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Jury forewoman explains Sussmann verdict: 'There are bigger things that affect the nation'

Donald Trump called the legal system "CORRUPT" after the verdict

Published: May 31, 2022 8:02pm

Updated: May 31, 2022 8:57pm

Former Clinton attorney Michael Sussmann was acquitted on charges of lying to the FBI because the jury thought it was a waste of time, jurors indicated after giving the not guilty verdict.

"I don't think it should have been prosecuted," she said, The Washington Times reported. "There are bigger things that affect the nation than a possible lie to the FBI."

Special Counsel John Durham charged Sussmann with lying to the FBI about his work with the Clinton campaign and a former tech firm executive when he provided the agency with information on the since-debunked Trump-Russia collusion narrative.

She explained, "It was the government’s job to prove it, and they succeeded in some ways and not in others... We broke it down, and it did not pan out in the government’s favor."

She stressed that the verdict was not a partisan decision. 

"Politics were not a factor. ... We felt really comfortable being able to share what we thought. We had concise notes, and we were able to address the questions together," the forewoman said, according to The Washington Post

The government "could have spent our time more wisely," she added.

Another juror told the Post that "everyone pretty much saw it the same way" in the jury room.

George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley commented on Twitter in response to the forewoman's remarks.

"If true, that is the type of statement that would have drawn a likely challenge from prosecutors" while selecting an impartial jury, he explained.

"Telling a lie to the FBI was the entire basis for the prosecution. It was the jury's job to determine the fact of such a lie and its materiality," Turley wrote, adding, "Of course, this statement can be a simple criticism of the underlying charge without admitting to bias in weighing the elements. Yet, it would have prompted a challenge in the courtroom if expressed during jury selection."

Former President Donald Trump criticized the justice system after the verdict.

"Our Legal System is CORRUPT, our Judges (and Justices!) are highly partisan, compromised or just plain scared, our Borders are OPEN, our Elections are Rigged, Inflation is RAMPANT, gas prices and food costs are 'through the roof,' our Military 'Leadership' is Woke, our Country is going to HELL, and Michael Sussmann is not guilty. How’s everything else doing? Enjoy your day!!!" Trump wrote on his platform Truth Social.

Others joined in on criticizing the jury's decision.

"Sussmann verdict is what you expect when the judge stacks the jury with DNC activists," Conservative commentator Mike Cernovich wrote on Twitter. "Today is one of the most disgraceful days for the federal judiciary in modern history."

CPAC Chair Matt Schlapp said, "It didn't matter that Durham had receipts showing Sussmann was working for Hillary. It didn't matter that his lie to the FBI about representing her was in writing. It didn't matter he broke federal law to sabotage Trump. DC's justice system will always cover for liberal elites."

Never-Trump attorney George Conway, husband of former Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway, voiced his approval of the verdict.

"I never delved heavily into the Sussman case, but have been wondering for a while: Is this case as stupid as it looks? Apparently it was, and a jury thought so as well," he wrote on Twitter.

"The attorney general should shut Durham down now and turn DOJ's attention to that more powerful case that Mueller couldn't bring while Trump was in office, to the extent that case isn't time-barred," Conway said, shifting focus to the Mueller report on alleged Russian interference in the 2020 election. 

Los Angeles Times legal columnist Harry Litman said the verdict was "more or less total humiliation for Durham" and that the jury "presumably recognized the picayune pettiness of the case."

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