action of the special adviser today, Michael Sussmann, who has been on leave from the cabinet, has offered to resign from the cabinet in order to focus on its legal defense, and the cabinet accepted it.

The charge against him centers on a September 19, 2016 meeting with FBI attorney James A. Baker, in which Mr. Sussmann raised concerns about the weird internet data. Cyber ​​security researchers have said this could be evidence of a clandestine communication channel between computer servers associated with the Trump organization and Russian bank Alfa Bank.

The case against Mr. Sussmann is based on Mr. Baker’s recollection of Mr. Sussmann telling him he was not at the meeting on behalf of any clients – which Mr. Sussmann denies saying. There were no witnesses to their conversation.

The indictment says Mr. Baker then informed another FBI official – apparently Bill Priestap, the office’s top counterintelligence official. about the meeting, and that Mr. Priestap’s notes indicate that Mr. Baker recounted that Mr. Sussmann said he “was not doing this for any client”. (It is not clear whether such notes would be admissible at trial.)

In 2017, Sussmann testified under oath before Congress that he represented the anonymous tech lead, and his legal team agrees that the executive was his client at the meeting, but the only one.

However, internal billing records from law firms show that Mr Sussmann devoted his time to Alfa Bank affairs in the Clinton campaign, according to the indictment, claiming the campaign was his client as well. These records would also show that Mr. Sussmann met or spoke on several occasions with Mr. Elias about Alfa Bank.


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