By now, you know that Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann was found not guilty of lying to the FBI, even though he did.
In his statement after the trial, Sussmann said he didn’t lie to the FBI. But that was a lie, too. Special Counsel John Durham had absolute proof, in the form of a Perkins Coie billing record and a text to then-FBI general counsel James Baker saying that Sussmann wasn’t meeting with him on behalf of clients when he really was. But the judge used a technicality to let jurors weigh that second piece of evidence minimally, as it had been handed over to Durham by Baker after the statute of limitations had lapsed. Once Sussmann couldn’t be charged for THAT lie –- the one in the text –- Baker happened to remember some texts, including that one. Isn’t it funny how a lapsed statute of limitations can jog someone’s memory?
So it appears Baker and Sussmann were on the same team. Baker helped Sussmann, and so did the judge, who worked like a champ to keep Durham’s evidence out of the courtroom.
Nick Arama discusses the judge’s ruling on Sussmann’s text message here. He also reviews what Durham managed to expose about Hillary and her campaign, noting there is more to come.
Durham surely knew by the time the jury had been seated --- maybe even by the assignment of U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper, an Obama appointee with huge ties to the Democrat Party and the DOJ --- that his chances of getting a conviction in this Washington DC court were nil. Heck, he probably knew it all along, but he had his reasons for pursuing it. Those who insist Durham’s defeat is some kind of “black mark” against his investigation are missing the important stuff.
Durham has exposed what Hillary and her campaign did, which went well beyond the “political dirty trick” of peddling a fake story to the media. They reinforced their fake story by also peddling it to the FBI to push for an investigation. In other words, they went to federal law enforcement under false pretenses to frame a political opponent, and THAT, if you or I did it, would be very serious indeed.
But this jury treated it like nothing. This is evident because the jury forewoman, who doesn’t give her name, has spoken to the media. And now we can see she went beyond the scope of what she was there to determine, concluding that the case shouldn’t have been prosecuted at all. “There are bigger things that affect the nation than a possible lie to the FBI,” she told the media.
Oh, REALLY?? What if, say, a Republican attorney for the Trump campaign had gone to a Republican-appointed FBI official with a fake story about Hillary Clinton a few days before the 2016 election, and had flat-out lied and said he wasn’t representing Trump? (Not that anyone would need to peddle a fake story about Hillary; there were enough real scandals about her.) Do you think this solid-Democrat Washington DC jury would just blow that off?
Of course not. They’d call it the crime of the century. They’d say this attorney was working with Russians. They’d blame him for Hillary’s loss. They’d call him an ultra-MAGA deplorable, an insurrectionist, destroyer of institutions, election-interferer. Their quick verdict would be Guilty, Guilty, Guilty. They might not even need any hard evidence, just an accusation by the Democrat special counsel. And that lawyer would be off to jail.
Of course, the judge made it a lot easier for the jury to think this was nothing, as he largely kept Durham’s evidence of the “joint venture” (broader conspiracy) out of the courtroom.
As Jonathan Turley tweeted: “Telling a lie to the FBI was the entire basis for the prosecution. It was the jury’s job to determine the fact of such a lie and its materiality.” As in, ONLY THAT. Turley noted that such a bias, if expressed during jury selection, would have led to this woman being challenged by the prosecution.
And Durham surely would’ve challenged her, but recall that Judge Cooper actually refused his challenge of some members of the jury pool who ended up on the jury.
The kicker: This woman insisted after the trial that politics had not been a factor.
Throughout the past two weeks, we’ve discussed the various factors that people are pointing to now in the post mortem. As Andrew C. McCarthy told FOX News Thursday evening, “In order to figure out this case, I think you really have to make up your mind about what the FBI is. Are they ‘a dupe’ or are they a willing collaborator? Durham has staked his investigation on the notion that they’re a dupe. You have to prove, for materiality purposes in a false statements trial, that the ‘duped’ party actually was fooled. And I think the evidence here was pretty strong that...they weren’t fooled at all by it. They fully knew that they were getting political information from a partisan source. And a lot of what they did was designed to conceal the fact that they knew that.”
All true. But that’s what we think Durham was really in that courtroom to show. Again, he had to know he would lose the Sussmann case, given the judge and jury. We believe this case was, to Durham, a “loss leader.” As you probably know, that’s a term in retail that describes a store selling one item, such as milk, at a loss, just to get people into the store. Similarly, the Sussmann case had to be a loss for Durham, but look at what it accomplished for the investigation as a whole!
In that observation, we are more in line with what Margot Cleveland says in her analysis from Tuesday. “...For all posterity,” she writes, Clinton’s fingerprints will be seen covering the worst political scandal of our country’s history.”
Here’s what she wrote just prior to the jury’s verdict, which, of course, she expected.
"...Measuring Durham’s performance by the outcome in United States v. Sussmann would be a mistake,” she said. “...It would ignore the valuable information exposed related to the broader Spygate scandal. Using that gauge as a measure, the special counsel’s office succeeded wildly.”
Her piece is a must-read. It’s infuriating to see how much was made of the Alfa Bank story and the whole Trump-Russia Hoax, considering that it was all based on NOTHING. It became an industry, a make-work program for lawyers. Years wasted, hundreds of attorneys and investigators, many millions of dollars, people’s lives ruined (Michael Flynn, to name one), and the country divided, all over a fake story.
“Justice” became a joke. As Charles Lipson wrote for SPECTATOR, “Despite Sussmann’s not-guilty verdict, his trial revealed the rank odor of Washington politics. It suffuses our courts, our law enforcement bureaucracy, and the mainstream media. It reeks of insider dealing and extreme partisan bias. That stench should alarm anyone concerned about America’s ability to govern democratically.”
This is what the special counsel has exposed, and will continue to expose. Thank you, Mr. Durham.
More for Durham –- CAN WE BE SHOCKED ANYMORE?
As long as we’re talking about the stench of Washington politics, especially as it centers around Hillary Clinton and Perkins Coie, there’s a related story –- just breaking –- that the special counsel will want to look into, if he isn’t doing so already:
Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Jim Jordan of Ohio received an FBI whistleblower contact about the existence of an actual FBI workspace inside DNC and Hillary law firm Perkins Coie, complete with a portal to the FBI database. In response to a letter sent to them by Gaetz and Jordan, Perkins Coie reportedly admitted they have been hosting this "secure work environment" since 2012.
That’s right, the premiere Democrat law firm –- and, by extension, Hillary Clinton –- had a portal right into the FBI databases. If this is what it looks like, it takes what Hillary was doing as First Lady in the White House with individuals' raw FBI data (remember her mysterious White House “personnel” officer Craig Livingstone?) to a whole new level.
Fast-forward to 2022. “The outlined process certainly points toward a political spying and surveillance operation,” writes Sundance at CONSERVATIVE TREEHOUSE, who has long suspected the existence of something like this. Here are the details.
He says that the record of non-compliant searches shows “the same people were continually being tracked, searched and surveilled by querying the FBI database over time.” The scale and scope of these unlawful searches, going back to 2012, was noticed by FISA presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer. And 2012 happens to be the year Perkins Coie first started operating the FBI portal. Also, the dates in the report from Gaetz and Jordan about Perkins Coie are “in direct alignment,” he says, with Collyer’s report on unlawful searches..
He sees this as “having the potential to be extremely explosive.”