The Democratic Party-allied lawyer charged with lying to advance the FBI‘s Trump-Russia collusion probe has resigned from his law firm, the firm said Friday.
Perkins Coie law firm announced the resignation of Michael Sussmann, who is facing criminal charges arising from Justice Department special counsel John Durham‘s probe.
“Michael Sussmann, who has been on leave from the firm, offered his resignation from the firm in order to focus on his legal defense, and the firm accepted it,” the firm said in a statement.
The resignation was effective Thursday night.
The firm, a legal powerhouse with ties to the Democratic Party, said it would not be commenting further.
A federal grand jury indicted Mr. Sussmann on Thursday for hiding his work for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign when told the FBI he had evidence of secret communications between the Trump Organization and Russia‘s Alfa Bank.
Prosecutors said Mr. Sussmann told FBI General Counsel James Baker that he was not representing a client during the meeting. But in actuality, they alleged, he was there on behalf of Mrs. Clinton’s campaigns.
The FBI concluded there was no evidence that the Trump Organization was conducting secret talks with Alfa Bank and special counsel Robert Mueller did not mention it in his massive report on his investigation of Trump-Russia collusion.
Mr. Durham, who is investigating the origins of the FBI probe, reportedly acquired Perkins Coie‘s billing records and found that Mr. Sussmann charged the time he spent on the Alfa Bank allegations to the Clinton campaign.
Lawyers for Mr. Sussmann said he met with the FBI on behalf of a cyber security expert, not the Clinton campaign. They slammed the charges against him as a political prosecution.
“Michael Sussmann was indicted today because of politics, not facts,” they said in a statement. “The Special Counsel appears to be using this indictment to advance a conspiracy theory he has chosen not to actually charge.”
“This case represents the opposite of everything the Department of Justice is supposed to stand for. Mr. Sussmann will fight this baseless and politically-inspired prosecution,” the statement continued.
Mr. Durham was appointed in May 2019 by former Attorney General William P. Barr to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by the FBI and others in launching the Russia collusion probe.