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Clinton Lawyer Sussmann Acquitted On Charge Of Lying To FBI

A lawyer for the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign, Michael Sussmann, was acquitted on a charge of lying to the FBI that year about his motives for bringing the FBI research allegedly linking Donald Trump to Russia. It was the first test at trial of special counsel John Durham’s three-year probe. After deliberating for about six hours, jurors found Sussmann not guilty Tuesday, in a rebuke to Durham’s examination of how the U.S. government handled allegations of ties between the Trump campaign and Russia during the tumultuous presidential election campaign, reports the Wall Street Journal. This month’s two-week trial revealed lingering disagreements over what happened during that campaign, with prosecutors accusing Sussmann of attempting to inject the FBI into a partisan plot and Sussmann’s legal team accusing prosecutors of manufacturing a conspiracy out of limited evidence. The foreperson on the jury read the verdict aloud as Sussmann stood and Durham looked on “I told the truth to the FBI and the jury clearly recognized that with their unanimous verdict today,” Sussmann said. “Despite being falsely accused, I am relieved that justice ultimately prevailed in my case.” Durham was appointed in May 2019 to pursue the probe under the Trump administration, and then-Attorney General William Barr converted his appointment to special counsel on the eve of the 2020 election to ensure its continuation into a potential Democratic Biden administration. Durham said Tuesday, “While we are disappointed in the outcome, we respect the jury’s decision and thank them for their service.” Durham has obtained one guilty plea from a former FBI lawyer who admitted to altering a document used to justify surveillance of a former adviser to Trump. The special counsel has also charged a consultant with lying to the FBI about his sources for information, some of which the FBI used in support of its 2016 investigation.

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