Obama-appointed judge allows 3 jurors who donated to Hillary, AOC in Clinton campaign lawyer trial

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.

The other two potential jurors, more convincingly, claimed they could be impartial despite their previous financial support of Democratic officials, including Clinton herself.

Finding unbiased jurors in the District of Columbia who do not hold animosity toward Trump was going to be a challenge from the beginning. During the 2016 presidential election, which featured Trump vs. Clinton, D.C. voters chose Clinton over Trump approximately 91 percent to 4 percent, an overwhelming margin, according to The Post.

Additionally, Democrats outnumber Republications in the District of Columbia, about 77 percent to 5 percent, respectively, according to an April 30 online post from the District of Columbia Board of Elections, also a shockingly lopsided margin.

According to the New York Post, Durham has charged Sussmann, 57, with one count of lying to the government; the alleged incident occurred back in September 2016 when he reportedly provided the FBI’s lawyers illegitimate information that showed undisclosed connections between a Trump computer server and Alfa Bank, which is based in Russia.

Allegedly, Sussmann lied when he said he wasn’t “acting on behalf of any client” to government officials; however, he was clearly advocating for then-candidate Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, as well as Rodney Joffe, his tech executive client who provided him with information about the computer connection in question.

The Sussmann trial is expected to last two weeks. If convicted of the allegations, he could face a maximum of five years in prison.


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