A prominent cybersecurity lawyer on Friday pleaded not guilty to making a false statement to the FBI in a charge stemming from a probe of the U.S. government's investigation into Russian election interference.
Michael Sussman appeared Friday in D.C. federal court before Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui. He is just the second person to be prosecuted by special counsel John Durham in two-and-a-half years of work.
Just the News reports Durham included in his indictment how Sussmann, a former attorney at the law firm Perkins Coie, allegedly used Clinton campaign funds to construct a now-debunked memo and other evidence alleging that computer communications between a server at the Alfa Bank in Russia and the Trump Tower in New York might be a secret backdoor communication system for Trump and Vladimir Putin to allegedly hijack the 2016 election.
The indictment accuses Sussmann of lying to the FBI when he was questioned about a September 2016 conversation he had with the FBI's general counsel in which he relayed concerns from cybersecurity researchers about potentially suspicious contacts between Russia-based Alfa Bank and a Trump organization server.
The prosecutors allege Sussmann falsely told then-FBI General Counsel James Baker he was providing the information to the FBI solely as a good citizen, and not on behalf of any client. In fact, he was working for a tech executive and the Clinton campaign, according to Just the News.
Records obtained by the grand jury investigation show Sussman charged nearly all of his work, including his meeting with Baker to his firm's Clinton presidential campaign account.
U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) served as House Intelligence Committee chairman from 2015 to 2019. He told Just the News Sussman's indictment added a final piece to the puzzle that the Clinton campaign crafted as a "web of lies and deceit."
"The indictment is damning, full of shocking details showing how the Clinton campaign operatives and lawyers resorted to illegal and immoral methods to concoct false allegations against the Trump campaign and feed them to the FBI and the media," Nunes said.
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