Ex-lawyer for Clinton campaign law firm pleads not guilty to charge in Trump-Russia probe By Reuters
By Mark Hosenball
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A former lawyer for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign law firm pleaded not guilty on Friday to lying to the FBI, a charge by a U.S. special counsel investigating the origins of a FBI probe of potential ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign.
Sean Berkowitz, the lawyer representing Michael Sussmann, was told by U.S. Magistrate Zia Faruqui that they were entering “a plea for not guilty” on behalf of Mr. Sussmann.
Andrew Defilippis represented John Durham as special counsel and requested conditions on Sussmann’s bail release. These included limiting Sussmann’s travel to Washington D.C., New Jersey, or transferring a firearm he had to a third-party.
Berkowitz accepted the terms. Christopher Cooper, U.S. District Judge, was set to hear Berkowitz again on Sept. 22.
Durham indicted Sussmann for making false statements in an Aug. 19th, 2016 meeting with James Baker. Baker was then the General Counsel of Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Sussmann was accused of lying to Baker about not representing any client during a Sept. 19, 2016, meeting with James Baker, then General Counsel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He also claimed that he had never met Baker in order to provide FBI white papers and data files which contained evidence of possible cyber-links between the Trump Organization (Russia) and the bank. According to sources familiar with the case, the bank that Reuters identified as Alfa Bank was the one.
The indictment said Sussmann turned over that information to Baker not as a “good citizen” but as an attorney representing a U.S. technology executive, an internet company and Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Berkowitz and Bosworth, his lawyers, said Thursday that Sussmann would “fight this politically-instigated prosecution”. On Thursday, Sussmann quit Perkins Coie.
Sussmann has been the subject of two prosecutions by Durham, since Trump appointed U.S. Attorney general William Barr to examine U.S. officers who were investigating Trump-Russia contacts. Trump described the FBI’s 2016 investigation as a politically motivated witch hunt.
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