Hillary Clinton steps out in the Big Apple for the first time since Michael Sussmann is acquitted
Former First Lady and ex-presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton stepped out on the town Wednesday for the first time since her campaign attorney was acquitted of lying to the FBI when sending agents dirt on Donald Trump‘s alleged links to a bank backed by Moscow.
Clinton, 74, was seen walking the streets of New York City on Wednesday, wearing a long, colorful striped coat that ran down to her knees, as well as black pants and blue high heels.
She was seen wearing a black KN95 facemask as she walked outside, flanked by a Secret Service agent.
At one point, Clinton could be seen talking to a young supporter who spotted her as she walked.
The outing marks the first time the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate was seen in public since her campaign attorney, Michael Sussman, was found not guilty of lying to the FBI on Tuesday, in the first trial of Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation into what sparked the investigation into Trump’s campaign.
She has not commented publicly on the acquittal, but after the jury forewoman announced the decision, Sussman told reporters: ‘I told the truth to the FBI, and the jury clearly recognized that with their unanimous verdict today. I’m grateful to the members of the jury for their careful, thoughtful service.’
‘Despite being falsely accused, I’m relieved that justice ultimately prevailed in my case.’ He added that the past year had been ‘difficult’ on him and his family.
‘But right now we are just grateful for the love and support of so many during this ordeal and I look forward to getting back to the work I love,’ the attorney said.
Former First Lady and ex-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was seen walking the streets of New York City on Wednesday wearing a long, colorful coat, with black pants and high heels
Clinton, 74, donned a black KN95 facemask as she walked outside, flanked by a Secret Service agent
At one point, Clinton stopped to talk to a young supporter who spotted Clinton on her outing
The outing came just one day after a federal jury found former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussman, left, not guilty of lying to the FBI when bringing agents dirt on rival Donald Trump’s alleged ties to a Russian bank
Prosecutors claimed that Sussmann misrepresented himself to former FBI General Counsel Jim Baker when he asked for a meeting in 2016, where he then presented purported evidence connecting the Trump Organization and a top Russian bank.
Durham claimed the attorney posed himself as a concerned citizen when in reality he was working on behalf of Hillary Clinton and a tech executive named Rodney Joffe.
They showed the jury emails, law firm billing records and even a Staples receipt for thumb drives to tie Sussman to the Clinton campaign.
Prosecutors also argued the lie was part of a larger scheme by Clinton’s loyalists to use the FBI and news reporters to lunch a damaging last-minute revelation against Trump.
‘You can see what the plan was,’ Assistant Special Counsel Andrew DeFilippis said, according to the Washington Post. ‘It was to create an October surprise by giving information both to the media and to the FBI to get the media to write that there was an FBI investigation.’
He further claimed that Sussman lied because if he had told the FBI he was acting on behalf of Clinton, the FBI was less likely to consider his evidence or open an investigation.
Baker even told a jury earlier this month that denying acting on behalf of ‘any particular client’ was ‘part of [Sussmann’s] introduction to the meeting’
He said knowingly meeting with a campaign operative would ‘raise very serious questions’ in his mind ‘about the credibility of the source and the veracity of the info,’ according to the New York Post.
‘I think I would have said: Meet with case agents associated with the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Meet with the ‘Midyear Exam’ folks,’ Baker said.
The special counsel also claimed in an April court filing that Sussmann worked with Joffe and his company and ‘numerous cyber researchers, and employees at multiple Internet companies’ to access damaging information about Trump.
Durham’s filing alleges that Sussmann met with ‘the author of a now well-known dossier regarding Trump,’ believed to be Christopher Steele, at the offices of ‘Law Firm-1,’ believed to be Perkins Coie, his former employer.
Steele’s dossier had been seized upon by Democrats as proof that Trump was under the Kremlin’s influence but the former British spy’s purported evidence has since widely been questioned and discredited.
It was also used as the basis for the FBI to launch an investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, which led to the Mueller probe.
That investigation did not find collusion between Trump’s team and Moscow but uncovered Russia did make efforts to tip the scales in the ex-president’s favor.
But Sussmann’s lawyers denied that he lied to the FBI, and argue that his alleged misstatement would not have had any bearing on the bureau’s actions either way, with attorney Sean Berkowitz saying that the prosecution was trying to turn a 30-minute meeting more than five years ago into a ‘giant political conspiracy theory.’
He claimed that much of the witness testimony showed the Clinton campaign did not want the Alfa Bank allegations taken to the FBI because the campaign preferred to see a news story about the issue, and feared an investigation might complicate or delay such stories.
‘There is a difference between having a client and doing something on their behalf,’ he argued.
Special Counsel John Durham (pictured) had been appointed by Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr . His team indicted Sussmann in September 2021
Durham had been appointed by Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr. His team indicted Sussmann in September 2021.
Barr criticized Mueller’s Russia investigation in a recent episode of conservative talk host Glenn Beck’s podcast.
‘I think whatever you think of Trump, the fact is that the whole Russiagate thing was a grave injustice. It was a – it appears to be a dirty political trick that was used first to hobble him and then potentially to drive him from office,’ Barr said.
Asked by Beck if he believed the probe was ‘at least seditious’ if not ‘treason,’ Barr responded: ‘I believe it is seditious, yes.’
Durham’s probe faced a setback late last month when a judge refused to allow Clinton’s past tweets accusing Trump of working with Russia to be entered into the record.
Judge Christopher Cooper had ruled that the social media posts constituted hearsay and were ‘duplicative of other evidence.’
The GOP-appointed special counsel had tried to get a pair of tweets dated October 31, 2016 into the record ahead of Sussmann’s trial.
In one, Clinton linked a Slate article detailing alleged communication between Trump’s real estate business and Alfa Bank.
‘It’s time for Trump to answer serious questions about his ties to Russia,’ the Democrat captioned her post.
The additional follow-up tweet read: ‘Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.’
During his three-year probe, Durham also got an indictment against a Russian national who was residing in the United States. Researcher Igor Danchenko has pleaded not guilty after being accused of giving false information on Trump-Russia links to the FBI.
Danchenko was indicted in November 2021 and faces an upcoming trial in October.
Ex-FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty in Durham’s probe over charges stemming from deliberately altering an email that was used to obtain a surveillance warrant against former Trump aide Carter Page.