Closing statements were given Friday morning in the Michael Sussmann case, and the jury started their deliberations that afternoon. Since this is Memorial Day weekend, they’ll come back Tuesday to continue deliberating.
The jury will determine whether or not to convict Sussmann of lying to then-FBI General Counsel James Baker when he told him in his office –- never mind the incriminating text we’ve all seen from the day before –- that in meeting with him to discuss the (phony) Alfa Bank story, he wasn’t representing any clients. As FOX News reported Friday, Sussmann’s attorneys slammed Durham’s case against him as “misdirection.” On the contrary, his evidence that Sussmann lied to Baker is as direct as it gets.
Tammy Bruce, sitting in as host on Friday’s HANNITY, talked with FOX News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett and Trump attorney Alina Habba about the case. Jarrett jokingly referred to the defense’s argument as “A lie is not a lie if the recipient of the lie realizes it’s a lie.” He said that was the most outrageous rationalization for a lie that he’d ever heard.
In paraphrasing the defense’s argument, he showed how they contradicted themselves and actually incriminated Sussmann, their own client, “by saying, first, he really wasn’t representing Hillary Clinton during that FBI meeting, and then in the next breath...‘But because the FBI figured out he was representing Hillary Clinton in that meeting, it’s not really a lie.”
Jarrett seconded Jonathan Turley’s comment that this is the worst jury he's ever seen in his life. “This is a jury that is stacked with Hillary Clinton supporters,” Jarrett said, “[including] three Hillary Clinton DONORS… The problem is, there really are no Republicans in Washington DC, from which the jury is drawn. You’d have a better chance of spotting a unicorn than a Republican in Washington DC. And so...the defendant is hoping they will acquit him simply because he hates Donald Trump and they do, too.”
The way this case is being tried certainly supports President Trump’s argument about the two systems of “justice.” And Habba, Trump’s attorney in the case he’s filed against many (including Hillary) who damaged him by spreading the fake Russia Hoax, said he was well aware of that. “I mean, the man knows how corrupt it is,” she said, “and that’s why he’s so passionate about defending this country, and ‘correcting’ the country.”
(By the way, she mentioned that he attended the NRA convention at this sensitive time “because he cares about this country.” Trump, from the podium, said the name of every child killed in Uvalde and rang a bell for them.)
As for the Sussmann trial, she said, “I feel like I just sat through two weeks of the soap opera about the demise of America. It was despicable. And to see a jury that --- I hope they come to their senses. When you have a text message that so obviously states, ‘Hey, I’m about to lie to you”...how can you not call that a lie?
She said the defense spoke of this case as “a David Copperfield trick,” adding with a laugh, “That was the best they had. If I ever as an attorney have to do that, please, Gregg, come get me and tell me to step down.”
Seriously, though, it could be that Sussmann’s attorneys don’t think they even have to try very hard, given this jury. In a normal case, a person such as you or I found guilty of this charge might easily spend a couple of years behind bars. As Jarrett pointed out, Sussmann is “actually very lucky that he wasn’t charged with conspiracy to defraud the government by knowingly, willingly peddling phony information to the government.”
Of course, that whole group of disingenuous low-lifes involved in the Russia Hoax, including Hillary, should face that charge. Bruce questioned the fact that they weren’t all charged with conspiracy, but as we’ve said earlier, Durham saw the writing on the wall if he were to bring that case to a DC jury. He didn’t want to put THE big conspiracy case in front of them and lose. Better to use a small case to get the real story out.
Still, as Jarrett said, “Lady Justice peeks beneath the blindfold, and weights the scales of justice. If you’re a Republican, it’s weighted against you. If you’re a Democrat, it’s in your great favor.”
Consistent with that, a couple of days into Sussmann’s trial, Jonathan Turley compared the way Sussmann is being treated in his case by Judge Christopher Cooper with the way Michael Flynn was treated in his, by Judge Emmet Sullivan. Flynn’s case was held in the same Washington, DC, courthouse, but what a difference. This is a must-read.
Recall that Judge Sullivan abused Flynn in his courtroom, suggesting that Flynn should be charged with treason --- which was never on the table --- and saying to him, “I cannot assure you that if you proceed today, you will not receive a sentence of incarceration. I am not hiding my disgust and my disdain.” Recall also that Sullivan tried to continue the case against Flynn even after it had been dismissed by the DOJ, apparently planning to serve as judge and prosecutor rolled into one.
Legal analyst Margot Cleveland posted her update on the case Friday morning, after the judge had issued his instructions to the jury. Her view coincides with that of other jaded trial-watchers: 1) the evidence against Sussmann is overwhelming, incontrovertible proof of his guilt, and 2) he probably won’t be convicted.
She mentions something we hadn’t seen reported that dispels all doubt his meeting with Baker really was on behalf of Clinton’s campaign. Did you know Sussmann even billed the campaign for the two THUMB DRIVES he gave to Baker? Gosh, you’d think that for $800 an hour, he would’ve thrown those in for free.
Cleveland goes on to show how tightly Durham had this case wrapped up, evidence-wise.
But the defense benefits, she says, from the “disinterested approach to justice” exhibited by the witnesses Durham called. He wasn’t “out to get Sussmann,” Baker said on the stand. If the defendant had lied to them and misrepresented himself, the FBI hardly seemed to care. And if those witnesses are going to shrug off the lie, Cleveland reasons, the jury probably will, too. No big deal, right?
Going further, just about everyone in that DC courtroom –- defendant, defense attorneys, witnesses, jurors –- sees Durham as a political enemy. Does that mean the jurors will simply ignore the facts and the law of this case and use the process of jury nullification to say, “hey, we’re Democrats, we don’t give a rat’s behind what this guy did”?
Quite likely. But even if they do,, the case Durham brought was so airtight that we can say, with complete confidence, Sussmann DID this. We also can say that as an attorney for Hillary’s campaign, he did it with her approval. There shouldn't be a need to put the word “alleged” in front of the charge Durham made against him. Whether this jury finds him guilty or not, Durham showed that he criminally lied, in service to Hillary Clinton, and we all know it.