Sussmann: Durham filing alleging mining of Trump server fuels 'conspiracy' with 'false allegations'

Attorney Michael Sussmann was indicted for allegedly failing to disclose to FBI he worked for 2016 Clinton campaign while pushing Russiagate.

Updated: February 15, 2022 - 5:03pm

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Former Hillary Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann late Monday filed a legal response to Special Counsel John Durham's recent court filing alleging Sussmann was part of an illegal effort to discredit the 2016 Trump campaign, claiming the prosecution filing includes "false allegations" and tries to "taint the jury pool" for his upcoming trial.

Durham's filing last week alleges Sussmann and other campaign lawyers paid a technology company to "mine" servers belonging to Trump Tower and the Trump White House to create an "inference" of Russia collusion in 2016-17, hoping to prod federal agencies to investigate.

In September 2021, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Sussmann with making a false statement to the FBI in fall 2016 regarding alleged communications between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank.

The indictment was in connection to Sussmann having been questioned by the FBI prior to the 2016 election as to whether he was working for a client when he brought allegations to the bureau about Trump's links to the financial institution. 

Durham was appointed Justice Department special counsel by Trump Attorney General William Barr to investigate false allegations about the Russia collusion.

He has alleged that beyond failing to disclose his connection to the campaign during the questioning Sussmann also "repeatedly" billed the campaign for his work on the Russian bank allegations.

Sussmann, who was a partner at the time for Washington, D.C., law firm Perkins Coie, has denied the allegation. Sussmann has also been a federal prosecutor and a lawyer for the Democratic National Committee.

In his most recent filing, Durham argues that prior to the FBI's questioning, Sussmann "had assembled and conveyed the allegations to the bureau on behalf of at least two specific clients," including the campaign and a technology executive at a U.S.-based internet company.

In a five-page response Monday to Durham's "conflict of interest" allegation last week, Sussmann and his attorneys from the firm Latham & Watkins claim the filing "unnecessarily includes prejudicial — and false — allegations that are irrelevant to his motion and to the charged offense." 

They argue that some of the information was "intended to furhter politicize this case, inflame media coverage, and taint the jury pool."

They also write: "Sadly, the special counsel seems to be succeeding in his effort to instigate unfair and prejudicial media coverage of Mr. Sussmann's case. Indeed, since the Motion was filed, numerous outlets published stories suggesting that the special counsel's latest filing revealed a vast conspiracy involving Mr. Sussmann and the Clinton Campaign."