It was reported that Lawyers for former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 campaign filed a last-minute plea last week to block special counsel John Durham from introducing certain evidence during the trial of Michael Sussmann, claiming “attorney-client privilege.”
But the bid to bar the evidence from being admitted is likely to fail, Just the News reported, citing several experts who are observing the case.
“[T]he sweeping requests for confidentiality — including research from former MI6 agent and opposition researcher Christopher Steele — face a high hurdle,” experts said, the outlet reported.
“That’s because the very subjects the Clinton campaign now seeks to protect — such as its now-discredited anti-Trump research — were widely distributed without regard to privilege for years,” the report continued.
The contents of the now-infamous Steele dossier, for instance, were shared with several news reporters, the FBI, and the State Department. Steele himself talked extensively about his 2016 conversations and dealings with the Clinton law firm, its research firm Fusion GPS and the FBI in a British court case
Sussmann shared much of a research project — which turned out to be untrue — alleging a secret communications channel at the Alfa Bank between Trump and the Kremlin.
And several of the Clinton campaign figures gave testimony to Congress that exposed who paid for the research falsely tying Trump to Russia, what was in it and why it was conducted.
Said another way, each of the disclosures to third parties amounted to a waiver of any attorney-client privilege claims, at a minimum.
The New York Post went on to report that Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann won’t try to prove the explosive claims he passed to the FBI that alleged former President Donald Trump had a secret back channel to a Russian bank, according to a court filing Monday.
Donald Trump Poll
"*" indicates required fields
Sussman’s defense lawyer “stated that he will not seek to affirmatively prove the existence of a link between Alfa Bank and the Trump campaign,” Washington DC federal Judge Christopher Cooper wrote in a six-page ruling.
The defense move, announced during a pretrial hearing Thursday, came after Special Counsel John Durham said he wouldn’t seek to disprove the data Sussmann gave the FBI if he agreed to “concede or decline to dispute the fact that no secret channel of communications actually existed,” according to court papers.
Based on the defense decision, “the Court will hold the government to its word, and will not allow it to put on extensive evidence about the accuracy of the data Mr. Sussmann provided to the FBI unless Mr. Sussmann does so first,” Cooper wrote.
But the judge said he “will permit the government to put on evidence reflecting the FBI’s ultimate conclusions —- which the Court understands to be that the Alfa Bank allegations were unsubstantiated —- as well as the ‘particular investigative and analytical steps’ the FBI took to reach them.”
“Such evidence is relevant to the government’s theory of materiality: that Mr. Sussmann’s alleged statement that he was not representing a client caused the FBI to handle the subsequent investigation differently than it otherwise would have,” Cooper wrote.