John Durham’s Special Counsel team finally brought Marc Elias (a former Clinton campaign lawyer) to the stand on Wednesday. Sussmann was accused of lying to the FBI about the debunked Alfa-Bank “connections” to the Trump campaign but denied that he was representing a client. Durham claims that Sussmann was actually Rodney Joffe’s tech executive.
We previously reported that the prosecution wanted big names to be called in its case. Marc Elias, an ex-Clinton campaign lawyer, was a partner at Perkins Coie which was owned by Sussmann.
Elias was called on Wednesday to testify in support of the prosecution. Elias testified that Fusion was also working with DNC to help it on the Clinton campaign.
Elias said that he spoke primarily to Robby Mook (Clinton campaign manager), but also with John Podesta, Jennifer Palmieri, campaign spokesperson, and Jake Sullivan, campaign strategy director.
Elias stated that he had spoken with Hillary Clinton “infrequently”, but was present at meetings in which she might have been present.
Elias claimed they made a public statement about the Alfa Bank allegations before the election. Hillary Clinton shared the false story via Twitter.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 31, 2016
Clinton also shared a statement from Jake Sullivan, which stated that “This could possibly be the most direct link between Donald Trump and Moscow.” Computer scientists found a secret server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian bank.
Sullivan said that Trump’s Russian ties may be unraveled by the “secret hotline”.
Sullivan stated that federal authorities could only assume that Trump and Russia are connected. This will be part of the ongoing probe into Russia’s interference in our election.
This is the most interesting part because Sussmann gave the false story to the FBI. Elias tried to minimize the idea that the FBI had received the information before October and distanced himself.
Elias stated that “The thing that makes an Oct surprise useful” was not that it happens in October, but that it arrives too late during the campaign process. ”
They agree that Sussmann attempted to pass it on to the FBI.
They were active in sharing the information with the media. Laura Seago was interviewed by the Durham team.
Laura Seago from Fusion testified that she met Marc Elias, and Sussmann to discuss the allegations about communications between Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization. He stated that they hoped to publish an essay.
The judge in the Sussmann case had already concluded that Fusion did more for Elias than simply providing information.
Cooper stated that “Fusion was more involved in the Alfa Bank allegations in providing information and analysis on Mr. Elias to help the Campaign assess defamation risk.”
Elias stated it was fair to say that they didn’t want the public to know that they were working with Fusion.
Elias was used in displaying the multiple calendar entries by the prosecution. This work was done for the Clinton campaign.
Sussmann & Nichols were invited to a calendar meeting on July 26th. The subject was “Marc/Michael/Fusion Team”, and the category was “Clinton”. Sussmann also authored a billing record stating that the Clinton campaign was the client. The subject was “General political advice” and the description was: “[redaction] Meeting With M. Elias and Others Concerning [redacted] confidential Project Redaction. ”
A second August 12th invitation sent by Nichols to Sussmann included the subject line “Meeting with Rodney” and indicated that it was confidential and related to meetings with M. Elias.
Elias stated that he remembered meeting Joffe and having an informal conversation with her. However, he claimed that his 2016 memory was “very fuzzy”.
Nichols also sent Lisa Patel, and Neustar, another email stating that Marc Elias (and Michael Sussmann) would like to schedule a 30-minute telephone conference with Rodney (on Rodney’s cell). The same message was also included in a meeting invitation. The same was true for a meeting invitation.
He said that he considered his work with Joffe, Sussmann, and on the Alfa-Bank claims a part of his Clinton campaign work.
The trial ended abruptly when the Sussmann lawyers were asked by the prosecution if Sussmann had disclosed to the FBI the Trump-Alfa Bank allegations against Clinton. Elias replied that they should have asked Sussmann. Sussmann’s answers were brought up by the prosecution.
The trial concerning Sussmann might not go according to plan. Now we have the official admission of Trump’s efforts and Clinton officials’ involvement in this effort.