Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign attorney, Michael Sussman, was acquitted of lying to the FBI on Tuesday.
The Washington, DC jury arrived at the verdict early on the second day of deliberations in the first trial of special counsel John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Trump/Russia collusion conspiracy theory.
Sussmann was charged with lying to then-FBI general counsel James Baker when he provided now-debunked information tying former President Donald Trump to Russia’s Alfa Bank.
In her opening statements, prosecutor Deborah Brittain Shaw said, “We are here because the FBI is our institution that shouldn’t be used as a political tool for anyone — not Republicans, not Democrats, not anyone.”
The prosecution sought to prove Sussman intentionally misled Baker by claiming not to be acting on behalf of a client. However, Judge Christopher Cooper’s pretrial ruling hampered the prosecution by limiting evidence supporting the notion of Sussmann working in a “joint venture” with the Clinton campaign, citing that Sussmann’s charge wasn’t conspiracy.
According to the New York Post, as many as three jurors had donated to Clinton, one of which contributed to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The Durham team objected to the jurors, but Cooper overruled.
The jury deliberated the charges for 5-1/2 hours as one juror related to the New York Post. The jury derived from residents in the nation’s capital, where the ratio by political party ranks 14-1 in the Democrat’s favor.
After the trial ended, Sussmann reflected on the verdict. “I told the truth to the FBI and the jury record recognizes that with their unanimous verdict today, I’m grateful to the members of the jury for their careful and thoughtful service. Despite being falsely accused. I’m relieved that Justice ultimately prevailed in my case.”
Durham released a statement, “While we are disappointed in the outcome, we respect the jury’s decision and thank them for their service. I also want to recognize and thank the investigators and the prosecution team for their dedicated efforts in seeking truth and justice in this case.”