Sussmann is charged with one felony rely of creating a false assertion to the FBI. The 12-member jury, made up of seven girls and 5 males, and incorporates 5 folks of coloration, deliberated for roughly 4 hours Friday earlier than leaving for the three-day weekend.
Special counsel prosecutors argued there may be “overwhelming” proof that Sussmann “concealed” Clinton marketing campaign ties and cloaked his work underneath the guise of cybersecurity to hawk an unfounded Trump-Russia tip to the FBI.
“It wasn’t about national security,” prosecutor Jonathan Algor informed the jury. “It was about promoting opposition research about the opposition candidate, Donald Trump.”
Prosecutors allege that Sussman lied to then-FBI basic counsel James Baker on September 19, 2016, whereas passing alongside a tip about doable connections between the Trump Organization and Kremlin-linked Alfa Bank. Sussmann is accused of falsely telling Baker that he wasn’t there on behalf of any shopper, despite the fact that, in response to Durham, he was there on Clinton’s behalf. (The FBI did not discover any illicit exercise after a four-month probe.)
The case is the primary main courtroom check for Durham, the Trump-era prosecutor who has spent three years in search of misconduct within the FBI’s Russia probe, however hasn’t delivered the bombshell indictments that Trump has predicted.
A conviction may enhance Durham’s credibility, whereas an acquittal may vindicate his critics, who say he is operating a politicized probe into flimsy theories.
Sussmann’s legal professionals accused Durham on Friday of making an attempt to “misdirect” the jury by teaching and coercing witnesses to safe a conviction in a case that “doesn’t make any sense at all” and “should’ve never been brought” within the first place.
“The time for political conspiracy theories is over,” protection lawyer Sean Berkowitz mentioned throughout closing arguments. “The time to talk about the evidence is now.”
He claimed Durham “tried to break” a key witness by threatening prosecution, and cherry-picked an enormous trove of emails and authorities paperwork to suit his case in opposition to Sussmann.
“Any piece of evidence that doesn’t fit their tunnel-vision theory, they ignore,” Berkowitz mentioned.
He additionally rebutted the prosecution’s concentrate on “opposition research” throughout its closing statements, which meticulously confirmed how Sussmann labored with the Clinton marketing campaign’s prime lawyer and researchers funded by the marketing campaign to gather and peddle anti-Trump materials to the media.
“Opposition research is not illegal,” Berkowitz mentioned. “If it were, the jails of Washington, DC, would be teeming over.”
Sussmann, who has pleaded not responsible, may resist 5 years in jail if convicted, although there is not any assure he would serve any time behind bars, and he’d possible get a lesser sentence as a first-time offender.