A cybersecurity attorney advising Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign was indicted for lying to the FBI. This is as a part of U.S. Special Counsel John Durham’s probe into the origins of the FBI investigation of ties between Russia and former President Donald Trump’s campaign. Michael Sussmann, a former partner with Perkins Coie, is accused of making false statements during a meeting with former FBI General Counsel James Baker, in 2016. He also represented the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s campaign.
President Joe Biden’s administration has allowed Durham to continue his work as special counsel. The indictment accuses Sussmann of falsely telling Baker he did not represent any client. The indictment alleges that Sussmann turned over that information. Sussmann’s attorneys, Sean Berkowitz and Michael Bosworth, said in a statement that Sussmann will fight this baseless and politically-inspired prosecution. He had set up the meeting on behalf of a cyber-expert client. The attorneys stated that at its core, the Special Counsel is bringing a false statement charge based on an oral statement allegedly made five years ago to a single witness that is unrecorded and unobserved by anyone else.
The technology executive client who helped assemble the data Sussmann presented to the FBI had exploited his access to non-public data at multiple Internet companies to conduct opposition research concerning Trump. The FBI investigated, but finally concluded there was insufficient evidence of a secret communications channel between the Trump organization and Alfa Bank.
The New York Times reported on the FBI’s investigation into the Alfa Bank-Trump connection in October 2016. That is a probe that, sparked following Sussmann’s September 2016 meeting with Baker. The indictment alleges that some other materials Sussmann handed over to the FBI included a paper prepared by an investigative firm. The firm was not identified by the indictment. But it is in fusion GPS, the Washington-based firm that hired former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to conduct opposition research on Trump. Steele went on purporting to outline Trump links and dealings with Russia and Russians.