Wednesday, May 18, marked Day 3 of the Sussmann trial. Before we take a look at what happened that day, here’s a brief editorial from the NEW YORK POST shaming the media for not covering the trial. It didn’t take their editorial board many words to do that.
As they point out, THE NEW YORK TIMES and the WASHINGTON POST even split a Pulitzer for advancing “the most successful disinformation campaign in living memory.” I would add that in a profession that valued honesty, both “news” outlets would be made to give it back.
“If it had been Republicans doing it to a Democrat, the press would be losing its mind,” the POST says. Of course, that’s true.
It’s likely a DC jury would be looking at it differently as well.
Wednesday was a big day for testimony, with former FBI General Counsel James Baker taking the stand. Baker’s the central witness in the case, as he’s the one Sussmann allegedly lied to during a September 2016 meeting at the FBI --- and definitely lied to in a text Sussmann sent to try to get the meeting in the first place.
Baker testified that he’d become friends with Sussmann and they’d been in “frequent contact.” Also (this is new), he said he was “surprised” to get Sussmann’s text on his personal cellphone requesting a “short meeting” at the FBI. This is the text in which Sussmann lied by saying, “I’m coming on my own –- not on behalf of a client or company –- want to help the Bureau.”
Sussmann was granted the meeting, during which he presented bogus evidence of a server connection between Trump Tower and Russia-linked Alfa Bank. (One of the agents who examined this evidence has testified that it was debunked that very day.)
Baker will return to the stand Thursday morning. The other big witness for the day was Hillary For America General Counsel Marc Elias, who was partners with Sussmann at law firm Perkins Coie. (As you know, Elias has also been lead attorney for an army of litigators who bombarded the battleground states and got them to remove election safeguards, sometimes without the required legislative approval. Wish we could ask him about THAT under oath.) Elias testified that he personally hired oppo research firm Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on then-candidate Trump. Fusion GPS called on British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who responded by compiling the bogus “dossier,” consisting of unverified rumor.
Elias said he kept the hiring quiet wisthin the campaign. “Given who I represent,” he told jurors, “I tend to not want more people to know about it than have to know about it.” We’re not sure exactly what he meant by that cryptic comment, but it sounds shady, like the CIA’s “need-to-know basis.”
When asked if he was aware Sussmann was planning to go to the FBI, he said he was not, and that he wouldn’t have approved that if he’d known of it. But law professor Jonathan Turley saw an inconsistency, tweeting: “Marc Elias testified that he would not have approved going to the FBI with the false Russian Alfa Bank claim because he did not trust the FBI or Director Comey. Yet, the campaign associates also aggressively pushed the Steele dossier to the FBI.”
Wednesday night, Sean Hannity did a segment on the makeup of the jury for the Sussmann trial, and
the news was stunning. He passed along reporting from the NEW YORK POST that Judge Christopher Cooper allowed donors to Hillary’s campaign and also to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez into the jury pool. Durham objected to the seating of one of them, a man who works in public policy for Amazon and could only say he would “strive for impartiality as best I can.” Judge Cooper overruled Durham.
Another juror in the pool had written on her questionnaire that she worked for the Sierra Club, thought the criminal justice system was racist and believed “the police should be defunded.”
In Washington DC in 2016, voters favored Hillary over Trump by a staggering 90.0 percent to 4.1 percent. And as we’ve previously reported, Judge Cooper himself is tight with the Democrat Party; his wife, Amy Jeffress, has even represented one of the prime perpetrators of the Russia hoax, then-FBI assistant counsel Lisa Page. The two were married by...Merrick Garland. It’s unbelievable that Judge Cooper didn’t recuse himself and let the case pass to another judge.
Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Hannity’s show that for a trial like this, there shouldn’t be donors to ANY political party. The reports he had heard were “very troubling.”
Devin Nunes, who chaired the House Intel Committee, said that in this trial, Durham is looking at one sliver of the overall conspiracy. He noted the incestuous nature of this Washington DC group and the connections of this judge. And he offered what might be the Quote Of The Day about the trial: “If this case was not brought in DC...there’s no way that Sussmann would not have pled guilty.” In DC, he knows his chances are excellent to get one or two jurors to “hold this up, to let him off scot free.”
Still, for the first time, Nunes said, Durham is able to bring direct evidence, not just circumstantial. “We now know journalists...were meeting directly with the Democrats, taking this horrible story and willing to go and put it out there, just to destroy Republicans and destroy President Trump before the election.”
Nunes also noted that the next trial, of “dossier” collaborator Igor Danchenko, is in Virginia.
Margot Cleveland, in her piece written Wednesday, details how the story told by Sussmann’s defense just doesn’t hold up. In effect, she expanded on what Turley said in his tweet, above. It’s hard to buy the story that the Hillary campaign didn’t WANT Sussmann to share the Alfa Bank story with the FBI. “...The information known to date,” Cleveland says, “plus the modus operandi of the Spygate players through the years they peddled the Russia-collusion hoax, renders this argument laughable.”
Just read what defense attorney Michael Bosworth told the jury and see how inconsistent it is.
The evidence, largely in the form of texts between Clinton’s people and Fusion GPS, contradicts his story. It suggests that Fusion GPS absolutely knew the value of having the FBI investigate the Alfa Bank story; they used that investigation to help “sell” the story to outlets such as Reuters.
Cleveland really picks apart the defense’s story that the Clinton campaign didn’t want Sussmann to go to the FBI. One danger we see is that a jury –- especially a biased one –- might not be willing or even able to follow this if it’s too long or complicated. It seems to me that Hillary’s own tweets promoting the Alfa Bank story disprove the defense’s fairy tale that she wouldn’t have wanted the FBI brought in. That would make the story bigger! Hillary would LOVE it.
Oh, wait, I forgot –- the judge refused to allow her tweets into evidence.