How the Sussmann Trial Inadvertently Revealed the Role of Clinton in the Alfa Bank Scandal

Below is an expanded version of my column in The Hill on the implication of Hillary Clinton in false Alfa Bank claims of Russian collusion. While most media ignored the testimony of Clinton’s former campaign manager in the Sussmann trial, it adds to a damning record on how the Clinton campaign was behind arguably the most successful disinformation campaign in American political history with both the Steele dossier and the Alfa bank claims. Ironically, despite Sussmann efforts to conceal his connections to Clinton in the FBI meeting, it was his counsel who effectively outed Clinton in the scandal. Former Clinton Campaign manager Robby Mook then violated the Eleventh Commandment of Democrats: Thou shalt not name a Clinton in a scandal.

Here is the column:

The trial of former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann crossed a critical threshold Friday when a key witness uttered the name “Hillary Clinton” in conjunction with a plan to spread the false Alfa Bank Russian collusion claim before the 2016 presidential election.

For Democrats and many in the media, Hillary Clinton has long held a Voldemort-like status as “She who must not be named” in scandals. Yet, there was her former campaign manager, Robby Mook, telling a jury that Clinton personally approved a plan to spread the false claim of covert communications between the Trump organization and the Russian bank. It was one of the most successful disinformation campaigns in American politics, and Mook implicated Clinton as green-lighting the gas-lighting of the electorate.

The mere mention of Clinton’s name sent shockwaves through Washington. In past scandals, the Clintons have always evaded direct responsibility as aides were investigated or convicted, from the Whitewater land dealings to cattle futures. Even when long-sought documents in Whitewater were discovered outside of the family quarters and bearing Hillary Clinton’s fingerprints, Washington quickly moved on.

Clinton was presumed to be untouchable in the Sussmann trial after Judge Christopher Cooper, an Obama appointee, issued a series of orders limiting the scope of the trial and its evidence. The orders were viewed as “spar[ing] the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee … potential embarrassment.”

Ironically, after successfully excluding such areas from the trial, it was the defense that called Mook to the stand — and he proceeded to confirm that Clinton herself approved of the collusion disinformation tactic.

It was Washington’s worst-kept but least-acknowledged secret.

On July 28, 2016, then-CIA Director John Brennan briefed President Obama on Hillary Clinton’s alleged plan to tie Donald Trump to Russia as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.” Obama reportedly was told how Clinton allegedly approved “a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service.”

Thus, Mook testified that Clinton did precisely what Brennan warned Obama was being planned.

The date of Brennan’s warning is important: It was three days before the FBI’s collusion investigation began. It also was a couple of months before Sussmann contacted then-FBI general counsel Jim Baker while claiming he was not representing any client. (He was counsel to the Clinton campaign and, according to prosecutors, billed the time to the campaign.)

There is a strikingly familiar pattern in both the Steele dossier — which became the basis for the Russia collusion investigation — and the Alfa Bank tale. Campaign associates developed both claims while actively seeking to conceal their connections from the public and the government, including reportedly denying the funding of the Steele dossier and concealing that funding as legal costs.

The campaign then pushed these unfounded claims to the media and the FBI. Indeed, prosecutors this week contended that Sussmann continued to push the Alfa Bank claims after Trump was elected, in an apparent effort to fuel the Russia collusion claims being breathlessly reported in the media at the time.

When Clinton allegedly approved this disinformation effort, her campaign was aware that the Alfa Bank theory was never viewed as credible by researchers tasked with supporting it. Those researchers warned that it would be easy to “poke several holes” in the claim and that the data could be seen as “a red herring.” Yet, trial witnesses admitted that they hoped the media would make the claims stick.

Despite a record of Clinton associates aggressively pushing these false allegations to the FBI on both the Steele dossier and Alfa Bank, Mook and another witness, Clinton campaign general counsel Marc Elias, insisted they preferred to use the media for such efforts. The campaign found a conduit in one liberal magazine, for example, whose story was then cited as a “bombshell” report, as if the campaign had had nothing to do with it.

For her part, Clinton not only approved using the false Alpha Bank claim but personally helped to portray it as an established fact, tweeting: “Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.”

That claim was then further amplified by one of her campaign advisers, Jake Sullivan, who now serves as President Biden’s national security adviser. Sullivan declared at the time: “This could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow. Computer scientists have uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.” Sullivan added that he could “only assume federal authorities will now explore this direct connection between Trump and Russia as part of their existing probe into Russia’s meddling in our elections.”

As the FBI’s Baker and other witnesses told jurors this week, there was in fact “nothing there.”

The sudden and unexpected inclusion of Hillary Clinton in Sussmann’s trial occurred despite the best efforts of Judge Cooper and the defense. Besides limiting the scope of evidence involving Clinton, the judge allowed three Clinton donors to sit as jurors,  along with another juror who is a supporter and donor to liberal firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.).

For special prosecutor John Durham, it must seem like the only juror missing is Chelsea Clinton. When we discuss a “jury of your peers,” however, it is not meant to suggest that a Clinton lawyer should be tried by Clinton supporters.

Months after approving the Alpha Bank disinformation strategy, Clinton called in December 2016 to censor opponents who she accused of spreading falsehoods to try to influence elections. She declared that “it’s now clear that so-called ‘fake news’ can have real-world consequences.” Indeed, Clinton has pushed for state and corporate censorship while demanding a “global reckoning” with those who spread disinformation. Of course, Sussmann could still face the real consequence of conviction given the strength of the evidence against him. Yet, there will likely not be consequences, let alone a “reckoning,” for Hillary Clinton.

 

230 thoughts on “How the Sussmann Trial Inadvertently Revealed the Role of Clinton in the Alfa Bank Scandal”

  1. What Sussman is trying to do, the Russians call that, “Getting out of the water dry.”

  2. God help this great country. We have Joe Biden speaking about the deaths in Texas today and yet again, Mr.President….we KNOW your son Beau died. For God’s sake Biden, we KNOW your son died of f*ing brain cancer. We’ve heard it about a gazillion times already. Enough you ignorant POS. Could you PLEASE stop invoking your goddam loss every single time the country experiences loss? You are a sick piece of crap Mr. President. Biden is a demented, sick. Piece. Of Crap.

    No, Mr. President, we will NOT FORGET what a POS YOU ARE. STFU about your f’n son Beau.

      1. You apparently never saw Biden checking his watch as he stood and watched the 13 flag-draped coffins be off-loaded? Biden is a disgrace in every way. There is nothing else to say about this man. Biden is an utter disgrace. Always was. Now even more so because the entire country is suffering as a result. POS.

    1. PS….Well aware the president did not mention his son. But he did go straight to partisan talking points. The man is DIVIDING the country because he is a politician who has NO IDEA HOW TO LEAD. He only knows how to DIVIDE. Because he is a pos corrupt dumb stupid lifelong politician and that is ALL this POS BIDEN knows how to do: DIVIDE.

      The anger in this country is rising fast Biden. THAT is on YOU and your utter INABILITY TO LEAD anything but your vacation plans. FJB. FJB. FJB. You are a DISGRACE.

    2. “Always amusing to watch politicians, media personalities, celebrities, and business leaders — with their heavily armed security forces — demanding gun grabs of everyday Americans.”

      1. Anomaly,

        On any given day we have a retard, a lunatic, a blowhard, and an idiot with a bag on his head (you!) posting off topic on various rants against Trump and Turley. Why should these be allowed yet an off topic rant about Biden should be censored?

      1. RE: “Biden needs to rest his mouth!” “”Holy, ‘You never let a serious crisis go to waste’, Batman!!” .It didn’t take an intellect greater than his to know that he was going to bring the gun issue into it. Here’s a rather good summary of the Stoneman-Douglass event. How many of the issues inherent therein did he fail to address in his comments? There’s a bill sitting in committee since 2019 for a law to limit the possession of ‘body armor’. What’s he done about it? What will he do about it? I don’t have any issues about the 2nd Amendment. I do have issues about someone who abuses it being able to protect themselves from harm in the act. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/02/15/florida-shooting-suspect-bought-gun-legally-authorities-say/340606002/?fbclid=IwAR1yAGCz5XGM0-5XbxJKuIS59USJJmVdp2IbS97scG5pOR2T-Req6PEkM1c https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/4568/text

  3. There’s the silver bullet but will it connect with the otherwise impervious vampiress?
    There’s a long way to go yet with an unimaginable number of guilty persons deserving of persecution many times greater than that of General Flynn.

  4. Do not leave Pres. zer’O and Joe Biden out of complicity in this plot. They were in full force with the January 5, 2017 meeting in the White House hatching the press release of the infamous and phony dossier.

  5. Baker knew. What gets me is when are they going to call Muller and his team out? He had 40 million dollars and multiple FBI agents and he “supposedly” did not ever interview Mook who could have told him all this in about 30 minutes. THEY ALL KNEW !! The media knew, the FBI knew, the DOJ knew they were all in on it.

    1. All of them were part of the the Coup against the citizens US Govt.!!!

      Hell, their groups are still destroying evidence/ballots from the 2020 fraud operations.

        1. Hi Cindy,

          Good to hear you also.

          I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with things ( LOL) & then the AC blows. Were very lucky for the cooler temps the last week while the AC guy to get his stuff together.

          90’s temps & sultry is not conducive to rational thought, that why the Mexicans knew they had to make Tequila. (wink)

          How are things going for you guys down there?

    2. RE:””””What gets me is when are they going to call Muller and his team out?””””” Seriously!?!?! At the hearings it became patently clear that Mueller probably couldn’t find the men’s room without help. What do you suppose he could recall today. Then there’s Andrew Weissman and his ‘tell all’ book..

    3. What I don’t understand is we’ve learned definitively that there was Communications between the alphabet server and the Trump campaign server. The FBI agents reported that they didn’t find anything Nefarious but they could not explain the purpose of the communication.
      So why did Durham not investigate the communications and try to determine what was going on with the DNS Communications Between alpha bank and the Trump campaign? Oh wait I forgot his purpose is not to Find the truth. as a republican, his job is to discredit The investigation into Trump’s conspiracy with the Russians. Oh now I get it

    1. In case you missed this, ck about one hour in the video for the Hillary/Sussmann/Mook Cabal, but the whole thing is good.

  6. RE :””Turley correctly calls out Dem hypocrisy. I called out his. Seems fair enough”” His hypocrisy, in your eyes, is nothing more than being in line with an information source[s] whose veracity you deem false and misleading, the incontrovertible facts which have been brought to light and verified elsewhere, not withstanding. Facts are facts, and ‘fake news is fake new, regardless of source. Your agenda is clear. The sooner the rest of the contributors in these conversations give you a hand to talk to, deem what you have to say as irrelevant, and relegate your responses to the trash bin, the more robust the debate will become. We will no longer be wasting our time.

  7. The Sussman Trial:

    Conflicting Testimonies Muddle Case

    An FBI agent involved in the investigation of links between Donald Trump and Russia told a colleague weeks before the 2016 election that top FBI brass were “fired up” about since-discredited allegations of a secret communications channel between Trump and a Russian bank with close ties to Vladimir Putin.

    “People on 7th floor to include Director are fired up about this server,” FBI agent Joseph Pientka wrote in an internal instant message to another agent working on the issue.

    But Pientka’s comment, revealed in courtroom testimony Monday, was part of a conflicting narrative presented to jurors about the secrecy and urgency with which the FBI treated allegations related to the Putin-linked Alfa Bank. Those claims arrived at the bureau via Michael Sussmann, a cybersecurity attorney who represented the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign.

    Despite Pientka’s messages, other witnesses described the bureau’s reaction to the Alfa Bank tip as relatively modest — a limited offshoot of a much broader and more urgent investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, and any evidence of the Trump campaign’s involvement.

    Indeed, current and former FBI witnesses seemed to have hazy memories of aspects of the Alfa Bank episode and indicated their recollections were heavily influenced by notes, emails and messages they exchanged at the time, which have been unearthed by Durham’s team.

    Jurors saw an internal FBI intelligence report Monday that indicated the FBI viewed Alfa Bank as closely connected to Putin.

    “As of 1998, Putin was on Alfa Bank’s payroll,” the report said, in addition to detailing other alleged links between the bank, its owners and Putin.

    Edited From:

    https://www.politico.com/news/2022/05/23/fbi-trump-russia-secret-server-claims-00034434

    1. One of the Alfa Bank owners, Peter Aven, has been very close to Putin since their days together in the St Petersburg city government in the 1990s under liberal politician Sobchak. Some credit Aven with having saved Putin’s career at one point. None of that is relevant to the accuracy of the Clinton disinformation about an alleged link between Trump and Alfa, except to explain the focus on Alfa.

      Yesterday’s testimony highlighted that when the FBI opened its investigation into this in Chicago, the memo opening the investigation stated falsely that the information Sussman provided came from DOJ. Now, who told that to the Chicago branch?

  8. As I read this Mr.Turley, what came to mind was how many lies politicians, attorney’s, and their minion’s have told “we the people”, and how those corrupt individual’s get by with doing so, without the ramifications ordinary citizen’s couldn’t possibly even TRY to get by with. Most people are not that evil and still know what “truth” is.

  9. Noticed the absence of JeffSilbersman on this particular posting by the Prof. Guess The Prof rendered him speechless? Or perhaps he sees some Dem hyprocercy?

    1. Lighteredknot asks:

      “Or perhaps he sees some Dem hyprocercy?”

      Turley correctly calls out Dem hypocrisy. I called out his. Seems fair enough.

        1. ZZDoc, you’re the one responding to a troll who is encouraging Jeff to commit suicide.

          1. RE:”””ZZDoc, you’re the one responding to a troll….””” Apologies. I suppose ‘why do you bother with him at all’ would have sufficed.

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