- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Former FBI General Counsel James Baker will likely be called to testify in the case against former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann, who is charged with lying to advance the bureau’s Trump-Russia collusion probe.

A federal grand jury indicted Mr. Sussmann last month on charges that he hid the fact he was representing Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign when he told the FBI he had evidence of secret communications between then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russia’s Alfa Bank.

According to the indictment, Mr. Sussmann told FBI lawyer Mr. Baker that he was not representing any client when the two met to discuss the purported evidence in 2016, but prosecutors say he was there on behalf of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign.

The FBI has since determined that there was no evidence to support the Trump-Alfa Bank claims.

Andrew deFilippis, an assistant counsel for Special Counsel John Durham, said during a virtual status conference Tuesday that they are planning to call Mr. Baker as a witness during the trial which could begin next spring, The Washington Examiner reported.

Mr. Baker served as general counsel for the FBI from 2014 to 2018. He now works as deputy counsel for Twitter.

Earlier this month, Mr. Durham’s team of prosecutors said they gave 6,000 documents, totaling more than 80,000 pages, to attorneys for Mr. Sussmann.

Mr. Durham was appointed by former Attorney General William P. Barr in 2019 to probe allegations of misconduct by the FBI and others in the early stages of the Russia-Trump probe.

Mr. Sussmann’s attorneys have argued that the charges against him are baseless and rooted in political prosecution. He is represented by Sean Berkowitz and Michael Bosworth of Los Angeles-based law firm Latham & Watkins LLP.

In a court filing, they said “the special counsel has brought a false statement charge on the basis of a purported oral statement made over five years ago for which there is only a single witness, Mr. Baker; for which there is no recording; and for which there are no contemporaneous notes by anyone who was actually in the meeting.”

Mr. Sussmann resigned last month from his law firm, Perkins Coie, which is a legal powerhouse with ties to the Democratic Party.
A status hearing for the case is scheduled for Dec. 8.

• Jeff Mordock contributed to this report.

• Emily Zantow can be reached at ezantow@washingtontimes.com.

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