Lawyer Marc Elias takes center stage in Durham trial

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  vic-eldred  •  one month ago  •  28 comments

By:   Washington Examiner

Lawyer Marc Elias takes center stage in Durham trial
Marc Elias, the top lawyer for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, is expected to testify today in special counsel John Durham's case against Democratic cybersecurity lawyer Michael Sussmann.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Marc Elias, the top lawyer for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, is expected to testify today in special counsel John Durham'scase against Democratic cybersecurity lawyer Michael Sussmann.

Elias, who last year started the Elias Law Group, was the Clinton campaign's general counsel and hired the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which hired Christopher Steele in 2016. Elias testified he was aware of Fusion's plans to have Steele brief reporters during the 2016 contest, met with Steele in 2016, and periodically briefed the campaign about the findings from Fusion and Steele. Elias coordinated closely with his former Perkins Coie law firm colleague Sussmann on anti-Trump research in 2016.

Elias's testimony is expected to follow opening arguments from the prosecution and defense the day after a jury was selected.

Sussmann was charged last year with concealing his clients, Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign and "Tech Executive-1," known to be former Neustar executive Rodney Joffe, from FBI general counsel James Baker when he presented debunked allegations suggesting a secret back channel between the Trump Organization and Russia's Alfa-Bank during a September 2016 meeting.

Durham said members of the Clinton campaign, Fusion, and Perkins played a coordinated role in pushingcollusion claims and that Elias was part of the "joint venture" in 2016. Sussmann and Elias worked for Perkins at the time, and Fusion pushed Alfa-Bank claims, too.

Perkins said this month that Elias left Perkins last September and "records in connection with the representation" of the Clinton campaign had been transferred to Elias last August.

As part of the Clinton campaign's efforts to assert attorney-client privilege in the Sussmann case, Elias submitted a redacted declaration claiming that "presidential campaigns regularly encounter offensive and defensive litigation risks in multiple ways."

Elias claimed: "I provided Fusion direction on the research and information I thought would help me perform my job. ... On some occasions, Fusion's work was distilled and incorporated into my judgments about legal issues, while in other instances, I shared the results of Fusion's work with my clients."

Fusion co-founders Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch wrote in their 2019 book that they met with Elias in April 2016 and that Elias wanted "deep research on Trump."

Marc Elias (right) is due to take center stage in John Durham's (left) case against Michae Sussman Associated Press (left) / Pool The News and Observer (right)

Fritsch told Elias, "We think you guys will really want to pay attention to the Russia angle."

Fusion wrote: "It was obvious from Elias's reaction that the Russia element was new to him."

"This angle was all new to Elias, and he loved it," Fusion said.

Fusion wrote, "Elias said Fusion would be reporting only to him" because "if Fusion's communications were with a lawyer, they could be considered privileged and kept confidential."

Earlier this month, Judge Christopher Cooper quoted from an email by Fritsch in which he told a reporter in October 2016 to "do the f***ing Alfa bank secret comms story."

The judge remarked: "How is that assisting Mr. Elias providing legal advice? … That is assisting a media strategy."

Durham said the "primary purpose" of Fusion's work related to the Steele dossier and Alfa-Bank claims "was to assemble and publicize allegations that would aid the campaign's public relations goals."

"The Court has no reason to question Mr. Elias's declaration that Perkins Coie retained Fusion to assist in his provision of legal advice to the Clinton Campaign," the judge said earlier this month.

Cooper added: "But the record before the Court establishes that Fusion did more in connection with the Alfa Bank allegations than simply provide information and analysis to Mr. Elias so that he could better advise the Campaign on defamation risk. … It is clear that Fusion employees also interacted with the press as part of an affirmative media relations effort by the Clinton Campaign."

The Durham indictment said Sussmann, Joffe, and Elias "coordinated and communicated about the [Alfa-Bank] allegations during telephone calls and meetings, which Sussmann billed to the Clinton Campaign" during the 2016 election.

The indictment said that "on or about September 15, 2016, Campaign Lawyer-1 exchanged emails with the Clinton Campaign's campaign manager, communications director, and foreign policy advisor concerning the Russian Bank-1 allegations that Sussmann had recently shared with Reporter-1." Durham said Sussmann billed this to the Clinton campaign.

Clinton's foreign policy adviser was Jake Sullivan, now President Joe Biden's national security adviser. Her campaign manager was Robby Mook, and her communications director was Jennifer Palmieri. "Campaign Lawyer-1" was Elias.

Sullivan told the House Intelligence Committee in December 2017 that he was in meetings where Elias briefed the campaign on opposition research, claiming, "Marc wears a tremendous number of hats, so I wasn't sure who he was representing. ... I sort of thought he was, you know, just talking to us as, you know, a fellow traveler ... in the campaign effort."

Mook told CNN in 2017 that he authorized Elias "to investigate this, particularly the international aspect." Mook said Elias then periodically briefed the Clinton campaign about the findings. He added: "I'm proud that we were able to assemble some of the research that has brought this to light."

The Senate Intelligence Committee's August 2020 report made more than two dozen mentions of Elias. The committee wrote that "Elias told Fusion GPS to report only to him, so Fusion GPS's communications could be solely with a lawyer and thus covered by attorney-client privilege."

Through lawyers, Elias told the Senate he had independent authority to authorize expenditures on research and that he consulted with Mook about outside hires only at a "high level."

Steele told the committee he became aware of Perkins in August and met Elias in September. Elias told the committee he did not authorize Fusion·to provide any information to any U.S. law enforcement or to share the dossier with reporters.

Both Fusion and Elias stonewalled the Senate, with the committee writing, "The Committee was unable to fully establish how much of the Steele information was actually transferred to the DNC and the Clinton Campaign. ... Elias, through counsel, did not provide details on what information he provided to the DNC or the Clinton Campaign, citing attorney-client privilege."

Mook told the Senate committee that "counsel starting in the summer had briefed him" along with Palmieri, Sullivan, Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta, and others on "pieces of the reporting" in the dossier.

Palmieri spoke to the Senate about the Elias briefings, saying, "He had reports. … Some of the things that I have read are in the dossier I had heard about from Marc, including the famous encounter at the hotel."

Elias was hit with sanctions last year by federal appeals court judges for a "redundant and misleading submission" and for violating his ethical "duty of candor" to the court.

The Washington Examiner detailed how Elias attempted to fashion himself as a guardian of democracy despite his lead role in undermining the 2016 presidential election with a baseless Trump-Russia narrative. Elias responded on Twitter by accidentally referring to himself as someone who was "fighting democracy" before correcting himself.

Durham said Joffe tasked employees and associates with mining and assembling internet data that would support a "narrative" tying Trump to Russia. The tech executive's motive was demonstrated in emails that said the goal was to please "VIPs" — including Sussmann and Elias.


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Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Vic Eldred    one month ago

Marc Elias is one of the most evil lawyers in American history.

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
1.1  Sparty On  replied to  Vic Eldred @1    one month ago

You lie down with Clintons you get up with fleas

 
 
 
1stwarrior
Professor Guide
1.1.1  1stwarrior  replied to  Sparty On @1.1    one month ago

And there are times, we've been told, that you don't get up.

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Senior Silent
1.1.2  SteevieGee  replied to  1stwarrior @1.1.1    one month ago

Some people are sayin'  LOL

 
 
 
arkpdx
PhD Participates
1.1.3  arkpdx  replied to  Sparty On @1.1    one month ago
You lie down with Clintons you get up with fleas 

If you get up at all. 

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Senior Silent
1.2  SteevieGee  replied to  Vic Eldred @1    one month ago

Hey!  He looks just like you Vic.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1.2.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  SteevieGee @1.2    one month ago

Not on his best day.

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
1.3  Hallux  replied to  Vic Eldred @1    one month ago

Why, because he successfully won 64 out of 65 election cases?

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1.3.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Hallux @1.3    one month ago
because he successfully won 64 out of 65 election cases?

I guess you and I follow him on Twitter. He was busy testifying this morning and I sent him quite a tweet. I told him that both he and Sussman needed a good defense and it was a pity that Elias specialty was fixing elections.

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
1.3.2  Hallux  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.3.1    one month ago
I guess you and I follow him on Twitter

I only go to that woeful site when an article has an internal link that leads me there.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1.3.3  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Hallux @1.3.2    one month ago

Fear not, the censorship there is coming to an end.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.3.4  Tessylo  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.3.3    one month ago

Musk is not buying Twitter

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1.3.5  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Tessylo @1.3.4    one month ago

Link Please

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
2  bbl-1    one month ago

Elias nor Sussman will be 'the Kraken' for the right-wing Putin puppets.  No there--there.

Trumps are Russia dirty.  The dim-witted Trump kids even admitted they relied on Russian money for decades.

Durham, who is still on the public dime, is stalling the best he can.  When this is finally over, and he has no more cards to play and assuming Bolsonaro still stands maybe Durham can learn Portuguese and relocate there.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3  seeder  Vic Eldred    one month ago

"Durham’s prosecutors likely face an uphill battle to persuade jurors in overwhelmingly Democratic Washington, D.C., to convict a defendant who appears to have been on the same side as Clinton and was clearly on the opposite side of Trump. Cooper stressed to many jurors during the jury selection process that neither Clinton nor Trump are on trial here."

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"In her opening statement to the 16 jurors and alternates, Shaw called politics “the elephant in the room” and urged jurors to set   those issues aside. “We are here because the FBI is our institution. It should not be used as a political tool for anyone … Whatever your political views might be they can’t be brought to the decision that you will be asked to make in this courtroom,” she said."

politico.com/news/2022/05/17/prosecutor-lawyer-fbi-clinton-2016-campaign-00032994

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
3.1  JBB  replied to  Vic Eldred @3    one month ago

Sussman's meeting with the FBI in August of 2016 had nothing to do with predicating the legal CIA and FBI investigations into Trump's Russian dealings which had begun by at least by 2014 as a result of Trump and Co seeking out and establishing relationships with known agents of Russian State Intelligence Services in Trump's quest to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. And, therein lies the rub.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3.1.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  JBB @3.1    one month ago

Sussman's meeting had one goal: To get the FBI to investigate a bull shit story, so the Clinton campaign could leak it.

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
3.1.2  Sparty On  replied to  Vic Eldred @3.1.1    one month ago

Bazinga!

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3.1.3  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Sparty On @3.1.2    one month ago

We'll see how simple it is to prove it. We have a partisan Trump-hating DC jury and an Obama judge to deal with.

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
3.1.4  Sparty On  replied to  Vic Eldred @3.1.3    one month ago

Swamp creatures won’t abide.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3.1.5  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Sparty On @3.1.4    one month ago

I hear ya. You know how that goes:

“The soldier is the Army. No army is better than its soldiers. The Soldier is also a citizen. In fact, the highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one’s country”..... George S. Patton Jr.

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Masters Principal
3.1.6  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  JBB @3.1    one month ago
dealings which had begun by at least by 2014 as a result of Trump and Co seeking out and establishing relationships with known agents of Russian State Intelligence Services

You keep posting that. Give us a Goddamned link for once................................

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
4  seeder  Vic Eldred    one month ago

Day 1 in the books:

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"The Hillary Clinton campaign did not want its attorney, Michael Sussmann, to share the Alfa Bank data with the FBI, jurors were told yesterday during the defense’s opening arguments in the special counsel’s criminal case against Sussmann. But the information known to date, as well as the  modus operandi  of the Spygate players throughout the years they peddled the Russia-collusion hoax, render this argument laughable.

On Tuesday, trial in  United States v. Sussmann  began in earnest following a day of jury selection. At issue is whether the former Clinton campaign attorney lied to former FBI General Counsel James Baker when Sussmann provided him data and whitepapers purporting to show the existence of a secret-communications network between the Russian-based Alfa Bank and Donald Trump. Special Counsel John Durham’s team claims Sussmann lied when he shared the Alfa Bank “intel,” saying he wasn’t acting on behalf of a client, while, in fact, Sussmann represented both tech executive Rodney Joffe and the Clinton campaign.

Prosecutor Brittain Shaw set the stage for the jury,  telling  the 12 jurors and four alternates during opening argument that “Sussmann’s actions were part of ‘a plan to create an October surprise on the eve of a presidential election’ and to get the FBI to investigate, arguing the plan ‘largely succeeded.’”

Sussmann and Joffe “leaked the Alfa-Bank allegations to the  New York Times ,” Shaw  continued , but “when that wasn’t published immediately, Sussmann brought a sense of urgency to the FBI about the media being on the verge of running a story.” According to  prosecutors , “the FBI getting involved would make the story ‘more attractive’ to the press” and “Sussmann’s goal was to ‘inject’ the FBI into a presidential election.”

Not so, Sussmann’s lawyer Michael Bosworth  counter ed, telling the jury in the defense’s opening argument that his client “had a genuine interest in national security” and was concerned about the data at a time when questions about Trump’s connections to Russia were  swirling . According to Sussmann’s team, the Clinton campaign  planned  “to take this new weird thing public,” and they handed it to The New York Times. That’s what the campaign  wanted —press coverage that hurt Trump and helped Clinton.

“The meeting with the FBI is the exact opposite of what the Clinton campaign would’ve wanted,” Bosworth  told  the jury,  suggesting  “the FBI quashed the news story after learning about it from Sussmann.” “The FBI meeting is something they didn’t authorize, they didn’t direct him to do, and they didn’t want him to do,” Sussmann’s lawyers argued. But once the Times was ready to publish the material, Sussmann called Baker “to help the FBI” “and warn them that a story was coming,” the defense  claimed .

The evidence on all fronts suggests otherwise. First, emails exchanged between reporters and Peter Fritsch, a co-founder of the investigative research firm, Fusion GPS, that Perkins and Coie had hired on behalf of the Clinton campaign, indicate the Times was nowhere near “ready to publish the material” when Sussmann handed it off to Baker on September 19, 2016.

For instance, in one thread between Fritsch and the Times’ Eric Lichtblau, bearing the subject line “alfa and trump” and dated October 5, 2016, the duo were discussing Alfa Bank data published on Reddit, apparently by April Lorenzen. At that point, Fritsch is still telling the Times he has “no idea” where the material came from, but that “it’s either someone real who has real info or one of the donald’s 400 pounders,” whatever that meant. Fritsch then adds that the “de vos stuff looks rank to me,” in reference to the supposed communications between the Michigan health system’s computer and Alfa Bank.

Another email thread from October 18, 2016 also indicates the Times was not ready to publish the story. In that thread, Fritsch is pushing Reuter’s Mark Hosenball to run the Alfa Bank story. When Hosenball told him “the problem is that the nature of the data is way above my level of competence,” Fritsch responds, “it’s everyone’s problem” and then suggests he call David Dagon at Georgia Tech.

Then, on October 31, 2016, hours before Slate  published  the Alfa Bank story, in promoting the about-to-break news to Reuters, Fritsch wrote the “USG,” meaning the “United States government,” is “absolutely investigating.” This email shows Fusion GPS knew the value an FBI investigation added to a story it was pushing for the Clinton campaign.

A second problem with Sussmann’s storyline that the FBI meeting was “the exact opposite of what the Clinton campaign would’ve wanted” because it caused the government to quash the New York Times article flows from the fact Sussmann did not originally tell Baker the name of the outlet supposedly poised to publish the story.

In his congressional testimony, Baker  explained  that after he handed the Alfa Bank material off to the counterintelligence division, they wanted “more time to evaluate it before the media started publishing stuff.” According to Baker, agents asked him to “go back to Sussmann and find out who in the media is going to publish this because we might want to ask them to delay.”

In his testimony, Baker was fuzzy on the details and did not remember whether Sussmann had mentioned the media having the Alfa Bank material during their initial September 19, 2016, meeting or only later during a follow-up conversation. (If the latter, that will really throw a wrench in Sussmann’s theory of defense.)

What Baker stated unequivocally, however, was that Sussmann had not originally identified The New York Times as the outlet supposedly ready to run the story, and that it was only later when Baker followed up with Sussmann that they learned that fact. The FBI then “went to the New York Times” and “started a series of conversations with them to try to get them to slow down,” he said.

If Sussmann’s goal were truly to provide the FBI with a heads-up of the impending story, as his attorneys argued yesterday, he accomplished that objective on September 19, 2016. To achieve that goal, Sussmann would have no reason to answer Baker’s follow-up question concerning the name of the media outlet ready with the Alfa Bank story. In fact, as a lawyer, he would have a good reason to refuse: It was in the Clinton campaign’s interest for the story to run.

But if Sussmann instead sought to spur the media into action, sending the FBI into the arms of The New York Times proved a perfect plan, as it made the Alfa Bank story more marketable.

Here, we see a third problem with Sussmann’s line of defense: From the Steele dossier to the FISA surveillance of Carter Page, the Clinton campaign repeatedly fed the FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies supposed “intel” on Trump, which it also peddled to the press. Then it used leaks of the government’s investigation into Trump’s supposed connections with Russia to drive more media coverage of the Russia collusion story.

Yet Sussmann’s legal team told the jury the FBI meeting was something the Clinton campaign “didn’t authorize,” “didn’t direct him to do” and “didn’t want him to do.” That line of argument presents prosecutors with the perfect opening to inform the jury of the Clinton campaign’s  modus operandi , and it will likely do so with the questioning of Sussmann’s former legal partner Marc Elias, who is scheduled to testify later today.


IMG_0042-150x150.jpg
Margot Cleveland is The Federalist's senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
5  seeder  Vic Eldred    one month ago

Mr Sussman, you do know what perjury is, don't you?

actor-raymond-burr-as-perry-mason-performs-in-a-scene-from-an-episode-picture-id96556162?k=20&m=96556162&s=612x612&w=0&h=iOb6D_TFTubUHMW9RAjbOhi6E6JX_PvFHH9iOEJwk2o=

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
6  seeder  Vic Eldred    one month ago

Day 2 Recap:


An FBI agent said Tuesday that  it took him and another agent “less than a day ” to determine the allegation about former President Donald Trump having ties to a Russian financial institution was false and pushed by Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussman.

FBI Supervisory Special Agent Scott Hellman said “it took him and another agent less than a day to ascertain the data and ‘white papers’ on two thumb drives Sussmann gave Baker  did not support the Trump-Alfa Bank ‘secret connection’ allegation ,” according to The Epoch Times’ national affairs reporter John Haughey. Hellman was on the stand during the first day of Sussman’s trial for allegedly lying to the FBI.


 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
6.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Vic Eldred @6    one month ago

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Defense attorneys representing Michael Sussmann in the first trial stemming from Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe signaled they were contemplating moving for a mistrial — a request the federal judge presiding over the case said Wednesday he was "not inclined" to grant.

Sussmann’s attorney, Sean Berkowitz on Wednesday afternoon said he planned to argue for a mistrial on Thursday, due to a back-and-forth that came from the hours-long questioning and testimony of former Clinton campaign general counsel Marc Elias.

At one point during cross-examination by the defense, Elias was asked whether Sussmann went to the FBI in September 2016 with data alleging a covert communications channel between Donald Trump and Russia’s Alfa Bank on behalf of the Hillary Clinton campaign.

"I think you’d have to ask Mr. Sussmann," Elias said.

Later, the prosecution brought Sussmann’s response up — a move the defense said violates Sussmann’s rights.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper on Wednesday, though, seemed unimpressed.

"You should be prepared to deal with witnesses [tomorrow]," Cooper told Berkowitz. "I am not inclined to grant a mistrial."

After hours of Elias testimony Wednesday, the government called former FBI General Counsel James Baker to the stand. Baker was questioned for about 45 minutes.

Baker is expected to be questioned by the government for the better part of the morning on Thursday, as well as cross-examination from the defense.

Baker falls at the center of the trial, as Sussmann is charged with making a false statement to the FBI when he told Baker in September 2016 — less than two months before the presidential election — that he was not doing work "for any client" when he requested and attended a meeting with Baker where he presented "purported data and ‘white papers’ that allegedly demonstrated a covert communicates channel" between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, which has ties to the Kremlin.

Durham’s team alleges Sussmann was, in fact, doing work for two clients: the Hillary Clinton campaign and a technology executive, Rodney Joffe. Following the meeting with Baker, Sussmann billed the Hillary Clinton campaign for his work.

Sussmann has pleaded not guilty to the charge. 

Sussmann’s defense attorneys, prior to the beginning of trial, sought to have the case dismissed. Cooper denied their requests.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
7  seeder  Vic Eldred    one month ago

"Marc Elias testified that he would not have approved going to the FBI with the false Russian Alfa bank claim because he did not trust the FBI or Director Comey. Yet, the campaign associates also aggressively pushed the Steele dossier to the FBI."...Jonathan Turley

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
8  seeder  Vic Eldred    one month ago

DAY 3


WASHINGTON, DC —  A former FBI official delivered devastating testimony Thursday against former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann — saying he’s “100% confident” the defendant denied acting “on behalf of any particular client” when he handed over  since-debunked information  linking Donald Trump and Russia.

“I think it was pretty close to the beginning of the meeting. Part of his introduction to the meeting,” former FBI general counsel James Baker told jurors in Washington, DC, federal court.

Baker’s account directly supports the sole charge against Sussmann as a result of special counsel John Durham’s probe into alleged law-breaking in connection with the FBI and Robert Mueller’s probes of purported Trump-Russia ties.

Sussmann, 57, is on trial on a single count of lying to the government during a Sept. 19, 2016, sit-down with Baker at FBI headquarters

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