Sussmann’s defense in closing argument calls Durham case ‘misappropriation’

Advertisement

[ad_1]

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Defense attorneys for Michael Sussmann delivered their closing arguments on Friday, calling the government’s case against their client weak and “hijacking” and “smoke and mirrors.”

Sussmann’s defense attorney, Sean Berkowitz, opened his conclusion by comparing Special Counsel John Durham’s case against his client to a famous magician David Copperfield’s illusion where he made the Statue of Liberty “disappear” shifting the public’s attention elsewhere.

Berkowitz presented the jury with a poster that read: “The Special Counsel’s Smoke and Mirrors.”

“The Special Counsel’s Office bought a snow-making machine and blew it on the lawn, and they want you to think it snowed,” Berkowitz said.

SPECIAL COUNSEL JOHN DURHAM’S TEAM SAYS EVIDENCE HAS ‘PROVED’ SUSSMANN IS GUILTY

Sussmann was charged with one count of making a false statement to the FBI when he met with FBI General Counsel James Baker on September 19, 2016. The government alleges that Sussmann told Baker that he did not carry any allegations linking candidate Donald at the time. Trump to the Kremlin-linked Alfa Bank on behalf of any client, but rather as a citizen concerned about national security.

Special Counsel John Durham leaves the US Federal Courthouse after the opening of arguments in the trial of attorney Michael Sussmann, where Durham is suing Sussmann on charges that Sussmann lied to the FBI while providing information about later discredited allegations of communications between former President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russia, in Washington, May 17, 2022. REUTERS/Julia Nikhinson
Advertisement

Special Counsel John Durham leaves the US Federal Courthouse after the opening of arguments in the trial of attorney Michael Sussmann, where Durham is suing Sussmann on charges that Sussmann lied to the FBI while providing information about later discredited allegations of communications between former President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia, in Washington, May 17, 2022. REUTERS/Julia Nikhinson
(REUTERS/Julia Nikhinson)

Sussmann pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Berkowitz described Sussmann as a “serious national security attorney who received what he believed to be credible data from a world-renowned DNS expert,” in reference to his client, Rodney Joffe.

Berkowitz went on to say that Sussmann “provided the data to a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter from the New York Times”, and said the New York Times “verified” the data and “decided to publish the story”.

“Sussmann went to the FBI to give them a whim,” Berkowitz said. “He didn’t ask anything on anyone’s behalf.”

The government, in closing argument, presented a number of billing records and emails to the jury on Friday, beginning July 29, 2016, and continuing through October 2016, revealing that Sussmann had repeatedly billed the Clinton campaign for work on Alfa Bank’s opposition research against Trump.

Michael Sussmann, a cybersecurity lawyer who represented Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2016, leaves the federal courthouse in Washington, Monday, May 16, 2022. A jury was chosen Monday in the trial of a Hillary Clinton presidential campaign lawyer accused of lying to the FBI while investigating potential ties between Donald Trump and Russia in 2016. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Michael Sussmann, a cybersecurity lawyer who represented Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016, leaves the federal courthouse in Washington, Monday, May 16, 2022. A jury was chosen Monday in the trial of a Hillary Clinton presidential campaign lawyer accused of lying to the FBI while investigating potential ties between Donald Trump and Russia in 2016. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

On September 19, 2016, an invoice was for “Hillary for America,” which the government said related to the meeting Sussmann had with Baker at FBI headquarters.

On the invoice, also dated September 19, 2016, the Clinton campaign is listed as a client, the time listed is 3.3 hours, and the memo states: “work and communications regarding a confidential project.” Other testimony revealed that Sussmann charged around $800 per hour.

But Berkowitz, instead, pointed to different billing records for different meetings in which Sussmann actually “wrote the FBI words.” Berkowitz pointed out that Sussmann “didn’t write the FBI” when he billed the Clinton campaign for the job on Sept. 19, 2016.

PROSECUTION AND SPARENT DEFENSE ON BILL THAT WOULD PROVE CLINTON CAMPAIGN CHARGED BY SUSSMANN FOR 2016 FBI MEETING

The government also produced a receipt from Staples near its law firm, Perkins Coie in Washington DC, from September 13, 2016. On the receipt was a package of two USB drives.

Sussmann reportedly brought two USB drives and white papers containing data alleging the Trump-Alfa Bank connection to the FBI for the meeting with Baker.

“They come here with a receipt from Staples and a Google map, and say you’re all set,” Berkowitz said sarcastically, lambasting the government’s argument and noting that Sussmann hadn’t called for the FBI meeting until the 18th. September 2016.

Sussmann first requested the meeting in a text message. Durham’s team alleges that Sussmann put his “lie in writing” in his September 18, 2016 text to Baker.

The text message read: “Jim – this is Michael Sussmann. I have something urgent (and sensitive) that I need to discuss,” the text message said, according to Durham. “Are you available for a short meeting tomorrow? I come alone – not on behalf of a client or company – I want to help the Bureau. Thank you.”

Baker replied, “OK. I’ll find a moment. What might work for you?”

FBI MANAGEMENT DURING RUSSIAGATE MAKES DURHAM’S WORK IN SUSSMANN TRIAL VERY DELICATE

Berkowitz also reminded the jury that Baker failed to take notes during the meeting with Sussmann on September 19, 2016, and attempted to discredit Baker as a witness.

“One hundred and sixteen times Baker says, ‘I don’t remember,'” Berkowitz told the jury of Baker’s testimony at trial.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MAY 05: Former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton greets the audience on stage before "An Evening with President Bill Clinton and Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton" at the Park Theater at Park MGM on May 05, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MAY 05: Former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton greets the audience on stage before ‘An Evening with President Bill Clinton and Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’ at the Park Theater in the Park MGM on May 05, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
(David Becker/Getty Images)

Berkowitz later called the FBI’s investigation of the Trump-Alfa bank information “poor,” blaming the bureau for not calling Sussmann for an interview about the information he provided.

The FBI investigated whether there was a secret communication channel between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, and found there was “nothing there.”

Meanwhile, in the government’s final rebuttal, prosecutor Andrew DeFilippis said the matter “is not closed”.

“It’s appropriate that the defense began by presenting you with a magic trick,” DeFilippis said, noting that Berkowitz’s argument was, in and of itself, “a magic trick.”

CLICK TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“They wanted to suppress the evidence,” he said. “When you look at the actual evidence, your common sense tells you what happened here.”

He added that the defense “is trying to dismiss the accused’s lie”.

“Don’t let them do this,” DeFilippis said. “The government has met its burden…You have proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

[ad_2]

You Can Read Also

Sports News

Advertisement

malek

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.