A judge in the Russia-related trial against a former Hillary Clinton lawyer is raising eyebrows by allowing donors to prominent Democrat officials to remain in the jury pool.
According to the New York Post, up to three Clinton donors remain in the pool of potential jurors for the trial of Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann, including one who donated to the congressional campaign of progressive New York City Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
John Durham, the special counsel prosecutor, objected to one of the Clinton donors in the jury pool, despite the man claiming he would try to “strive for impartiality as best I can,” words that did not ease the nerves of the prosecution, unsurprisingly.
But Durham’s objection didn’t make it far. Judge Christopher Cooper, of Washington, D.C., who is overseeing the trial, said he was confident that the Clinton donor could be impartial despite his statement and support for the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate.
The judge did say Durham could use one of the prosecution’s peremptory challenges to strike that juror from the pool, if necessary and desired, when appropriate.
Legally, judges can only strike jurors if they seem ill-suited for service due to bias, based on the lawyer’s questioning. Judge Cooper was nominated to his federal position by former Democratic President Barack Obama during his 8-year, two-term office tenure.
This trail is only the first to emerge from Durham’s three-year investigation into the government’s alleged ties between former President Donald Trump and Russia.
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