Reported by The Justice League
A metal fence has been erected outside the perimeter of the doors where Durham’s team usually enters… could there be a decision today? 👀
THREAD: United States of America v. Michael A. Sussman, Day 10 — May 27, 2022.
Judge says for the record that the defense has proposed the introduction of more instructions on how the jury should consider the character evidence. The government has opposed these instructions.
The Judge is speaking to the Jury: “You may consider the character evidence, but if you are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the crime charged, (the character witness testimonies essentially don’t matter).”
Government’s initial closing: “Sussman used his privilege as a high-power DC lawyer and was a friend of Baker. Why did the defendant lie? He knew he had to conceal his representation of HRC and Joffe to bring these allegations to the FBI. If he told the truth, Sussman knew that Baker may not have even taken the meeting. The defendant knew that he had to hide his clients.
There is a mountain of evidence. Overwhelming records show Sussman billing his work day in and day out to the Clinton’s. Sussman’s own words: the lie in his text messages on September 18, 2016, which he then reiterated when meeting with Baker on September 19, 2016.
At Sussman’s Congressional testimony in December 2017, Sussman admitted that he was representing a client (Rodney Joffe) and he concealed that he was working on behalf of the Clinton’s. The thumb drives that he billed to the Clinton campaign. Going to the press both before his meeting and after. It wasn’t about national security, it was about conducting opposition research against @realdonaldtrump .
Sussman made a statement or representation (Jim Baker on 9/19/16). This statement was false and Sussman knew it to be untrue when he said it. Sussman had a natural tendency and was capable to influence the FBI—the government only has to prove that this statement could have influenced the FBI. Willfully and knowingly; he knew that this was wrong. It’s stipulated that the FBI is part of the executive branch. The government urges the jury to review the billing records, the testimony of Jim Baker, and all the ways that Sussman could have affected the FBI. Contracts with Perkins Coie and Fusion GPS. Perkins’ engagement letter for HRC. Robert Mook’s testimony. Fusion GPS was hired by Perkins Coie to conduct opposition research on Trump. An engagement letter shows that Sussman also personally represented Joffe as well as his company, Neustar. Regarding the origins of the Alfa Bank allegations—the alleged secret communications channel between the Trump Org. and Alfa Bank. The defendant, Fusion GPS, and Rodney Joffe were all working with the Clinton campaign on opposition research.
Government Exhibit 306
July 29, 2016–initial meeting with Marc Elias and GPS.
Later that day, an email between all parties and the Clinton campaign with the subject Hillary. 30 minutes, meeting billed to HRC for a confidential project. The prosecution says that the jury has seen indisputable evidence of Sussman billing to HRC.
Government Exhibit 553.2
July 31, 2016
Communications with Marc Elias about a server issue and Alfa Bank.
August 12, 2016
1.5 hours billed to HRC Confidential meeting with Marc Elias, fusion GPS, Rodney Joffe.
August 15, 2016
Origins of Alfa Bank Allegations — Joffe Tasks Novick.
BitVoyant was not normally performing opposition research for political candidates, but did Alfa Bank research for Mr. Joffe, and collected the domains that were included in the white papers given to Mr. Baker on September 19, 2016. This is not cyber security or national security related, this is pure opposition research.
Later on August 15, 2016, Sussman was again talking with Fusion GPS.
August 16, 2016
Joffe communicating with the Clinton campaign. Why would a cyber expert need to speak with the Clinton’s?
August 19, 2016
Alfa bank allegation meetings—additional meetings with Joffe, Elias, billed to HRC as a confidential meeting.
The white papers was also billed to HRC with Sussman as the preparer.
August 29, 2016
Bills to HRC for Alfa Bank related matter
August 30, 2016
Email between related parties with the Subject line: “You will see the whole(?) and what this means”
Government exhibit 349
Sussman promotes Alfa bank allegations
August 30, 2016
Email where Eric Lichtblau of the New York Times writes to Sussman: “I’m back in town; I see Russians are still hacking away. Any big news?”
Government Exhibits 350
Sussman and Joffe coordinating with Fusion GPS.
1.5 hrs billed “communications regarding confidential projects.” This is from Perkins Coie’s own records.
August 30, 2016 email
Sussman communicating with Laura Seago and others at Fusion GPS
Subject: Privilege CLIENT communication
August 31, 2016
Sussman billing HRC for work.
September 1, 2016
Sussman meetings with Eric Lichtblau of the New York Times. Phone communications and additional emails.
September 5, 2016
Over 8 hours billed to HRC for Sussman “working on white papers.”
September 13, 2016–the receipt for the thumb drives from Staples billed to HRC. This Staples location was just a block away from Perkins Coie.
The same day, Joffe had a meeting with Sussman regarding the white papers.
🚨 According to the prosecution, 20 of the 42 words in Sussman’s September 18, 2016 text message to Mr. Baker were a lie.
Fast forward to the October Surprise. On October 31, 2016–articles come out less than 2 weeks away from the Presidential election.
The government completed their closing argument. We had a short break. Back now.
Berkowitz of the defense begins his closing argument with a “stoic story about the Statue of Liberty.” Says it’s time to end “political conspiracies.”
Berkowitz is asking, “Do you remember what you said to somebody yesterday?” Essentially inadvertently alleging that Sussman is dense.
Berkowitz exclaims, “Then that’s the end of the case! That would be reasonable doubt! The case is over!”
His animated gestures give off panic.
Berkowitz is asking: “Where is the PROOF that these confidential meetings Sussman had and numerous items billed to HRC were all about Alfa Bank?”
Berkowitz says that Mr. Sussman knew how to bill his clients for “transportation.”
Pray to confuse Berkowitz.
Berkowitz argues that Rodney Joffe had no business benefit for Mr. Sussman going to the FBI.
He is playing the victim card and says Sussman was fearful for his security about “what the Russians might do.” Which Berkowitz claims the FBI agents were in agreement with that this was a “real threat.”
Berkowitz says that Sussman had “everything to lose and nothing to gain.” He says this “political conspiracy to conduct opposition research” makes no sense.
Berkowitz was animated and raising his voice. He’s now presenting a big poster board illustrating a timeline. On this large poster board there’s a note from Gauhar’s notebook taken during a meeting on March 6, 2017 that reiterates “attorney [Sussman] came to the FBI on behalf of a client.” Priestap and James Baker were both at this meeting. Berkowitz says that the other attendees in the meeting didn’t correct these notes.
Berkowitz seems all over the place in his argument. The government’s argument was linear and easy to understand for an everyday individual. I feel like I’m playing mental ping pong trying to follow him.
Berkowitz says that Sussman had relationships with reporters over things that affected his clients.
Berkowitz brings up Mark Hosenball of Reuters. Hosenball is currently sitting in the media room with me. Reporters are laughing in unison.
Berkowitz says there was no leak. Berkowitz is laughing and says the investigation was embarrassing. He is like a hyena. Brings up the “5150ish” comment when Hellman said whoever authored the data appeared to have mental disabilities.
This trial is not about privilege.
This trial is not about the Clinton’s.
This trial is not about Trump.
This trial is about good and evil.
The defense ended their closing argument. We’re on a 10 minute break.
DePhillipis of the prosecution begins by saying “There are sometimes close cases. This is not a close case—not even close. What you just saw [by the defense] was a magic trick. They’re trying to make you forget all the evidence you’ve seen in the last few weeks.” Can you say, memory hole? DePhillipis says, “They’re trying to lawyer away the defendant’s lie; don’t let them do that.”
DePhillipis references notes from several individuals, including Baker and Anderson, and says that all of these individuals allegedly said that Sussman was not working on behalf of a client. DePhillipis says there are numerous [pieces of evidence] that prove beyond a reason of a doubt that Sussman lied. DePhillipis reiterates the magic trick, and says that Berkowitz’ argument was nonsensical. DePhillipis says that when an experienced lawyer [Sussman] testifies one thing to Congress (December 2017) and another to someone else, he knows exactly what he is doing.
DePhillipis says that, in life, when you spend a lot of time on a little thing, it often shows what state of mind you were in while doing it. He begs the question, “Why did Sussman put so much effort into purchasing the thumb drives and making it a point to bill it to the Clinton’s?”
DePhillipis, paraphrased, says that “Sussman’s motive is [paramount]. Sussman wanted to lull Mr. Baker away from the idea that he was acting on behalf of a client.”
DePhillipis makes it a point to remind the jury that several FBI agents concluded that Sussman was, in fact, bringing these allegations to the FBI on behalf of a client.
Personal commentary: DePhillipis is calm, collected, and easy to follow. He sounds confident in his argument and sounds relatable.
DePhillipis raises the FBI’s “close hold” on the identity of the source, and references when Gaynor said had he known about the nature of the source, their identity and motivation, he would not have joined this case.
DePhillipis brings up how the defense began with the Statue of Liberty and he says he wants the jury to picture the Statue of Liberty holding the torch, and that [it represents TRUTH]. He says that this case is NOT about conspiracies, it is about the truth. He reiterates that political views should not be factored into the jurors’ decision in this case.
In the unlikely event that the Jury reaches a verdict today, the Judge would like to keep the verdict and resume Tuesday morning.
Just walked by Durham. He looks confident.
I’m going to camp out here for a bit with the other reporters in the media room. Grabbing a bite to eat. Let’s see what happens!
Still at the courthouse btw.
I’ll give it a little more time. Other reporters are still here from Epoch Times, Reuters, New York Post, Fox.
Looks like we’re going to have to wait until Tuesday.
Pray for protection and wisdom of the jurors, as well as Durham and his team as we head into the long weekend.
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