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Lawyer charged with lying to FBI in Russia probe faces trial

Michael Sussmann
Posted at 5:28 AM, May 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-16 08:28:43-04

A federal trial is set to begin for a lawyer for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.

Michael Sussmann is accused of lying to the FBI as it investigated potential ties between Donald Trump and Russia in 2016. The case against Sussmann opens Monday in Washington's federal court with jury selection.

It's the first trial arising from the ongoing investigation by special counsel John Durham into the origins of the Russia probe. Sussmann is accused of concealing from the FBI during a 2016 meeting at which he presented allegations that he was representing the Hillary Clinton campaign.

"Sussman, a lawyer at a large international law firm, met with the FBI General Counsel at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Sussmann had requested the meeting to provide the General Counsel with certain data files and 'white papers' that allegedly demonstrated a covert communications channel between the Trump Organization and a Russia-based bank," the Department of Justice said. "Sussmann, who had previously represented the Democratic National Committee in connection with a cyber hack, falsely stated to the General Counsel that he was not bringing these allegations to the FBI on behalf of any client.

"This false representation led the General Counsel to understand that Sussmann was providing information as a good citizen rather than a paid advocate or political operative. In fact, Sussmann assembled and conveyed the allegations to the FBI on behalf of at least two clients, including a U.S. technology executive and the Clinton Presidential Campaign."

Sussmann's lawyers deny all wrongdoing.

The special counsel has not accused the Clinton campaign itself of any wrongdoing.