William Barr, a former Attorney General, said that he believes special counsel John Durham is uncovering “seditious” activity.
The Democratic cybersecurity lawyer, Michael Sussmann’s trial has shown how Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and its allies spread theories tying rival Donald Trump to Russia in the final months of the election. It provided evidence for those who have long argued there was a so-called Russiagate plot to undermine Trump’s candidacy and later his presidency.
The FBI’s investigation into Trump’s links to Russia may not have been spurred by this Alfa-Bank matter tied to the Clinton team, but Barr said he accepted the chance to become attorney general, his second stint because he believed a “constitutional crisis” was afoot. In February 2019, Barr took charge of the Justice Department, overseeing the roll-out of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia findings, and appointed Durham to investigate the origins and conduct of the Russia inquiry, dubbed a “witch hunt” by Trump, as reported.
Barr told BlazeTV host Glenn Beck in a recent episode of his podcast: “I think whatever you think of Trump, the fact is that the whole Russiagate thing was a grave injustice. It appears to be a dirty political trick that was used first to hobble him and then potentially to drive him from office.”
“I believe it is seditious,” Barr said, but he stressed criminality would have to be determined in court.
The charges Sussmann is facing are for lying to the FBI about whom he was representing when, in September 2016, he presented internet data that suggested a now-discredited link between Trump and a Russian bank. Particularly, Sussmann was indicted for allegedly concealing his clients, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and “Tech Executive-1,” known to be former Neustar executive Rodney Joffe, from FBI general counsel James Baker. Sussmann denies lying to the FBI and has pleaded not guilty.
Over the last two weeks in a Washington, D.C., federal court, his trial took place and the jury has begun deliberations.
During the trial, one revelation came from Robby Mook, the campaign manager for Clinton in 2016, who said the candidate personally signed off on sharing since-debunked Trump-Russia allegations related to Alfa-Bank with the media during the election. Mook admitted, during the trial, that he was not confident in the veracity of the Alfa-Bank claims when the decision was made to share them with the press but claimed the media would help vet the information.
When asked if the campaign was pleased the allegations were published, he said: “We wanted the American people to know about it, yeah.”
In Durham’s investigation, no one who was a member of the Clinton campaign has been charged with any crimes.
Although after the Trump administration ended, Durham left his role as U.S. attorney, the Biden administration let the inquiry continue after Barr appointed him special counsel. Democrats and some legal observers have criticized the endeavor, who claim the inquiry is meant to undercut Mueller’s investigation into ties between the Trump 2016 campaign and Russia.
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