Given the glacial pace of John Durham’s investigation, it’s easy to assume that nothing is really going to come of his efforts; it’s a drill we’ve all seen before. Before Lucy pulls the football away yet again, let’s note that Durham did establish something long suspected:
John Durham released a potential smoking gun in the case against Michael Sussmann on Monday night, as he published documents showing the Democratic cybersecurity lawyer messaged the FBI general counsel that he was not working on behalf of any client, when in fact he was working for the Clinton campaign.
So what did Sussman say?
On Monday evening, however, Durham revealed Sussmann conveyed that lie in a text message to [FBI general counsel James] Baker on Sept. 18, 2016 — the night before their meeting at the bureau.
“Jim – it’s Michael Sussmann. I have something time-sensitive (and sensitive) I need to discuss,” Sussmann wrote to the FBI top lawyer. “Do you have availibilty [sic] 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.”
Except he wasn’t. He was indeed representing the Clinton campaign. As the linked article from the Washington Examiner explains:
Sussmann’s lawyers have said Sussmann met with the FBI in September 2016 “to pass along information that raised national security concerns” and characterized this as simply “to provide a tip.” The lawyers contended that Sussmann was “charged with making a false statement about an entirely ancillary matter — about who his client may have been when he met with the FBI — which is a fact that even the Special Counsel’s own indictment fails to allege had any effect on the FBI’s decision to open an investigation.”
Durham countered that “the defendant made his false statement directly to the FBI General Counsel on a matter that was anything but ancillary: namely, the existence … of attorney-client relationships that would have shed critical light on the origins of the allegations at issue.”
“The defendant’s false statement to the FBI General Counsel was plainly material because it misled the General Counsel about, among other things, the critical fact that the defendant was disseminating highly explosive allegations about a then-Presidential candidate on behalf of two specific clients, one of which was the opposing Presidential campaign,” Durham wrote.
Do I have any reasonable expectation that Sussmann will ultimately be brought to justice, let alone his clients? Forget it D, it’s Chinatown. And as Sussmann’s client famously said in yet another context:
What difference does it make? We know. And while stories are soft pedaled or buried entirely, they are out there to know. And in the case of the Clintons, it means they won’t be coming back.