John Durham’s name has not come up too many times in the past few months and a lot of American conservatives have been wondering what came of his investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia “collusion” hoax. Most of former President Donald Trump’s supporters, along with the 45th president himself, had probably lost hope that anyone involved in what was in fact a huge political scandal would ever answer for their misdeeds.
To date, one former FBI attorney has been nailed for altering a crucial email provided as evidence to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
The recent indictment of Michael Sussmann, however, really is quite a big deal. Even though it is unlikely Sussmann, who was a lawyer for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, will face any meaningful punishment for lying to the FBI, the legal jeopardy in which he finds himself further vindicates those who, all along, claimed the collusion story had no basis in fact and was fabricated by people who were determined to prevent Mr. Trump from becoming president of the United States.
Clinton Campaign Subterfuge
In September of 2016, Sussmann provided the FBI with information on an alleged secret channel of communications between a Russian bank and a server operated by the Trump organization. Further investigation eventually determined there was in fact no active two-way communication between the Trump server and the Russians. Sussmann concealed from the FBI his motivation for tipping them off. He portrayed himself as a concerned citizen who had no vested interest in the information he was providing to the Bureau, conveniently not disclosing that he worked for Clinton’s campaign.
It should be noted that Sussman didn’t merely neglect to mention his connection to Clinton. As the indictment states, he specifically told the FBI that he was not working for any client. That he lied, then, is not open to dispute and language in the indictment makes this very clear:
“Specifically, SUSSMANN stated falsely that he was not doing his work on the aforementioned allegations ‘for any client,’ which led the FBI General Counsel to understand that SUSSMANN was acting as a good citizen merely passing along information, not as a paid advocate or political operative. In fact, and as alleged in further detail below, the statement was intentionally false and misleading… “
While politicians and lawyers – and of course it is no coincidence that a great many politicians are lawyers – can argue about the language for days and split hairs over whether certain statements are incriminating or inadmissible in a court of law or just irrelevant, almost everybody who supported Donald Trump knows very well that Hillary Clinton and her campaign staff, with the direct or indirect cooperation of a number of other individuals determined to thwart Trump’s presidential aspirations, conspired to fabricate a plot that never existed; a plot in which the Russian government would somehow engineer an electoral victory for Trump in 2016.
Unfortunately, the truth of this anti-Trump conspiracy may never be fully exposed but, just as importantly, there is little likelihood the suspected collusion between the Clinton campaign, Christoper Steele of “Steele dossier” fame, the media, and – to an extent – the FBI will be debunked. Sussman’s deceit, along with documented evidence that certain senior FBI officials despised Trump and his supporters, and various statements made by some of the key players in the Russia collusion story point to an unavoidable conclusion.
That an amateur sleuth with no more than a high school education could have quickly discovered a connection between Sussmann and the Clinton campaign, even though the FBI seemed to be unaware of that connection and apparently was not in the least bit curious about the attorney’s motives only adds fuel to the fire.
Sussmann has entered a not guilty plea and faces up to five years in prison if convicted. His attorneys claim his prosecution is “baseless and politically inspired,” which is deliciously ironic, given the circumstances.
Politicians, journalists, and political pundits are forever obsessing over imaginary scandals or sinister plots they created in their own minds – such as the January 6 “insurrection” – while downplaying or ignoring the real transgressions. This is exactly why a large section of the American people, inspired by Trump himself, refers to Washington, D.C. as the “Swamp.”
Read more from Graham J. Noble.