Just how badly has the trial of Michael Sussmann tarnished Hillary Clinton and her campaign? John had a detailed post yesterday covering the shocking way in which Hillary herself apparently signed off on a strategy of rinsing the phony Alfa Bank allegation against Donald Trump through the media and the FBI. But the story got worse later in the day, when a former CIA operative testified that Sussmann tried to sell it to the spooks as well:
Former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann denied he was “representing a client” when he gave the CIA faulty data linking Donald Trump to Russia — and appeared “frustrated” that officials weren’t taking the information seriously, two former agency employees testified Friday.
One ex-spy — identified in court only as “Kevin P.” — recalled that he and a colleague met with Sussmann at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., in February 2017, shortly after Trump took office.
Sussmann gave the men two thumb drives that he said came from unidentified “contacts” and showed a secret, cyber back channel between a Trump Organization server and Russia’s Alfa Bank, Kevin P. said
Sussmann also echoed the testimony of FBI general counsel James Baker in recalling that Sussmann denied working on behalf of any client at the time:
“He said he was not representing a client,” the witness testified, adding that Sussmann also said he’d previously given “similar but unrelated” information to the FBI.
Another former CIA employee testified that Sussmann tried to get him to act on the same material, claiming that he had gotten it from a “Republican” source. If the CIA didn’t act quickly on the material, Chadason testified that Sussmann said at the time, Sussmann said he’d take it to the New York Times:
Another witness Friday, Mark Chadason, also a former CIA employee, said he was asked by a friend to meet with Sussmann, meeting on Jan. 31, 2017, for breakfast at a hotel in northern Virginia. He said he took notes of the meeting and typed it up into a memorandum the same day.
At that meeting, Chadason testified that Sussmann told him he had a client and that his client would go to the New York Times if the CIA wouldn’t meet with Sussmann.
Chadason’s memorandum stated, “Sussmann said that he represents a CLIENT who does not want to be known, but who had some interesting information.”
Chadason wrote that Sussmann would not provide the client’s identity but that he “was able to elicit that the CLIENT is an engineer with number of patents, and is most likely a contractor to the [intelligence community]” and that “Sussmann also said that [the] CLIENT is a Republican.”
Of course, the Clinton campaign eventually did go to the media to float this disinformation publicly during the campaign, only with Slate as the patsy rather than the New York Times. John included this Hillary tweet in his post yesterday, and it’s now evidence in the trial. Note the date on the tweet, which is remarkably still available:
Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank. pic.twitter.com/8f8n9xMzUU
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 1, 2016
Hillary and her campaign issued this just days before the election. Jake Sullivan, by the way, currently serves as Joe Biden’s national security adviser — a rather interesting role, considering his part in this campaign’s attempt to hoodwink the CIA and the FBI for a political dirty trick. If the national media reported on this case as much as they did with the original Alfa Bank allegation, Sullivan’s position would be untenable.
Of course, they’re not reporting on this trial or its implications, as Fox News pointed out yesterday:
Some of the mainstream media organizations that were obsessed with the Russiagate scandal have suddenly decided a trial at the center of the investigation’s origins isn’t worth covering.
Since May 15, the eve of the trial, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News and MSNBC all ignored the trial on air through Thursday evening, according to a search of transcripts.
CNN spent less than 10 minutes covering the trial from May 15 through Thursday, and didn’t mention it on air at all on Wednesday or Thursday as testimony intensified. None of CNN’s coverage has come during primetime. …
“If it had been Republicans doing it to a Democrat, the press would be losing its mind. Problem is, most media bought the Clinton-commissioned lies: The Washington Post and New York Times split a Pulitzer for their obsessive ‘news reporting’ that repeated the lies to the world,” the Post’s editorial board wrote.
“It was the most successful disinformation campaign in living memory, and the liberal media were at best willing dupes in that success,” the Post continued. “Maybe it’s not such a surprise they don’t much care to cover the trial that’s beginning to bring it all to light.”
Quelle surprise, in other words. The trial continues next week, but the big question may be whether this testimony might force more trials in the future. You can bet that Durham won’t finish with Sussmann unless circumstances force him to do so. Sussmann didn’t come up with this on his own, after all.