If Special Counsel John Durham hadn’t obtained the Perkins Coie billing records showing attorney Michael Sussmnn billed Hillary’s campaign for his FBI visit, he might not have had a case. Those billing records prove Sussmann was indeed working for a client when he pointedly told the FBI he wasn’t.
In the entry for September 19, 2016, the date of Sussmann’s meeting with FBI general counsel James Baker, Hillary For America is listed as the client. The time allotted is 3.3 hours, and the description is “work and communication regarding confidential project.” He’d originally logged it as 4.5 hours but scaled it back.
I wonder how much this top DC attorney was billing by the hour for such a shady bit of business. We know Perkins Coie pocketed nearly $12 million from the DNC, Hillary For America, and (yes) from Obama’s group Organizing For Action to hire Fusion GPS to create faux-Russian dirt. With so many middle men to hide the source of the “dossier,” all of them taking their cut, ex-spy Christopher Steele was paid a measly $168,000 for his determined gossip-gathering and fiction-writing. Here’s that story from AMERICAN THINKER; notice it goes all the way back to November 2017. You and I have known the real story behind the fake “dossier” for SO LONG.
By the way, guess who else was paying Fusion GPS for fake evidence against Trump? The hilariously-named Democracy Integrity Project, funded by...(drum roll, please)...George Soros. I am not kidding –- here’s the story from last year. This group is run by Daniel Jones, former intelligence staffer for California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein. He’s the one who contracted with Fusion GPS and Steele.
Bonchie at RedState says the billing statement obtained by Durham proves Sussmann lied when he said –- and texted –- that he was a concerned citizen rather than a paid advocate, but he goes further to say “it shows that Clinton herself, as leader of her campaign, didn’t just approve the false story going to the media, but also to the FBI.”
As we discussed yesterday, there’s a huge difference, legally, between taking phony evidence to the media and taking it to the FBI, and witnesses have been careful to link her only with the media campaign. Presenting fake evidence to the FBI to frame someone is a crime. And we just didn’t buy the idea that Sussmann would’ve gone to the FBI behind Hillary’s back and then billed her for the meeting! In other words, Hillary had to know.
The candidate is ultimately in charge of his or her own campaign. (“I’m so-and-so, and I approved this message.”) Robby Mook, as campaign manager, answered to Hillary. Sussmann, as attorney for the campaign, answered to Hillary. And we know, if anyone insists on running everything she can get her hands on, it’s Hillary Clinton. The jury might be too biased to even care, but you and I know she approved Sussmann’s FBI visit.
Bonchie concurs, and says, “...the fact that the Hillary campaign hatched a false conspiracy theory and fed it to the FBI for political gain is overwhelming.”
He sees Sussmann as “the first shoe that must drop” on the path towards Hillary. This step is “another direct link to Hillary herself,” he says. Of course, with a jury stacked in Sussmann’s favor, conviction is far from assured, no matter how strong the evidence. But what Durham is really doing is putting a story together, and all the major thoroughfares and interesting side routes lead back to Hillary.
Yesterday, we reported on FBI official Curtis Heide’s testimony that the ‘Justice’ Department was listed in the opening document as the origin of the Alfa Bank “evidence,” not just an “anonymous third party” (Sussmann), and that this was due to a “paperwork error.” Legal analyst Andrew McCarthy told the WASHINGTON EXAMINER, “This investigation opening document is totally outrageous. It not only claims that the information came from the Justice Department. It suggests that the Justice Department commissioned and may even vouch for the ‘white paper,’ when they hadn’t.
Nick Arama at RedState does not believe it was a “paperwork error.” He says, “So, the excuse is that he [Heide] doesn’t even know the basic structure or breakdown of the FBI and the DOJ? What do these guys take us for, fools?” Arama suggests we “grab the popcorn,” as there is more to come.
As for Wednesday, after addressing the billing records and whether they indeed reflect that meeting, the prosecution rested its case, and it was time for the defense to call witnesses. The defense wants to show that the FBI was well aware Sussmann was representing Hillary For America. The FOX News story linked to below has details on the witnesses they called to create doubt in the jurors’ minds.
Example: A project assistant at the firm representing Sussmann --- Democrat legal powerhouse Latham and Watkins --- was called to the stand and asked to comment on a chart that showed various internal FBI documents that referred to Sussmann as working for the Hillary campaign, the DNC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). Of course, they could be well aware of his Democrat connections and still be lied to by Sussmann about the purpose of that particular visit. But that’s about all the defense can do.
The claims the defense is making now are in direct conflict with what James Baker testified last week. Baker said he remembered with 100 percent certainty that Sussmann told him he was not there on behalf of any client. And, of course, Sussmann had already texted him the same thing. Why would Sussmann say that if he knew the FBI already believed he was working for Hillary?
We still don’t know if Sussmann will take the stand in his own defense. FOX News has reported that it depends on whether the judge will bar prosecutors from questioning him about pre-indictment negotiations between his counsel and Special Counsel John Durham’s office. They don’t want prosecutors asking him about materials that were submitted to the government before charges against him were filed. These probably would have been materials submitted to try to persuade Durham not to indict Sussmann. Apparently, these did not work, and now our curiosity is peaked.
If Sussmann chooses to testify, that will likely be Thursday, with closing arguments to begin Tuesday, after Memorial Day. If he decides not to testify, closing arguments would likely begin Thursday, and the trial might even be over this week. I have the sneaking suspicion that this judge will rule whichever way leads to the choice Sussmann prefers to make.
In the meantime, law professor Jonathan Turley has an excellent question for us to ponder: Given that researchers were practically ridiculing the bogus data that Sussmann gave to the FBI, why were James Comey and the rest of the 7th Floor so “fired up” (agent Joe Pienkta’s testimony) that they demanded a FULL INVESTIGATION! I think we know.