Durham investigation: Judge denies Sussmann’s request to ‘strike out’ special counsel’s ‘factual background’


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The federal judge handling the case of former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann denied his motion to ‘strike out’ the ‘factual background’ section of Special Counsel John Durham’s February filing on Thursday .

Sussmann’s legal team last month filed a motion demanding that the court “strike out” portions of Durham’s Feb. 11 filing, including the “Factal Background” section, saying it would “taint” a group of jurors.

CAMPAIGN LAWYER CLINTON SUSSMANN CALLS ON COURT TO ‘STRIKE’ DURHAM’S ‘FACTUAL BACKGROUND’ IN LATEST FILING

“I’m not going to strike anything off the record,” U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Christopher Cooper said during a status hearing on Thursday. “Whatever effect the deposit had, it has already passed.”

John Durham and Michael Susmann.
(Sussman photo by Perkins Coie)

Durham, in a Feb. 11 filing with the “factual background” in question, alleged that Sussmann provided two US government agencies with information from a tech executive who was trying to tie Donald Trump, who was running for president to the President. era, to Russia. Alfa Bank.

The technical lead has since identified himself as Rodney Joffe. Joffe is not named in Durham’s case and has not been charged with a crime.

Durham alleged that associates of Sussmann, Joffe and Joffe ‘exploited’ internet traffic regarding a ‘particular healthcare provider’, the Trump Tower, Trump’s Central Park West apartment building and the executive office of the President of the United States in order to ‘establish’ an inference’ and ‘narrative’ linking Trump to Russia.

DURHAM SAYS ‘NO BASIS’ TO STRIKE ‘FACTUAL BACKGROUND’ FROM RECORD, DENY INTENT TO ‘POLITIZE’ SUSSMANN CASE

Durham alleges that Sussmann’s “billing records reflect” that he “repeatedly billed the Clinton campaign for his work” over the Alfa Bank allegations.

Sussmann’s legal team, in its motion to “cancel” the allegations, said Durham had “done more than just file a document identifying potential conflicts of interest”.

“Instead, the special advocate has again filed a case in this case that unnecessarily includes damaging – and false – allegations that are irrelevant to his motion and the offense charged, and are clearly intended to politicize this case, inflame media coverage and taint the jury pool,” Sussmann’s attorneys said.

U.S. Attorney John Durham, center, in federal court in New Haven, Connecticut, following the sentencing of former Governor John Rowland.

U.S. Attorney John Durham, center, in federal court in New Haven, Connecticut, following the sentencing of former Governor John Rowland.
(Bob MacDonnell/Hartford Courant/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

In a separate motion, Durham argued there was “no reason” to “expunge” any part of her case and pushed back against claims that her office “intentionally sought to politicize” the case. He defended the “additional factual detail” he included, which he said is “essential to proving” Sussmann’s “alleged criminal conduct”.

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Although he did not grant Sussmann’s motion to strike, Judge Cooper appeared to criticize the prosecution on Thursday, saying the latest “dust” hit him “like a sideshow.”

Durham’s original indictment alleges that Sussmann told then-FBI General Counsel James Baker in September 2016, less than two months before the 2016 presidential election, that he was not working “for no client” when he requested and held a meeting in which he presented “purported data and ‘white papers’ that allegedly demonstrated a secret communication channel” between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, which has ties to the Kremlin.

Sussmann also filed a motion to completely dismiss the case against him.

The next hearing is scheduled for March 31.


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