Last modified on September 28, 2021, at 12:22

Michael Sussmann

Origins of Trump-Russia conspiracy hoax

Michael Sussmann is a former federal prosecutor and as of 2021 a partner at the law firm Perkins Coie.

Sussmann is responsible for retaining Crowdstrike to examine Democratic National Committee servers after the leak of DNC emails.

In September 2021, Sussmann was indicted by Special Counsel John Durham investigating the origins of the Trump-Russia fraudulent claims for lying to the FBI.[1] According to the New York Times, Sussmann lied to the FBI to hide the identity of the Clinton campaign as Sussmann's client while he pushed widely discredited claims about communications between Russia's Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization in the lead-up to the 2016 election. Sussmann is defended by Sean Berkowitz and Michael Bosworth.[2]

Trump-Russia fraud

Main article: Trump-Russia collusion hoax
James Baker and Michael Sussmann.

On April 5, 2016 Sussmann and James Baker (DOJ) attended the Global Privacy Summit.[3][4]

According to noted Trump-Russia researcher Technofog[5] Susssmann was indicted by Special Counsel John Durham in September 2021 for making false statements to FBI General Counsel James Baker. The indictment alleges Sussmann was paid by the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign to develop documents on an alleged Russia collusion computer link to Donald Trump and gave it to the FBI in final days of 2016 presidential election. When making the false statements, Sussmann denied he was working for any client.

This relates to the Baker/Sussmann meeting on September 16, 2016, in which Sussmann conveyed the false information put together by himself, Fusion GPS, and others - including one unnamed powerful tech executive - that there were improper contacts between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank. The allegation from the indictment:

“Sussman’s statement to the FBI General Counsel that he was not acting on behalf of any client was knowingly and intentionally false. In truth and in fact, and as SUSSMAN well knew, SUSSMANN acted on behalf of and in coordination with two specific clients of [Perkins Coie], Tech Executive-1 and the Clinton Campaign, in assembling and conveying these allegations.”

The indictment claims that Sussmann had “coordinated and communicated” about the Alfa-Bank allegations “during telephone calls and meetings” with an unidentified tech executive who had passed him the purported server data in the summer of 2016 and the Clinton campaign’s general counsel, Marc Elias — then a Perkins Coie partner.

Those calls and meetings, the document alleges, were billed by Sussmann to the Clinton campaign. The indictment also describes Sussmann’s public relations operation. Prior to the meeting with the FBI, Sussmann was providing details of the Trump/Alfa Bank allegations to reporters and updating the Clinton campaign of his work. After the meeting with the FBI, Sussmann was practically begging reporters to push the Trump/Alfa Bank story. All while he was billing the Clinton campaign.

Sussmann phoned CIA general counsel Caroline Krass while the agency was compiling its Intelligence Community Assessment and said he had information that may help. The review ended up including an annex with several unfounded and since-debunked allegations against Trump developed by the Clinton campaign.[6] After Sussmann conveyed the information to Krass, an Obama appointee, she told him she would consider it for the intelligence review of Russian interference, which tracks with Sussmann’s 2017 closed-door testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.[7] (Krass’ name is blacked out in the declassified transcript, but sources familiar with Sussmann's testimony confirmed that he identified her as his CIA contact.) Sussmann “stated falsely – as he previously had stated to the FBI general counsel – that he was ‘not representing a particular client,’ " according to Special Counsel John Durham's indictment, which cites a contemporaneous memo drafted by two agency officials with whom Sussmann met that memorializes their meeting. (The document refers to the CIA by the pseudonym “Agency-2.” Sources confirm Agency-2 is the CIA.)

The indictment also cites communications within the group that “researched” and helped create the Alfa Bank allegations. They wanted to please the “VIPs” (the Hillary Clinton campaign): “Tech Executive-1” (an executive at an internet company)- a client of Sussmann’s who helped obtain the data underlying the Alfa Bank claims - was “tentatively offered the top [cybersecurity] job by the Democrats when it looked like they’d win.”

There were discussions of “faking” sales forms on the companies’ websites to make them “to appear to communicate with each other.” They knew the Trump/Alfa Bank allegations were false and expressed concerns that they would have to “expose every trick we have in our bag.”

Baker is cooperating with Durham’s investigation, along with former FBI counterintelligence chief Bill Priestap, who has provided prosecutors contemporaneous notes about what led the bureau to open an investigation into the allegations Trump used Alfa Bank as a conduit between his campaign and Russian President Vladimir Putin to steal the election.

The indictment was returned just three days short of the expiration of the five-year statute of limitations.[8]


See also: Murder of Seth Rich

On April 28, 2016 DNC CEO Amy Dacy informed Sussmann of a data breach. Sussmann contacted Shawn Henry, CSO and President of Crowdstrike Services. The next day the DNC claimed to have been "tipped-off" that the hacking was by Russians.

CrowdStrike’s June 2016 claim of a Russian hack remains the sole source of evidence of the claim. The FBI, nor any other U.S. law enforcement of intelligence agency, ever verified the claim. Later, it was used to bolster the Trump-Russia collusion hoax.[9]

See also