In a new filing asking a court not to dismiss his criminal case against Michael Sussmann, Special Counsel John Durham accuses the former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Sussmann of engaging in “political deceit” in his communications with the FBI, reports Just The News.
Sussmann, who has been charged with lying to the FBI, has requested the charge to be dropped, because, he says, his false claim that he wasn’t working on behalf of a client when he delivered the bogus Trump dirt to federal agents (allegedly Trump had a secret communications channel with the Kremlin) was immaterial to the case and protected speech under the First Amendment.
FBI agents found no evidence that such a channel existed. And Sussmann was actually working on behalf of the Clinton campaign and a computer company executive when he approached the FBI.
Durham responded to Sussmann’s motion to dismiss the charges against him by saying that as a former lawyer for the DOJ, Sussmann knew he was giving the FBI false information.
“Far from finding himself in the vulnerable position of an ordinary person whose speech is likely to be chilled, the defendant – a sophisticated and well-connected lawyer – chose to bring politically-charged allegations to the FBI’s chief legal officer at the height of an election season,” Durham’s latest motion reads. “He then chose to lie about the clients who were behind those allegations. Using such rare access to the halls of power for the purposes of political deceit is hardly the type of speech that the Founders intended to protect.”
“The Court should therefore reject defendant’s invitation to expand the scope of the First Amendment to protect such conduct,” he added.
Durham’s motion also indicated that testimony from FBI and government witnesses will prove that Sussmann’s false statement was, in fact, material and could have influenced the Russia collusion investigation.