Documents released during Michael Sussmann’s federal trial show the FBI solicited advice from Hillary Clinton’s lawyer on a press release describing the intelligence agency’s awareness of the Democratic National Committee hack in 2016.
The original press release sent over to Sussmann by Jim Trainor, the assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division, noted that the FBI was aware of “a possible cyber intrusion involving the DCCC,” or the Democratic National Campaign Committee, via “recent media reporting.”
“Michael – our press office is once again getting a ton of calls on the DCCC matter. A draft response is provided below. Wanted to get your thoughts on this prior to sending out,” Trainor wrote.
In his reply, Sussmann asked the FBI to change the first line of the press release to reflect the DNC’s messaging on the hack. He explained that he preferred a more definitive statement that made clear “the FBI is aware of the cyber intrusion involving the DCCC that has been reported in the media.”
“The draft you sent says only that the FBI is aware of media reports; it does not say that the FBI is aware of the intrusion that the DCCC reported. Indeed, it refers only to a ‘possible’ cyber intrusion and in that way undermines what the DCCC said in its statement (or at least calls into question what the DCCC said),” Sussman wrote. “The other implication in your statement that could benefit from updating is that the FBI, just now, is looking into the nature and scope of the DCCC matter. In fact, the FBI has been aware of the DCCC intrusion for some time, and even (previously) received network indicators from the DCCC (i.e., from CrowdStrike).”
Trainor accepted the suggestions with minor protest and agreed to send out Sussmann’s manipulated version of the press release soon.
“Mike – I am fine with the below suggestions. We try to really limit what we see and not acknowledging too much but the below edits are fine and we will send out,” Trainor wrote.
After just one day of deliberations, a D.C.-based federal jury found Sussmann not guilty. During the trial, however, key information further implicating the Democrat party’s efforts to destroy the Trump campaign surfaced and confirmed what outlets such as The Federalist have long reported.
As Federalist Senior Legal Correspondent Margot Cleveland wrote in her analysis of the trial, “United States v. Sussmann exposed that Hillary Clinton holds full responsibility for the Russia collusion hoax.”
Not only did Clinton’s former campaign manager Robby Mook testify that the failed presidential candidate personally endorsed parroting the Alfa Bank narrative to anyone in the media who would listen but, as Cleveland noted, “The Sussmann prosecution also dispatched the lingering claims that a secret communication channel between Trump and Russia truly existed as “‘5150,’ or delusional, talk.”
“Even the acquittal of Sussmann will not erase these facts. So for all posterity, Clinton’s fingerprints will be seen covering the worst political scandal of our country’s history,” Cleveland wrote.