came below My Column On The Hill About Sussman’s trial and significant comparisons with previous prosecutions of Trump officials such as Michael Flynn. The court limited the scope of the evidence available to the prosecutor, and acquitted the jury, which included three Clinton campaign donors. There is not going to be a jury of your peers with a bunch of Clinton supporters in the true sense of the word. Those negative rulings during the trial including Refusal to dismiss A jury whose daughter plays on a team with Sussman’s daughter. For John Durham, it may seem that the only person absent from the jury at this stage is Chelsea Clinton.
Here is the column:
The criminal trial of Clinton’s campaign lawyer Michael Sasman He started the week by saying Prosecutorial warning “Whatever your political views are, they cannot be incorporated into your decisions,” he told the DC jury. Deborah Brit Shaw’s opening statement represented a strange view of Sussman’s case. Prosecutors usually have a large advantage over the jury, despite the presumption of innocence. Federal prosecutors can report when requests are counted 95% of the sentenceWith Sussmann, however, prosecutors are clearly concerned about whether they will have a fair trial instead of the accused.
Sussman is on trial for lying to the FBI in the same Colombian federal court where Trump’s former national security adviser is on trial. Michael Flynn Others were faced with the same charge by another special investigator.
The cases, however, could not be more different.
While Flynn’s prosecution was unimpeded, Sussman’s prosecution has been undermined by a series of unfavorable court rulings. Special Prosecutor John Durham He may still be able to get his sentence, but the difference in treatment of like-minded Trump and Clinton is significant.
Under USC 1001, Sussman was accused of lying to the FBI during a meeting with James Baker, the FBI’s full-time adviser, when he claimed that there was evidence of possible covert links between Trump and Alpha, a Russian bank. . Sussman apparently concealed that he was a representative of the Clinton campaign, who was held accountable for his efforts.
Shaw told the jury that the FBI “should not be used as a political tool for anyone – not Republicans.” “Neither the Democrats nor anyone.” He further added that the jury itself should not use this trial for its own political judgment.
Looking at the jury box, one can understand Shaw’s grief. During the election of the juryA jury member admitted that he was Clinton’s donor and could only promise to “work for neutrality as much as I can.” Prosecutors objected to his sitting, but Judge Christopher Cooper rejected them.
In another exchange, a former bartender and aide to a representative of the far left. Alexandria Occasio Cortez Sussman’s lawyer told (DN.Y.) that neither Clinton nor Trump were on trial and then asked if he could be impartial. He replied, “Yes, knowing that” – which may indicate that campaigns would not be neutral if they were part of the trial.
Other members of the jury include a woman who said she thought she was a Clinton donor, but could not remember. A jury whose husband worked for the Clinton campaign in 2008. And a jury that believes the legal system is racist and that police departments should be out of budget.
To ensure, Voters preferred DC Clinton to Trump In 2016 with a stunning margin: 90.9% to 4.1%. While Liberal and Democratic jury members can still be fair and impartial, Judge Cooper has placed several juries that appear to be fighting the concept of neutrality.
The most notable aspect of the trial is what will be lost: the context. Durham claims that Sasman was not a rebellious lawyer. After Müller’s research, Tim Durham Information leaked About how Clinton campaigners funded, developed, and expanded the false collusion claim.
On July 28, 2016, the then CIA Director John Brennan He briefed President Obama Ms Hillary Clinton Claim plan to close Donald Trump To Russia as “A means of diverting public opinion from his use of a private email server.Obama was reportedly told how Clinton had apparently “confirmed a foreign policy adviser’s offer to insult Donald Trump by provoking a scandal over Russian security intervention.” That was three days before the FBI collusion investigation began.
This seems to be an all-Washington effort aided by key figures involved A liberal think tank, Democratic members of Congress and allies in the media. However, it was the role of lawyers like Sussman that caught Durham’s attention.
Durham claims that Sussman, in addition to lying to Baker during their meeting He texted Baker the night before Session, read: “Jim – Michael Sussman. I have a time (and sensitive) issue to discuss. Are you available for a short meeting tomorrow? I’ll come myself – not from a client or “Company – I want to help the office. Thanks.”
Notably, it was the campaign law firm Accused by some journalists Hiding the role of the campaign in financing the infamous Steel case, which set the stage for the collusion story. Federal Election Commission He has recently fined this campaign To use the company to hide these payments.) Durham’s team argued that Sussman’s lying to AFBI was not just a transient omission, but a conscious pattern of deception. For this reason, this was one of the first witnesses expected to be summoned by the prosecution Mark Elias, Sasman’s former legal partner and Clinton campaign attorney general. Elias is not charged with any crime, but at least one reporter has claimed Elias Denied the campaign connection To the steel case.
Judge Cooper emphasized that the trial was not in itself part of the Clinton campaign, but rather a specific lie. In particular, he barred Durham from arguing that “there was a joint venture” to deceive Clinton. The judge severely limited the evidence that Durham could provide Politico’s remarks“The Clinton campaign and the National Committee of Democrats protect us from possible embarrassment.”
Without a broader context, prosecution can seem like a plot without a plot – just island characters and acts. The first witnesses were FBI agents who told the jury that the allegations had been substantiated by Sasman.It did not make senseAnd that the collusion theory was rejected within a few days of reviewing the basic data. However, Cooper warned that he would have strong control over prosecutors who investigate how campaign data is generated or managed through the campaign.
This is not the only blow the court has dealt to the prosecutor. The judge denied access to some of the prosecution evidence and, while allowing access to some emails between the campaign and an opposition research firm, barred them from appearing in court due to the prosecutor’s late request.
The treatment of Sussman is quite different from the way Trump’s colleagues were treated in the same court. At Flynn’s trial, Judge Cooper’s colleague, Judge Emmett Sullivan, took a number of steps. Strange hearsayIncluding one in which he used the court flag as support to accuse Flynn of doing so.Unregistered agent of a foreign country while serving as a national security adviserAnd he suggests that Flynn could be charged with treason – crimes that were not committed against him. “I can not assure you that if you continue today, you will not receive a prison sentence. I will not hide my disgust and disgust,” Sullivan said.
Likewise, another judicial colleague, Judge Amy Berman Jackson, Trump’s aide refused to give a new trial to Roger Stone Despite disturbing reports of jury bias.
While the judge in Flynn’s case was eager to remove obstacles from the prosecutor, Judge Sasman’s case appears to have created a virtual path for Durham. Durham may be able to overcome legal obstacles, but he will do so without much evidence. According to Charles Dickens in The Story of Two Cities, it could be the best or worst place for a DC prosecutor.
Jonathan Torley is Professor of Shapiro Public Interest Law at George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.