Beware the Eephus: Durham Lowers the Boom on Former Clinton Counsel Michael Sussmann

Last year, I wrote a column titled “Beware the Eephus.” An Eephus is an a high-arching, off-speed pitch . . . or Special Counsel John Durham. I warned that Durham works slow but throws strikes. Former Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann may have just found that out. He swung and missed at the ultimate Eephus.

In a Monday night filing, Durham revealed that he has an incriminating statement by Sussmann that dramatically undermined his defense. In the text message, Sussmann denied that he was representing anyone before his critical meeting with the FBI. He then repeated the false statement in that meeting as he pushed a false Russian collusion claim against Donald Trump.

Sussmann has been seeking the dismissal on the single charge under 18 U.S.C. 1001 for lying to the FBI in a meeting with the then-FBI General Counsel James Baker.

In the indictment, Sussmann is accused of “mak[ing] a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement or representation” in conversations with Baker. Durham argued that “the defendant provided the FBI General Counsel with purported data and ‘white papers’ that allegedly demonstrated a covert communications channel between the Trump Organization and a Russia-based bank.”

That institution was Alfa Bank and Sussmann’s effort paralleled the work of his partner at the law firm Perkins Coie, Marc Elias, in pushing the Steele Dossier in a separate debunked collusion claim.  The FEC recently fined the Clinton Campaign and the DNC for hiding the funding of the dossier as a legal cost by Elias at Perkins Coie.

The Clinton Campaign’s Alfa Bank conspiracy was found to be baseless but the FBI did not know that it was being offered by someone being paid by the campaign to spread the claim. Had they known, Durham alleges the department might have been able to avoid the investigation costs and effort spent on the Alfa matter.

Sussmann has sounded a lot like Michael Flynn in court as he argued that this was trivial and inconsequential comment. On Monday night, Durham lowered the boom.  He revealed that, before the meeting, Sussmann sent “the same lie in writing” that his effort was “not on behalf of a client or company.”

Durham is seeking the introduction of a text message to Baker that said:

“Jim—it’s Michael Sussmann. I have something time-sensitive (and sensitive) I need to discuss. Do you have availability for a short meeting tomorrow? I’m coming on my own—not on behalf of a client or company—want to help the Bureau. Thanks.”

Thus, Durham writes that

“on September 18, 2016 at 7:24 p.m., i.e., the night before the defendant met with the General Counsel, the defendant conveyed the same lie in writing and sent the following text message to the General Counsel’s personal cellphone.”

The filing is particularly notable after the FEC sanctions for hiding the Clinton Campaign’s funding of the Steele Dossier.

During the campaign, a few reporters did ask about the possible connection to the campaign, but Clinton campaign officials denied any involvement. It was only weeks after the election that journalists discovered that the Clinton campaign hid payments for the Steele dossier as “legal fees” among the $5.6 million paid to Perkins Coie.

New York Times reporter Ken Vogel said at the time that Elias denied involvement in the anti-Trump dossier. When Vogel tried to report the story, he said, Elias “pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong.’” Times reporter Maggie Haberman declared, “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year.”

“It was not just reporters who asked the Clinton campaign about its role in the Steele dossier. John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, was questioned by Congress and denied categorically any contractual agreement with Fusion GPS. Sitting beside him was Elias, who reportedly said nothing to correct the misleading information given to Congress.”

The text message greatly strengthens the case by undermining the argument that Sussmann’s concealment of the role of the Clinton Campaign was a single mistake or “one-off” occurrence. This could be used to show intent as part of a pattern of deceit.

Notably, the filings state that

“The defendant’s billing records reflect that the defendant repeatedly billed the Clinton Campaign for his work on the Russian Bank-1 allegations. In compiling and disseminating these allegations, the defendant and Tech Executive-1 also had met and communicated with another law partner at Law Firm-1 who was then serving as General Counsel to the Clinton Campaign (“Campaign Lawyer-1″).”

“Campaign Lawyer-1” is a reference to Marc Elias, Sussmann’s partner at Perkins Coie who is accused to concealing the same connections with the Steele Dossier during the campaign.

Sussmann’s trial is scheduled to begin on May 16.

 

132 thoughts on “Beware the Eephus: Durham Lowers the Boom on Former Clinton Counsel Michael Sussmann”

  1. Judge Cooper has ruled against Sussmann’s motion to dismiss before trial (where he’d argued that even if he made the alleged false statement, it wasn’t materially false), concluding that “while Sussmann is correct that certain statements might be so peripheral or unimportant to a relevant agency decision or function to be immaterial under § 1001 as matter of law, the Court is unable to make that determination as to this alleged statement before hearing the government’s evidence. Any such decision must therefore wait until trial.”

    So we will have to wait and see — after the government presents its evidence of materiality at trial — how Cooper ultimately rules on the question of materiality.

  2. Something that is curious is that Sussman presumably knows he sent the txt claiming he was just doing this out of the goodness of his heart, and not for a political campaign to get the Feds to smear her opponent for them.

    Did he think Durham did not know it too? Did he believe Baker would not disclose communications on his personal device with Durham? Whatever Sussman’s billing rate was it may have been too high.

    It could have been as simple as:

    D How did Sussman get in to see you? Did he just walk in the door?
    B He txted me the night before and asked me to find a few minutes to talk to him.
    D Ok if I see that txt?
    B Sure, here it is.
    D It says he was not working for anyone.
    B Yes it does, and he repeated that when we met.

    1. Perhaps you’re unaware that in February of 2018, the DOJ OIG informed Durham’s office that they two of Baker’s cellphones, but Durham’s office didn’t pay attention. Durham only asked to see Baker’s phone in January of 2022. So for most of his investigation, Durham “did not know” what was on Baker’s phone. Durham has admitted this in his 1/28/2022 filing.

      Note that Durham cannot charge Sussmann with lying in the text message that Sussmann sent on 9/18/2016, as the statute of limitations has already passed.

      “It could have been as simple as…”

      Hypothetically, but that isn’t what happened. Better to focus on what actually occurred, not on a scenario that didn’t occur.

      1. And your point is? Durham’s got the phone now and it is confirming “evidence” that Sussman is lying. Sussman just struck out swinging at an Eephus. That is the point of Turley’s post grasshopper. Please try to keep up.

        Perhaps the prospects of a felony conviction for lying to Baker will focus Sussman’s attention and encourage him to roll over on Hillary and the rest of the conspirators.

        1. Lefty665, a text from Sunday, 9/18/2016, is not — and cannot be — “evidence” of what Sussman said to Baker in person on Monday, 9/19/2016, the focus of the indictment.

          I’m curious to see what Sussmann’s lawyers say in response to the 9/18 text message. I’m also curious to see what Judge Cooper says about the various pending motions. Time will tell.

          As you said: Be patient grasshopper, all will come clear in due time.

  3. anon @ 12:20

    I guess you do not categorize Sussman’s billing records to the Clinton campaign for his time meeting with Baker as “evidence”. Durham apparently thinks they are “evidence” and has referenced them.

    1. No. In the indictment, Durham **alleged** that “SUSSMANN billed his meeting with the FBI General Counsel to the Clinton Campaign with the billing description, ‘work and communications regarding confidential project.’”

      However, Durham did not attach an exhibit showing those billing records, and the quote he gives from the billing records themselves — “work and communications regarding confidential project” — make no reference at all to Baker or the FBI, and Durham doesn’t present any argument at all about how he concluded that the time billed to the Clinton Campaign included time with Baker.

      You may with to treat Durham’s allegation as fact, but I will not.

      Unless you can show that Durham has presented actual evidence — not just an allegation — showing “Sussman’s billing records to the Clinton campaign for his time meeting with Baker,” then all you’re doing is repeating Durham’s unsubstantiated allegation.

      1. anon @ 3:58

        Be patient grasshopper, all will come clear in due time. Sussman just **alleges** he is not guilty too.

        From your post: “SUSSMANN billed his meeting with the FBI General Counsel to the Clinton Campaign with the billing description, ‘work and communications regarding confidential project.’” That direct quote from the billing record is highly likely to be just exactly that, a direct quote from the billing record for the meeting with Baker.

        It is highly likely there will be checks from the Clinton campaign in payment for that meeting and for other work on the ‘confidential project’ that will also be produced. That could make Clinton an accessory both before and after the fact.

        1. I’m quite patient. Be patient yourself, grasshopper.

          I suspect that I’m more familiar than you are with the various statements that Durham has made in his court documents about Sussmann’s billing vis-a-vis the Clinton Campaign. For example, Durham also alleges that Sussmann met with the CIA general counsel in Feb. of 2017 on behalf of the Clinton Campaign, even though the election was long over an the Clinton Campaign no longer even existed.

          You say “That direct quote from the billing record is highly likely to be just exactly that, a direct quote from the billing record for the meeting with Baker.”

          I assume that it’s a direct quote from A billing record. But the quote does not show that it was “the billing record for the meeting with Baker,” and you should not assume that it is. The quote makes no reference at all to Baker or even to the FBI.

          You believe “It is highly likely there will be checks from the Clinton campaign in payment for that meeting,” when you have no basis for judging the likelihood. You don’t have evidence that Sussmann billed the Clinton Campaign for that meeting.

          As for “It is highly likely there will be checks from the Clinton campaign … [for] work on the ‘confidential project’,” duh!
          No one contests that Sussmann billed the Clinton Campaign for work on A “confidential project.” That’s not the issue. The issue is whether he met with Baker on 9/19 on behalf of the Clinton Campaign. Durham says he did, Sussmann says he didn’t, and so far, Durham has not presented any actual evidence to substantiate his allegation.

          1. Your suspicions are just that, suspicions. You’re all blather. Sussman’s caught dead to rights lying. The records will be presented in court if it gets that far. Could be Sussman is already in discussions for a plea deal that will get him off short of a felony and give Durham the goods on Hillary and the rest. Time will tell grasshopper.

            1. And *your* suspicions are just that, suspicions.

              LOL that you refer to quotes as “blather.”

  4. “The Clinton Campaign’s Alfa Bank conspiracy was found to be baseless but the FBI did not know that it was being offered by someone being paid by the campaign to spread the claim.”

    That’s what Durham alleges. But Durham has not provided evidence that Sussmann was working on behalf of the Clinton Campaign in his meeting with the FBI general counsel, and Sussman has already testified under oath that the client on whose behalf he met with the FBI about this is *not* the Clinton Campaign.

    1. Durham has tied enough pieces together to demonstrate the corruption of Sussman going back to the Clintons. There is nothing anyone can do to prove the links to ATS.

      According to ATS, no one can prove the sun will rise tomorrow, and that is true. But you carry that one step further, claiming the sun will not rise tomorrow and every day following.

        1. Durham has tied enough pieces together to demonstrate the corruption of Sussman going back to the Clintons. There is nothing anyone can do to prove the links to ATS.

          According to ATS, no one can prove the sun will rise tomorrow, and that is true. But you carry that one step further, claiming the sun will not rise tomorrow and every day following.

            1. Durham has tied enough pieces together to demonstrate the corruption of Sussman going back to the Clintons. There is nothing anyone can do to prove the links to ATS.

              According to ATS, no one can prove the sun will rise tomorrow, and that is true. But you carry that one step further, claiming the sun will not rise tomorrow and every day following.

    2. “…Sussman has already testified under oath that the client on whose behalf he met with the FBI about this is *not* the Clinton Campaign.”

      So the lying liar told more than one lie. Color me shocked.

      1. Or … Sussmann wasn’t lying about it, and Durham is wrong.

        Note that Durham hasn’t charged Sussmann with lying to the HPSCI about it.

        1. ATS, there are known criminals al over the country who haven’t yet been charged. Biden and Hunter haven’t been charged either. That doesn’t make any of them innocent.

          You are constantly trying to twist the truth and that makes you look like a fool.

          1. You are the one and only Anonymous the Stupid, aka Meyer the Troll Liar, and you are constantly trolling and lying about those you seek to attack.

            You’ve said more than once that your goal is for people to “throw out all anonymous postings, including mine. They aren’t worth the time.” Though you often lie, you were telling the truth about your anonymous postings.

            1. “Your goal is for people to “throw out all anonymous postings, including mine. They aren’t worth the time.”
              —–
              That is more of a suggestion rather than a goal. I have plenty of time. You have plenty of time. Many others don’t have that much time, so they can save it by throwing out all the anonymous postings, mine included. No one needs to read the repetition or the low nature of our correspondence. You will not stop your craziness, so the only thing for sane people to do is to reject all anonymous postings.

              I post under my regular alias, but I will post anonymously to you and anyone else acting like a nutcase. Sometimes I post anonymously by accident, and sometimes under my alias by accident.

              You have a problem. Increasingly, your facts were shown to be untrue too many times. You can’t handle that, so we can see some posts becoming very long where dumb rhetoric replaces facts and other posts under assumed names stating things that even you know are untrue.

    3. Anonymous, only one little problem that you have overlooked. The 5.4 million dollars that Sussmans’ firm received from the Clinton campaign. I can understand how you could have overlooked such a tiny little stipend.

      1. No, Ti T, YOU are overlooking that Sussmann did work for multiple clients, including the Clinton Campaign, and he has said so under oath (“The Clinton campaign was a client of our firm”). But knowing THAT the Clinton Campaig was a client does not tell you WHAT they were paying him to do.

        The issue isn’t whether the Clinton Campaign was a client. It was. The issue is whether Turley was truthful in claiming that Sussmann was “paid by the [Clinton] campaign to spread the claim” about the “Alfa Bank conspiracy.” Durham alleges that, but Durham has not proved that, and if Turley were more careful and less inclined to contribute to the “age of rage” that he so often complains about, Turley wouldn’t say “The Clinton Campaign’s Alfa Bank conspiracy was found to be baseless but the FBI did not know that it was being offered by someone being paid by the campaign to spread the claim” without noting that “it was being offered by someone being paid by the campaign to spread the claim” is an unproven allegation.

    4. and Sussman has already testified under oath that the client on whose behalf he met with the FBI about this is *not* the Clinton Campaign.

      Michael Sussmann contacted FBI Legal Counsel James Baker to pitch evidence that a Russian bank was in digital communications with servers in Trump Tower. The Alfa Bank allegation was one of the key components for the ridiculous Trump-Russia narrative put together by the Hillary Clinton campaign. Sussmann wanted the FBI to investigate Donald Trump, so that Hillary Clinton could push a political fabrication about Donald Trump working with Russians to steal the presidential election.

      Sussman was a partner at Perkins Coi.
      Perkins Coi, billed the Clinton Campaign $5,600,000. (that’s 10,000 billable hours). A partner in the law firm billing10,000 hours of legal work, to a client, is NOT working for “that” client. Sussman, NOT WORKING FOR THE CLINTON CAMPAIGN, called to get an appointment with FBI legal counsel James Baker, to talk about the communication between Trump Tower and Alpha bank. That is all on the up and up, despite the fact there was no such communication. The entire Alpha Bank story was a fabrication of Perkins Coi, to use against the Trump Campaign . Pekins Coi is the nexus of this fable. Sussman is a partner. Sussman talked to Baker about the Al[pha Bank, fable….BUT there is NOTHING to tie Sussman to the Alpha Bank fable, and NOTHING to tie Sussman to the Clinton Campaign. Which is why Sussman resigned from the firm where he was a partner, because he had nothing to do with nothing. Sargent Schultz is being consulted.

  5. It’s very curious that we skipped over the Bush Administration. Remember the guys that violated Ronald Reagan’s Torture treaty (felonies under federal law). They bypassed the FISA Court process (also a felony) and renamed a centuries old torture technique as non-torture. Remember Qwest CEO’s Joseph Nacchio claiming the Bush DOJ were practicing warrantless domestic spying about 6-months BEFORE 9/11 when no wartime emergency existed (also a felony). None of Durham’s former DOJ attorneys have yet to be even legally disbarred. Very curious indeed!

  6. The Clinton Campaign’s Alfa Bank conspiracy was found to be baseless but the FBI did not know that it was being offered by someone being paid by the campaign to spread the claim.

    Assumes facts not in evidence. The FBI, DoJ, IC, State Dept. All were in on the scam. All those agencies and more have a vested interest in keeping their grift stream intact. Donald Trump is the person set to reveal it all.

    Note that Durham is barred from investigating Govt agents. Its the government, operating this whole scheme. State actors providing Fusion GPS the phony leads to follow.
    One example, there are hundreds. OK two, the big one I assume all had already figured oul.

    1. The lie: Popodopolus saying that Russia has the emails and going to release them.
    How did it come about? Spy Stephen Halper paid Popoddop to come to London to deliver a paper on energy. Spy Mufsud told Popodop about the Russia email
    The Australian Diplomat was in place that night by design, Popodop was taken to that club, and his response was fished for by Downer. Nobody in the FBI went to President Trump to give the President/ Candidate/ Elect a defensive briefing about what the FBI was told.

    2. Ever wonder exactly why the story about Michael Cohen flying to Prague refuses to die? Because its true!….well not THAT Michael Cohen, but a Micheal Cohen. How could that be. Fusion GPS Opo research, lead by Nellie Ohr. A Russia expert. Of course Nellie Ohr is the wife of Bruce Ohr. DoJ investigator specializing in organized crime…..wait for it….. in Russia.
    How does that explain anything? 702 lookups. Those are reverse lookups using NSA data base. Type in a name and date range, and catagory, and get a return. Type in a name on a passport, and date range, and find out everywhere that person has been.
    We know the FISA court has reviewed the reverse lookups 4 different times, and each time they find that over 80%m of those lockups are illegal. The persons conducting those illegal lookups are DoJ/FBI private contractors. It is no stretch of see how Bruce Ohr tells private contractor who to search, and for what. Take interesting stuff,(Flying to Prague not a crime, but great smear) and hand it off to your wife doing Opo Research for Fusion GPS.
    Go through public records already revealed and you will find lots of communication between James Baker and Bruce Ohr.

    But Durham is barred from pulling back this curtain, and interview those responsible for all of it.

    1. “The FBI, DoJ, IC, State Dept. All were in on the scam.”

      As you said, “Assumes facts not in evidence.”

      1. Emails, texts, phone logs, all fill in the facts.
        See techno frog and conservative tree house. Lots of articles all supported by govt documents.

        1. Nope.

          Your claim, your burden of proof. You allege “Emails, texts, phone logs, all fill in the facts” without presenting a single emails, texts, phone logs to prove your allegation.

          1. Fun fact. If you never go to the doctor and submit to lab work and diagnostic test, you will never get sick. Willful ignorance is your safe space.

            1. You continue making excuses for your unwillingness to substantiate your own claim. You’re too lazy to do it. Willful ignorance is *your* safe space.

  7. You know what’s sad. Is watching a man with Senile Dementia (Pres. Biden) deteriorate and not one Member of His party or any Party step in to address the obvious. Particularly his Wife whom should knowingly recognize a “neurocognitive disorder”.

    All the while the Administration slides off the Tracks and makes/made a Train Wreck of this Country.

    A person with dementia has two or more of these specific difficulties, including a decline in:

    Memory.
    Reasoning.
    Language.
    Coordination.
    Mood.
    Behavior.

    The 7 stages of Dementia

    Normal Behavior. …
    Forgetfulness. …
    Mild Decline. …
    Moderate Decline. …
    Moderately Severe Decline. …
    Severe Decline. …
    Very Severe Decline.

    I was watching Ken Burns’s documentary of Benjamin Franklin,
    Franklin had the sense to ostracise his Son (William Franklin) completely from his life,
    over his loyalty to the British Crown.

    Biden is no Franklin (never was), and he doesn’t have the balls to castigate & excommunicate his son Hunter, over his son’s loyalty to Hedonism & Greed, which has led to the detriment of the Country.

    If Washington is Mission Control, then: “Washington, we’ve have a problem.”

    1. Interesting. Where did you get your medical degree? Google U? And I find this hilarious as it’s the same nonsense Dems tried when Trump was in office. Why do you think it will work any better for your side?

      1. Why do you think it will work any better for your side?

        Because its the truth.
        Bidens “gaffs” are flashing warning lights of aphasia. If you are 60 and your parents are still alive, you have seen this set it. It happens to all of us, it is only a matter of degrees, that make it problem, as evident in Biden.I think Jill Biden should be charged with elder abuse. I mean the woman is a DOCTOR! /sarc/

      2. The difference is that Trump was lucid and could answer questions without a script. Biden can’t.

        You need to up your game, Anonymous the Stupid.

    2. You know what’s REALLY sad? A segment of the American populace so vulnerable to lies that they continue to support a narcissist who cheated his way into power, who decimated the successful economy he inherited by enacting tariffs, resulting in shortages and the costs of goods going up, who botched a pandemic, resulting in unnecessary deaths, whose incompetence caused the worst recession since the Great Depression, and who, despite losing in a free and fair election, after he couldn’t bully, cheat or litigate his way into power, incited an insurrection against our own Capitol to prevent Congress from confirming the winner’s victory. This narcissist refused to concede, refused to attend the winner’s inauguration, and simply won’t shut up or go away. He even publicly supports and praises the Russian President who helped him cheat to get into office, and who is butchering innocent Ukrainians. American Presidents simply don’t act this way because they support American values, including the will of the American people and opposition to those who try to destroy democracy. That’s what Putin’s really afraid of–democracy on his doorstep, which NATO represents. Trump also doesn’t respect democracy.

      There’s an entire network of alt-right media that lie constantly and who try to undermine our validly elected President by lying about him having dementia, by being a criminal, accusing his family members of being criminals and broadcasting the election loser’s rhetoric. Russia just loves it when Trump and his allies divide Americans against each other. And the vulnerable disciples don’t see it because they believe lies, especially the BiG LIE, and no amount of evidence will shake their faith. They don’t see that if Trump got back into office, he’d withdraw the US from NATO, clearing the way for Putin to invade Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia as pay back for helping him cheat in 2016. The disciples, who are told they are smart, and to not believe mainstream media, refuse to see that this coming. NATO needs the US to help prevent WW 3. All Trump knows is that his ego cannot stand being branded a “loser”, which is what he is, and he will literally do anything to try to regain power and take revenge on his perceived enemies. Not only will Putin continue trying to take back former countries under the USSR, but Trump has promised to start an internal war in the US–trying to indict and convict his perceived enemies and undermining the rule of law, The internal dissention will make us vulnerable. But the disciples keep on believing. No amount of failure by Trump, no amount of praise for a mass murderer, no amount of proof of his criminality in inciting Jan 6th will dissuade their faith. And, THAT’s what’s not just sad, but scary.

  8. Can they just get The Big Guy for lying about being a Truck Driver?
    Maybe he needs a CDL for driving “the Beast”.

    The United States presidential state car (nicknamed “the Beast”, “Cadillac One”, “First Car”;code named “Stagecoach”) is the official state car of the president of the United States

    Watch: https://twitter.com/i/status/1511047457857318929

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