Does John Durham keep going or does he let Russiagate become yet another instance where the Ruling Caste is not called to account? From John Kiriakou at consortiumnews.com:
The jury foreperson said politics wasn’t a factor. But was any prosecution of a senior Clinton campaign official possible in a jurisdiction where Clinton beat Trump 91-4?
Hillary Clinton. (Evan Guest/Wikimedia Common
Michael Sussmann, an A-list attorney who was a senior advisor to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, was acquitted by a jury in the federal District Court of the District of Columbia last week.
Sussmann had been accused of lying to the F.B.I., a crime widely considered to be a “process felony” or a “throwaway felony,” something the Justice Department charges you with when they can’t get you for anything else. Even though the federal sentencing guidelines called for 0-6 months in prison had Sussmann been convicted, the loss of his law license and the humiliation of a felony conviction would have been a far worse punishment.
But that didn’t happen. Sussmann was acquitted after the jury had deliberated for only six hours, two of which were spent eating lunch. After the trial was completed, two jurors, including the foreperson, told The Washington Post that the verdict was not a close call or a hard decision.
The foreperson added, “Politics were not a factor. Personally, I don’t think it should have been prosecuted…The government could have spent our time more wisely.” The second juror said, “Everyone pretty much saw it the same way.”
The Michael Sussman innocent verdict make it clear once again how difficult it would be to drain the swamp. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:
On Monday, Michael Sussmann, Esq., was released like an undersized crawdad back into the fetid waters of the DC swamp by a jury of his peers — meaning fellow DNC contributors — despite compelling evidence of his guilt. Special Counsel John Durham took the loss with stoical equanimity, leading some to suspect that he was in on yet another ritual humiliation for the out-group of Americans who might call themselves We-the-Not Insane.
The outcome of the trial raises a passel of questions about Mr. Durham’s mission, his integrity, the fitness of the federal courts, and our country’s relations with some rather important principles such as truth and justice. Why? Because the RussiaGate affair at issue evinced a gangrenous rot that is remorselessly killing America in body and soul — if you care about such things.
Is the fix in with Durham? From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:
Years ago I wrote that nothing would come of Special Counsel John Durham’s Russiagate investigation. Yesterday I was proven correct. A politicized Washington, D.C., jury threw out the only case Durham has brought against a seditious operation that began six years ago. Michael Sussman, a Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer was cleared of lying to a FBI agent, the only crime Durham could find of a massive operation orchestrated by the CIA and FBI to prevent President Trump from normalizing relations with Russia.
American foreign policy was set on a totally different course from Trump’s intent by the neoconservatives with the Wolfowitz doctrine of US hegemony. Russia has to be pushed back and overcome with problems that would drain and redirect the Kremlin’s energy away from opposing US unilateralism. After pouring $5 billion into preparing the overthrow of the Ukrainian government, the neoconservatives struck with the US-orchestrated “Maidan Revolution” in 2014 and installed an anti-Russian puppet government. Neither the military-security complex nor the neoconservatives were going to let President Trump proceed with his goal of normalizing relations with Russia. The relations were on schedule to be much worsened with the humiliation and isolation of Russia as the goal.
The deck was stacked against John Durham in the trial of Michael Sussman. The question becomes whether or Durham will keep going. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.org:
The acquittal of Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann has been the subject of furious debate among politicians and pundits. Some have argued that the case collapsed from lack of evidence while others have alleged that prosecutors faced as biased judge and jury. For his part, Sussmann claimed that the jury found that “I told the truth.” The truth is more complex and few would assume that the verdict was based on Sussmann’s veracity. However, a statement from a juror immediately after the verdict fueled speculation of the impact of juror bias. According to the Washington Times’ Jeff Mordock, the juror reportedly said “I don’t think it should have been prosecuted. There are bigger things that affect the nation than a possible lie to the FBI.” If that statement had been made during voir dire, it is likely that the juror would have been challenged.
Before the verdict, some of us noted the adverse elements for the prosecution. Few would honestly question that trying a Clinton campaign lawyer in a city that voted over 90 percent for Clinton was not an advantage for the defense. The same is true for some cases tried in conservative areas. In this case, prosecutors challenged some jurors but were overruled by Judge Christopher Cooper. I believe that the court was wrong on a couple of those rulings. In the end, the prosecution was faced with a jury that contained three Clinton donors, an AOC donor, and a woman whose daughter played on the same team as Sussmann’s daughter. As I previously said, that does not mean that the jurors could not be impartial.
The Democrats have both crime and the subsequent cover up down to a fine art. From Charles Lipson at realclearpolitics.com:
Modern political scandals, like Caesar’s Gaul, are divided into three parts. The first is the actual malfeasance. That might be taking bribes, lying to federal agents, leaking classified materials, sexual misconduct, selling political access, whatever. The second part is the hyper-partisan involvement of Congress and, often, federal agencies, all eager to score points for their side. The third part is the media’s role, which goes beyond bias to include active promotion of political goals.
Federal agencies, like all bureaucratic institutions, have always tried to increase their power and preserve their autonomy. What’s different today is that the bureaucrats, and often their entire agencies, are frequently partisan players. That’s disheartening but understandable. One party is clearly the “party of government” and the party of experts. Most educated professionals, including bureaucrats and journalists, identify with that party. Filled with partisan “civil servants,” these agencies routinely tilt investigations (or kill them outright) to advance political goals – the same ones as their favored party. For the same reasons, they leak insider information to friendly media. Predictably, the opposing party tries to score points by attacking them for doing so
Sussman lied, the Democrats lied, the FBI lied, the media lied, and last but certainly not least, Hillary Clinton lied. They created Russiagate out of whole cloth and tried to destroy Trump. From Peter Van Buren at libertarianinstitute.org:
It can be a bittersweet moment when truth is all that’s left. Suspicions of infidelity become credit card receipts from a no-tell motel. A Facebook post tells of a meal shared when a business trip was scheduled. It is ugly, especially the certainty you were lied to by someone you once trusted, especially when that person wanted to be President of the United States. Two such instances that deserve notice passed through the mainstream media last week with barely a notice.
The first is that Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee lied about Russiagate. Hillary paid experts to create two data sets, one purportedly showing Russian cellphones accessing Trump WiFi networks, and another allegedly showing a Trump computer pinging an Alfa Bank server in Russia. The latter was supposedly how Trump communicated incognito with his handlers in Moscow Center. We’ve seen the lipstick on the collar before but how do we know for certain this time?
Former Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias on May 18, 2022 during the trial of his former partner, Michael Sussmann, swore to it under oath. Special Counsel John Durham brought Sussmann to trial for allegedly lying to the FBI, denying he was working for a client when he was representing the Clinton campaign.
Justice operates differently for democrats and republicans in Washington, D.C. Of course you’re shocked. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.org:
Below is my column in The Hill on the Sussmann trial and the striking comparisons with prior prosecutions of Trump officials like Michael Flynn. The court has limited the evidence available to the prosecution, the scope of questioning, and cleared a jury that includes three Clinton campaign donors. A jury of your peers is not supposed to literal with an array of fellow Clinton supporters. Those negative rulings continued during the trial, including a refusal to dismiss a juror whose daughter is playing on the same team with Sussmann’s daughter. For John Durham, it may seem that the only person missing from the jury at this point is Chelsea Clinton.
Here is the column:
The criminal trial of Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann began this week with a telling warning from prosecutors to the D.C. jury: “Whatever your political views might be, they cannot be brought to your decisions.” The opening statement by Deborah Brittain Shaw reflected the curious profile of the Sussmann case. Prosecutors ordinarily have a massive advantage with juries despite the presumption of innocence. When pleas are counted, federal prosecutors can report as high as 95 percent conviction rates. However, with Sussmann, prosecutors clearly have concerns over whether they, rather than the defendant, will get a fair trial.
One hates to allow one’s self even a scintilla of optimism, but it looks like Durham’s investigation may be closing in on the big fish. Let’s hope he doesn’t have an unfortunate accident and we get a chance to see how it all plays out. From Peter Van Buren at libertarianinstitute.org:
The latest filing by Special Counsel John Durham, investigating Russiagate and the Hillary Clinton campaign, suggests the rabbit hole goes a bit deeper than we thought. One hates to sound like Rachel Maddow, but it is just that much more likely the walls are closing in.
Durham filed a new, 34-page motion on April 15, 2022, in answer to defendant Michael Sussman’s request to dismiss the case against him. Durham accused Sussman of lying to the FBI about his working for the Clinton Campaign while he was trying to sell the Bureau on an investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia, focusing on alleged Internet pings between a Trump server and the Russian Alfa Bank. Sussman’s claims also included a number of pings against Trump Tower WiFi and later White House WiFi by a Russian-made Yota cell phone.
Sussman’s motion basically called Durham case garbage, which pressed Durham to explain to the court why the case needed to proceed, hence the new motion. The court subsequently ruled against Sussman and the full trial will commence May 15.
As he has done in the past, Durham used the required motion as a chance to tip over a few cards he is holding. It looks like aces.