Obama-appointed Judge will not allow Clinton’s tweets to be admitted in Sussmann trial

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U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Cooper ruled on Wednesday that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s tweets that blatantly promoted Trump-Russia collusion claims will not be allowed as evidence in the trial of Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann.

Cooper, who is an appointee of former President Barack Obama, denied the tweets as evidence, stating that “the court will exclude that as hearsay” and that “it’s likely duplicative of other evidence” in connection to demonstrating the attorney-client relationship, according to the Washington Examiner.

“Donald Trump has a secret server … It was set up to communicate privately with a Putin-tied Russian bank,” Clinton tweeted on Halloween 2016.

Special Counsel John Durham attempted to submit that tweet as evidence against Sussmann in his upcoming trial but the judge shot it down.

Clinton would go on to tweet, “Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.”

“This could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow,” then-Clinton campaign adviser, and President Joe Biden’s current national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, claimed in a statement that was also shared by Clinton. “This secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump’s ties to Russia.”

“We can only assume that federal authorities will now explore this direct connection between Trump and Russia,” he added.

Sussmann was previously indicted for allegedly concealing his clients which included Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and “Tech Executive-1,” who is allegedly former Neustar executive Rodney Joffe, from FBI General Counsel James Baker in September 2016. The attorney was said to have been putting forth the since-debunked claims of collusion between former President Donald Trump and Russia’s Alfa-Bank. Sussmann unsurprisingly pleaded not guilty.

Durham had presented his argument to the judge that the tweet did not comprise inadmissible hearsay “because it is not being offered for its truth.” He asserted that prosecutors consider the claims to be false. He wanted to have the tweet admitted as evidence to “show the existence of the defendant’s attorney-client relationship with the Clinton Campaign, which is directly relevant to the false statement charge.”

The collusion claim by Clinton has been negated or diminished by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the FBI, CIA, a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee investigation, and Durham’s team.

Sussmann’s attorneys contend that the tweet is inadmissible on two legal fronts.

“First, contrary to the Special Counsel’s misleading statement of the law, the Tweet is hearsay and it is plainly being offered for the truth: so that the Special Counsel can argue that the Campaign’s plan all along was to make a public statement about ‘federal authorities’ looking into the ‘direct connection between Trump and Russia,’” Sussman’s attorneys argued. “Second, the Tweet — which Mr. Sussmann did not author, issue, authorize, or even know about — is irrelevant, prejudicial, and would only confuse and distract the jury from the single false statement charge it must decide.”

“The Tweet, which was posted on October 31, 2016, does not reveal anything about Mr. Sussmann’s state of mind over a month earlier, when he purportedly made the alleged false statement,” they wrote. “There is no evidence that Mr. Sussmann’s meeting with Mr. Baker had anything to do with the Clinton Campaign’s broader media strategy.”

Durham countered by pointing out that “in the months prior to the publication of these articles, the defendant had communicated with the media and provided them with the Russian Bank-1 data and allegations” and kept Clinton General Counsel Marc Elias “apprised of his efforts” while Elias “communicated with the Clinton Campaign’s leadership about potential media coverage of these issues.”

He contends that beginning in late July 2016, Sussmann, Joffe, and “agents of the Clinton campaign” were “assembling and disseminating the Russian Bank-1 allegations and other derogatory information about Trump and his associates to the media and the U.S. government.” Durham also claimed that evidence will “establish that these efforts amounted to a joint venture.”

In response to Durham’s arguments that the tweet should be admitted as evidence, Sussmann’s attorneys declared that “there is a real danger that if the Tweet were admitted, the jury would believe that Hillary Clinton herself was part of the Special Counsel’s uncharged conspiracy and that she had a direct interest or involvement in Mr. Sussmann’s efforts. Drawing the candidate herself into this matter in this way would be unfair to Mr. Sussmann.”

According to the indictment, Elias sent emails to Sullivan, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook, and Clinton’s communications director, Jennifer Palmieri concerning the Alfa-Bank claims Sussmann gave to the media. Elias is also said to have billed his time to the Clinton campaign.

According to the Washington Examiner, Elias was in up to his neck concerning the dossier setup:

“Elias hired the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which in turn hired British ex-spy Christopher Steele in 2016. Elias testified he was aware of Fusion’s plans to have Steele brief reporters on his anti-Trump research during the 2016 contest, met with Steele during the 2016 contest, and periodically briefed the campaign about the findings from Fusion and Steele. Sussmann also met with Steele in 2016 and pushed Alfa-Bank claims to him, which Steele, in turn, pushed to the U.S. government.”


Clinton has been fighting tooth and nail to keep her records concealed, claiming attorney-client privilege. She is joined by Fusion GPS, the Democratic National Committee, and the Perkins Coie law firm in her efforts to derail Durham’s efforts to have them admitted as evidence in court. Those documents purportedly include hundreds of emails from Fusion GPS proving that the firm promoted baseless Trump-Russia collusion claims to the media throughout 2016.

Durham claimed last week that the alleged relationship between Trump and Russia was “user-created.”

“While the FBI did not reach an ultimate conclusion regarding the data’s accuracy or whether it might have been in whole or in part genuine, spoofed, altered, or fabricated, [the CIA] concluded in early 2017 that the Russian Bank 1 data and Russian Phone Provider 1 data was not ‘technically plausible,” did not “withstand technical scrutiny,” “contained gaps,” ‘conflicted with [itself]” and was “user-created and not machine/tool generated,” he wrote according to court documents.


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