Judge Blocks Certain Evidence From Sussmann Trial

(PresidentialHill.com)- Last week, the judge in the trial of former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann ruled that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 tweet about the false link between Donald Trump and Russia’s Alfa-Bank could not be admitted as evidence.

In a recent court filing, Special Counsel John Durham informed the court that he wanted Clinton’s 2016 tweet admitted at trial, arguing the tweet was not inadmissible hearsay because it was not “offered for its truth.” The claims about Trump and Alfa-Bank were false. Instead, Durham wanted to present the tweet as proof of Sussmann’s attorney/client relationship with the Clinton campaign, “which is directly relevant to the false statement charge.”

Sussmann was indicted in September for concealing from the FBI that he was working on behalf of the Clinton campaign when he brought his claims of a secret backchannel between Donald Trump and Russia’s Alfa-Bank.

On October 31, 2016, Hillary tweeted that Trump had a “secret server” to “communicate privately with a Putin-tied Russian bank.” In another tweet, Clinton alleged that “computer scientists” (paid by her) “have apparently uncovered a covert server” linking Trump to a Russian bank. Clinton attached a lengthy statement from Jake Sullivan, who at the time served as a Clinton campaign advisor. Sullivan is now Joe Biden’s national security advisor.

Sussmann’s defense maintained that Hillary’s tweeted comments were “hearsay” and argued that Durham wanted to admit the tweet so he can argue that the Clinton campaign’s “plan all along was to make a public statement about ‘federal authorities’” looking into the connection between Trump and Russia.

The defense argued that Sussmann didn’t write or authorize Clinton’s tweet, nor did he know about it, therefore, it is “irrelevant, prejudicial,” and would “confuse and distract the jury” from the false statement charge.

The defense also argued that Hillary’s 2016 tweet reveals nothing about Sussmann’s “state of mind” a month earlier when he allegedly lied to the FBI. They claimed that there is no evidence that Sussmann’s meeting with the FBI “had anything to do with the Clinton Campaign’s broader media strategy.”

And on Wednesday, Judge Christopher Cooper concluded that Hillary’s tweet is hearsay and “likely duplicative of other evidence” demonstrating Sussmann’s attorney/client relationship with the Clinton campaign.