Michael Sussmann, Hillary Clinton’s lawyer, is now facing a five-year prison sentence for lying to the FBI about the Trump-Russia collusion hoax.
Sussmann, Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign lawyer, pleaded not guilty to federal grand jury accusations that he lied about Trump’s collusion with Russia on Friday.
Sussmann was indicted by a grand jury in Washington, D.C., for lying to the FBI during its investigation into the now-debunked allegation of covert discussions between the Trump Organization and a Russian bank.
Sussmann faces up to five years in prison if convicted of the charge, according to Fox News. His guilty plea comes despite his attorneys claiming that when he met with FBI General Counsel James Baker, he was working “on behalf of a cyber expert client.” Nonetheless, Latham & Watkins attorneys Sean Berkowitz and Michael Bosworth maintained that the prosecution was “baseless and politically motivated.”
The indictment alleges that Sussmann was working on behalf of a tech industry executive, an American internet company, and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Prosecutors claimed that Sussmann’s “lie” was important because it “misled the FBI General Counsel and other FBI personnel concerning the political nature of his work,” and because having information such as the identities of Sussmann’s clients could have helped them assess the information provided.
The indictment noted that Sussmann previously contradicted his claim that he was not working on behalf of any clients when he appeared before the House Intelligence Committee in December 2017. According to a partial transcript of that interview, Sussmann was asked if it was correct he had contacted the FBI General Counsel of his own volition. Sussmann replied, “No,” then confirmed that he had been working on behalf of a client.
This is the second prosecution to come out of Durham’s investigation, following the guilty plea of Kevin Clinesmith, a former FBI attorney who had been charged for altering an email, thereby keeping a court from knowing former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page’s relationship with the CIA.