D.C. JURY NULLIFICATION? Durham’s flop: Jury acquits Hillary lawyer in Russiagate.
This probably puts a spike through any further efforts by John Durham to probe the depth of the Alfa Bank dirty trick, let alone the origins of the larger Russia-collusion obsession. A jury acquitted Durham’s first criminal trial target of lying to the FBI about his connections to the Hillary Clinton campaign, despite multiple witnesses testified to Michael Sussmann’s misrepresentation.
It only took the jury six hours to acquit Sussmann:
Michael Sussmann, a prominent cybersecurity lawyer with ties to Democrats, was acquitted on Tuesday of a felony charge that he lied to the F.B.I. about having no client in 2016 when he shared a tip about possible connections between Donald J. Trump and Russia.
The verdict was a blow to the special counsel, John H. Durham, who was appointed by the Trump administration three years ago to scour the Trump-Russia investigation for any wrongdoing. …
On Sept. 19, 2016, Mr. Sussmann brought those suspicions to a senior F.B.I. official. Prosecutors accused him of falsely telling the official that he was not there on behalf of any client, concealing that he was in fact working for both Mrs. Clinton’s campaign and a technology executive who had brought him the tip.
Mr. Durham and his trial team used court filings and trial testimony to detail how Mr. Sussmann, while working for a Democratic-linked law firm and logging his time to the Clinton campaign, had been trying to get reporters to write about the Alfa Bank suspicions.
But trying to persuade reporters to write about such suspicions is not a crime. Mr. Sussmann’s guilt or innocence turned on a narrow issue: whether he made a false statement to a senior F.B.I. official at the 2016 meeting, by saying he was sharing those suspicions on behalf of no one but himself.
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