A grand jury on Thursday returned the second indictment sought by U.S. Special Counsel John Durham in the more than two-year probe investigating the origins of the Russia hoax.
Michael Sussmann, a Washington attorney and former federal prosecutor, was indicted for making a false statement to the FBI in September 2016. Durham alleges Sussmann misrepresented his own capacity when making accusations to the FBI over the course of the agency’s deep-state operation to find Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.
During a requested meeting with the FBI General Counsel, the indictment reads, Sussmann provided the agency three “white papers” which allegedly contained evidence showing secret communications between the Trump Organization and a Russian bank.
“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,” read the indictment. “This statement was intentionally false and misleading because, in assembling and conveying these allegations, Sussmann acted on behalf of specific clients.” Those clients included an executive in the U.S. tech industry and the Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign.
If convicted, Sussmann could face up to five years in federal prison.
In January, former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith, who pleaded guilty to manipulating documents to seek spy warrants on Trump adviser Carter Page, was sentenced to a mere one year of probation and 400 hours of community service without prison time.