The jury has returned a verdict in the case of Michael Sussmann, a former attorney for the 2016 campaign of Hillary Clinton.
After two weeks of testimony, jurors deliberated for a little more than a day to find that Sussmann is not guilty of lying to the FBI.
Fox News reported:
The jury on Tuesday found Michael Sussmann not guilty of making a false statement to the FBI in September 2016 when he said he was not working on behalf of any client, when he brought information alleging a covert communications channel between the Trump Organization and Russia’s Alfa Bank.
After a two week trial, and more than a day of deliberations, the jury found that Special Counsel John Durham’s team had not proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Sussmann’s statement was a lie, and that he was, in fact, working on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and technology executive Rodney Joffe when he brought two thumb drives and a white paper alleging a Trump-Russia connection.
The case was brought by special counsel John Durham; it’s not clear if he plans to charge anyone else in connection with the origins of the false “Russian collusion” allegation leveled against former President Donald Trump.
Critics noted that the jury included one federal employee who told the judge they donated to Democrats in 2016 as well as another government employee who said they “strongly” dislike Trump. But both jurors assured the judge they could be impartial.
The trial took place in Washington, D.C.; the city’s population is overwhelmingly Democratic.
Another juror had a child who was on the same high school sports team as Sussmann’s child.
The overwhelming majority of jurors selected told Cooper they had not heard of the case prior to jury service, Fox News added:
Durham’s team presented billing records dated beginning on July 29, 2016 and through October 2016, revealing Sussmann repeatedly billed the Clinton campaign for work on the Alfa Bank opposition research against Trump.
The government, during closing arguments, reminded jurors of a key text message Sussmann sent to Baker on the night before his FBI meeting on Sept. 19, 2016. Durham’s team alleges Sussmann put his “lie in writing” in his Sept. 18, 2016, text to Baker.
The text literally said: “Jim — it’s Michael Sussmann. I have something time-sensitive (and sensitive) I need to discuss. Do you have availability for a short meeting tomorrow? I’m coming on my own — not on behalf of a client or company — want to help the Bureau. Thanks.”