Baker would not have met with Sussmann if he admitted he was representing Clinton

From left to proper: Michael Sussmann and James Baker. (Graeme Jennings/Washington Examiner; Screenshot/YouTube/MSNBC)

Baker would not have met with Sussmann if he admitted he was representing Clinton

Jerry Dunleavy

Could 19, 10:03 PM Could 19, 10:16 PM

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The FBI’s former prime lawyer, James Baker, testified Thursday that he wouldn’t have met with Michael Sussmann if he had recognized he was doing so on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 marketing campaign.

Sussmann has been charged by particular counsel John Durham with concealing his shoppers, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 marketing campaign and former Neustar government Rodney Joffe, from Baker when he offered since-debunked allegations of a secret again channel between the Trump Group and Russia’s Alfa-Financial institution throughout a September 2016 assembly.

“I don’t assume I’d have,” Baker instructed Durham prosecutor Andrew DeFilippis when requested if he would have met with Sussmann if he’d recognized he was pushing the Alfa-Financial institution claims on behalf of the Clinton marketing campaign. Durham has offered billing data and different proof displaying Sussmann did this on behalf of the marketing campaign.

Durham has repeatedly argued that Sussmann’s alleged lie to Baker was “materials” and that it mattered. Sussmann’s staff argued he didn’t lie and that even when he had, it was immaterial. Baker’s testimony would appear to harm the defendant’s arguments.

“We take a look at the identification of the supply of knowledge and make an evaluation of the reliability and credibility of that data,” Baker contended. “We’d have checked out it in a different way. We’d have taken extra time with it. We’d have subjected it to extra scrutiny.”

Baker stated the FBI would take data from “anyone of any stripe” however that the supply issues. He stated that if the supply was “the opponent within the presidential election,” then “we might’ve checked out that data very, very rigorously.”

He stated figuring out in regards to the Clinton marketing campaign involvement would have made the FBI deal with it “in a different way” and that they’d have subjected it to extra “scrutiny” as a result of it will have raised questions in regards to the credibility of the supply and the veracity of knowledge and would have heightened the bureau’s worry of being “performed or pulled into the politics about this.”


Baker famous Clinton had been underneath investigation by the FBI for her illicit e-mail server and stated the e-mail investigation, generally known as the “Midyear Examination,” was “not technically closed,” though “we had accomplished our work.” He famous FBI Director James Comey briefly reopened the Clinton e-mail investigation in October 2016, which occurred when the FBI discovered hundreds of emails belonging to Clinton on the laptop computer of disgraced Democratic New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, who was married to Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

“If you happen to’re assembly on behalf of Clinton, you should not come to see me,” Baker says he would have instructed Sussmann had he recognized the defendant was pushing the Alfa-Financial institution allegations on behalf of her consumer, saying he could have instructed Sussmann to fulfill with Midyear Examination case brokers as a substitute.

Baker stated if he had recognized the particular person bringing the FBI the claims was doing so on behalf of former President Donald Trump’s political opponent, then “it will have raised very severe questions … in regards to the credibility of the supply, the veracity of the data, and heightened a priority in my thoughts about whether or not we had been going to be performed.”

“I used to be keen to fulfill with Michael alone as a result of I had excessive confidence in him and belief,” Baker stated. “I feel I’d have made a distinct evaluation if he stated he had been showing on behalf of a consumer.”

Baker instructed DeFilippis that figuring out Sussmann was pushing the claims on behalf of a consumer undoubtedly would have mattered due to “a number of dimensions.”

He pointed to “logistical causes,” together with “would I meet with Michael alone, would I meet with him with another person, would I meet with him in any respect.” Baker stated one other consideration would have been “how I’d assess the reliability of the data” and stated that “the identification may impression my evaluation of that.”

Baker additionally stated that figuring out of the consumer would’ve raised “whether or not and the way we prioritize the data that he gave us” in addition to “the extent to which I wanted to have my staff of legal professionals conduct a authorized assessment.” He added that “legal professionals would’ve delayed the matter, I feel.”

He continued, “I feel I’d’ve made a distinct choice and a distinct evaluation if he had stated he wished to fulfill on behalf of a consumer.”

The previous FBI common counsel added that if Sussmann’s textual content the night earlier than their assembly had immediately talked about “Russia and Trump,” then he “actually would have referred this to the Crossfire Hurricane staff” — the investigation opened into the Trump marketing campaign by since-fired FBI particular agent Peter Strzok.

“Michael began to elucidate why he was there. He stated he was not showing earlier than me on behalf of any explicit consumer. In essence, within the assembly, he stated, ‘I’m not right here on behalf of any explicit consumer.’ … I’m 100% assured that he stated that within the assembly,” Baker additionally stated.

He stated Sussmann instructed him “he was coming to see me as a very good citizen,” and since he was a pal in addition to a former colleague, Baker “believed it and believed the assertion was truthful.”

DeFilippis additionally requested how Baker would have responded if Sussmann had been trustworthy about his different consumer, Joffe.

“If I had understood Mr. Joffe’s connection to Neustar … then I’d’ve wished to have a staff of attorneys with me,” Baker stated, including that if he had recognized that Sussmann’s consumer had enterprise pursuits, then he might need wished to produce other FBI workers within the assembly or could have merely determined to not maintain the assembly in any respect.

The decide presiding over the case instructed Durham’s staff earlier this week to not carry up the truth that Joffe had been lower off as an FBI supply in 2021.

DeFilippis requested what Baker would have finished had he recognized one of many shoppers was a confidential human supply for the bureau.

Baker stated, “When you have a confidential human supply, usually talking, that supply may have a handler … and so it’s that particular person’s job, that dealing with agent, to cope with the CHS.” He stated data a CHS has “needs to be … handled by the handler, the sphere workplace” and that “I feel I’d’ve referred all that to the handler and the sphere workplace … all of which, once more, takes extra time.”

Baker additionally insisted that “we had been conscious of and cautious of being performed” and wished to keep away from a “press report on one thing that’s in any other case flawed or incomplete.” He stated the media doesn’t wish to report on a “nothingburger” however that some shops “may report that the FBI is investigating a nothingburger.” Durham’s staff has stated Sussmann was attempting to generate an “October shock” to harm Trump and assist Clinton.

G3 Field Information

Sussmann’s legal professionals stated their consumer met with the FBI “to go alongside data that raised nationwide safety issues” merely “to offer a tip.” They claimed their consumer was “charged with making a false assertion about a wholly ancillary matter.”

However Durham had stated that if Sussmann had instructed the reality, it may have affected how the FBI selected to proceed.

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