An FBI agent said Tuesday that it took him and another agent “less than a day” to determine that the allegation that former President Donald Trump had ties to a Russian financial institution was false and pushed by Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussman.
FBI Supervisory Special Agent Scott Hellman said “it took him and another agent less than a day to ascertain the data and ‘white papers’ on two thumb drives Sussmann gave Baker did not support the Trump-Alfa Bank ‘secret connection’ allegation.” Hellman took the stand on the first day of Sussman’s trial for allegedly lying to the FBI.
Sussman is on trial for telling FBI General Counsel James Baker months before the 2016 election that he wasn’t working for “any client” when he presented him with “white papers” and purported data that were supposed to show Trump had a “covert communications channel” with Russian-tied financial institution Alfa Bank. The indictment against him states he was working for the Clinton campaign and Tech Executive-1, not independently.
John Durham, the special counsel appointed by the Trump administration to review the Russia investigation, asked for Sussman to be indicted for the falsehood in September of 2021.
Hellman examined the “white papers” and thumb drives for possible hacking before putting them through a “technical review” and cross-referencing them, Haughey said.
Hellman concluded that the data showed there was no “secret connection” between Trump and Alfa Bank and “whoever had written that paper had just come to conclusions not supported by the technical data,” according to Haughey.
The FBI general counsel also said “the methodology they chose was questionable” and “it just didn’t make sense to us. Why would a presidential candidate put their own name on a supposedly secret domain name?” Haughey said.
Trump has sued Clinton and Sussman, among other Democrats, for “malicious” allegations that his 2016 campaign colluded with Russia. He is seeking $24 million in damages.
“Seeking to thwart Trump’s campaign and to diminish the likelihood of him winning the election, the Clinton Campaign and the DNC devised a nefarious scheme to discredit, delegitimize and defame him by proliferating a false narrative that Donald J. Trump and his campaign were actively colluding with Russia to interfere in the 2016 Presidential Election,” the lawsuit states.