Let me start by acknowledging the legitimate skepticism of many commentators that any justice will come out of John Durham’s work. You have been promised the moon in the past and instead received a flaming bag of dog poop.
But let’s accept the fact that yesterday’s news that DNC lawyer Michael Sussmann was going to be indicted turned out to be true. Charlie Brown got to kick the football this time.
So what does this mean? Is it a meaningless gesture or the first domino to fall in a line of dominoes? I think this is just the first domino to fall and that others will come. I base this on what the indictment says.
If you have the time, please read the indictment (here).
Durham’s indictment of Sussmann lays out the foundation of a conspiracy. Michael Sussman was indicted for lying to the FBI about the source of information he gave the Bureau. He claimed he got it independently. He did not. It was bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton and her campaign. The indictment essentially charges Sussmann with sending the FBI on a wild goose chase:
The FBI had, in fact, initiated an investigation of these allegations in response to a meeting that MICHAEL A. SUSSMANN, the defendant herein– a lawyer at a major international law firm (“ Law Firm -1”, i.e. Perkins Coie) – requested and held with the FBI General Counsel on or about September 19, 2016 at FBI Headquarters in the District of Columbia. SUSSMANN provided to the FBI General Counsel three “ white papers” along with data files allegedly containing evidence supporting the existence of this purported secret communications channel.
During the meeting, SUSSMANN lied about the capacity in which he was
providing the allega to the FBI Specifically, SUSSMANN stated falsely that he was not doing his work on the aforementioned allegations “ any client,” which led the FBI General Counsel to understand that SUSSMANN was acting as a good citizen merely passing along information , not as a paid advocate or political operative . In fact, and as alleged in further detail below, this statement was intentionally false and misleading because, in assembling and conveying
these allegations, SUSSMANN acted on behalf of specific clients, namely, ( i ) a U.S. technology industry executive (“ Tech Executive- 1”) at a U.S. Internet company “Internet Company”) , and ( ii) the Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign (the “Clinton Campaign”).
That “Tech Executive” and the Hillary Clinton Campaign are now possible targets. The critical question is whether or not Sussmann was acting on his own. The indictment states he was acting at the behest of the Tech Executive and Hillary. It would be prosecutorial incompetence if they had not already be interviewed and evidence collected against them.
Paragraph 6 of the indictment gives a strong indication of how Durham and this team view Sussmann’s lie: