Networks Ignore MASSIVE Durham Trial Bombshell on Fake Trump-Russia Collusion

News & Politics

The trial of former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann took a shocking turn Friday when Clinton 2016 campaign manager Robby Mook revealed on the stand that Hillary Clinton herself greenlighted the leaking to a reporter of what they insisted was the possibility of ties between the Trump Organization and the Kremlin-friendly Alfa Bank.

And, as has been the case with the Sussmann case (and most of Durham’s probe), the broadcast network evening newscasts of ABC, CBS, and NBC completely ignored it.

The Fox News Channel’s Special Report provided extensive coverage to the tune of 10 minutes and 49 seconds over its hour-long runtime, including a two-minute-and-54-second news report from correspondent David Spunt. 

Anchor Bret Baier teased the story at the top of the show before later explaining that Mook “[told] a federal court today that [Clinton] gave authorization to her campaign team to share with the media what turned out to be shoddy allegations linking candidate Trump’s businesses to a Russian bank despite campaign officials not being, ‘totally confident’ in the story’s legitimacy.”

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Correspondent David Spunt said “both sides looked surprised when former Clinton campaign manager Robbie Mook casually told jurors” that she “gave her blessing to tip off a reporter to the now-debunked Trump-Russia bank story even though the campaign was not 100 percent sold on the facts of this story.”

Spunt continued, explaining how it links to Sussmann’s case in which he’s alleged to have lied to the FBI in 2016 when sharing claims of Trump-Russia ties (click “expand”):

Mook telling jurors: “I discussed it with Hillary as well. I don’t remember the substance of the conversations, but notionally, the discussion was, ‘hey we have this, and we want to share it with a reporter.’ She agreed.” Michael Sussmann is charged with lying to the FBI when claiming he had evidence of a secret communications back channel between the Trump Organization and a Russian bank with ties to the Kremlin. Sussmann, a former Clinton campaign attorney, claims he was delivering the information on his owns as a concerned citizen, not on behalf of any clients, including the Clinton campaign. But, Bret, as we’ve been saying, special counsel John Durham says his team has evidence showing that Sussmann later billed the Clinton campaign for that private FBI meeting. 

The FBI found no such a connection between a Russian bank and the Trump Organization. Mook told jurors today that he would never have authorized Sussmann to go to the FBI with any information. Mook said point blank of the FBI: “We did not trust them” and it was up to the media to essentially vet the story. Clinton tweeted few days before the 2016 election on Halloween: “Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.” 

Making matters worse for Democrats, the testimony implicated now-Biden National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, who wrote that “[t]his secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump’s ties to Russia.”

Things weren’t all positive for the prosecution as Spunt closed in part by saying “former FBI general counsel James Baker finished his third day on the stand” and “said different things to different people on the record about if Sussmann was representing a client when he came forward and that may be an uphill battle for Special Counsel John Durham’s team.”

Fox News legal analyst and George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley weighed in after Spunt’s report, telling Baier that it was ironic Mook “drop[ped] the name of names” even though the judge in the case had “really shut” Durham’s team “down and limited the evidence, limited the scope of” their “questions” to Sussmann (as opposed to Clinton).

Turley also highlighted the fact that this revelation never came up during the Mueller investigation (click “expand”):

[T]he Clintons have really been able to avoid direct responsibility in a series of scandals. And here was campaign manager effectively dropping the dime on his former boss and saying look, she approved it. She knew about it. Now, the reason that’s important is that this claim was utterly ridiculous. It didn’t have a basis. It was quickly rejected by people in the government and it was without any foundation when people looked at it. But, the Clinton campaign pushed it anyway. This Alfa Bank story was pushed by Jake Sullivan — now the national security adviser — and by Clinton herself. But the thing to keep in mind is that President Obama was briefed when he was President that Hillary Clinton was planning to make a Russian collusion claim against Donald Trump to try to get out of her own e-mail issues during the campaign and we now have someone saying yeah, she greenlighted the Alfa Bank claims, which were completely without foundation. 

(….)

[I]t’s very damning. I mean, the evidence against Sussmann is considerable that he intentionally lied about his representation of the Clinton campaign and pushing this claim. There’s a legitimate objection here to the Mueller investigation. We have seen a lot of information uncovered by John Durham that was not revealed. We had heard that Durham was not happy with the Mueller investigation. And actually was not happy with parts of the inspector general investigation because of their omission of criminal facts. And we’re now beginning to see why….[P]eople have got to keep in mind that Marc Elias, who was the general counsel of the campaign, was accused by at least one reporter of denying the campaign was behind the Steele dossier. But there is also this pattern in which the Clinton campaign pushed the Steele dossier, pushed the Alfa Bank claim to the media and to the FBI while they were also hiding their role in funding and pushing these claims and then when you combine them with the fact that they were found to be really groundless, you have an amazing disinformation campaign that may have been the most successful in U.S. history.

Later in the show during the “All-Star Panel” block, former Free Beacon editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti said Mook’s testimony harkens back to “the Watergate hearings when Nixon aide Alexander Butterfield revealed the existence of the taping system and it kind of shocked the world.”

Continetti predicted that, going forward, this will only further amplify a focus on Clinton “in any congressional investigations…that may start next year when the Republicans take over the House.”

Seeing as how she’ll never be asked about on one of the liberal networks, USA Today’s Susan Page had to comment and, of course, offered nothing of substance other than to argue we could still be talking about Trump and Russia for 50 years like we have with Watergate.

Instead of covering the trial, ABC’s World News Tonight touted a local news story out of New York City of rescued window washers.

To see the relevant FNC transcript from May 20, click “expand.”

FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier
May 20, 2022
6:00 p.m. Eastern

BRET BAIER: Plus, bombshell testimony in the trial against former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann. We’ll get to that in a moment.

(….)

6:06 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Surprise Testimony; Clinton Approved Now-Debunked Trump-Russia Link Claim]

BAIER: Another breaking story that we told you about at the top of the show: Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager telling a federal court today that then-Democratic presidential nominee gave authorization to her campaign team to share with the media what turned out to be shoddy allegations linking candidate Trump’s businesses to a Russian bank despite campaign officials not being, “totally confident” in the story’s legitimacy. Correspondent David Spunt has been following this case from the beginning. He joins us now in Washington. Good evening, David. 

DAVID SPUNT: Bret, good evening to you. Attorneys on both sides looked surprised when former Clinton campaign manager Robbie Mook casually told jurors today that his boss, Hillary Clinton, gave her blessing to tip off a reporter to the now-debunked Trump-Russia bank story even though the campaign was not 100 percent sold on the facts of this story. Mook telling jurors: “I discussed it with Hillary as well. I don’t remember the substance of the conversations, but notionally, the discussion was, ‘hey we have this, and we want to share it with a reporter.’ She agreed.” Michael Sussmann is charged with lying to the FBI when claiming he had evidence of a secret communications back channel between the Trump Organization and a Russian bank with ties to the Kremlin. Sussmann, a former Clinton campaign attorney, claims he was delivering the information on his owns as a concerned citizen, not on behalf of any clients, including the Clinton campaign. But, Bret, as we’ve been saying, special counsel John Durham says his team has evidence showing that Sussmann later billed the Clinton campaign for that private FBI meeting. 

The FBI found no such a connection between a Russian bank and the Trump Organization. Mook told jurors today that he would never have authorized Sussmann to go to the FBI with any information. Mook said point blank of the FBI: “We did not trust them” and it was up to the media to essentially vet the story. Clinton tweeted few days before the 2016 election on Halloween: “Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.” Then-Clinton aide, now current White House National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan said in a statement that same day: “This secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump’s ties to Russia.”

Now, Bret, before Mook testified, former FBI general counsel James Baker finished his third day on the stand. The key prosecution witness has said different things to different people on the record about if Sussmann was representing a client when he came forward and that may be an uphill battle for Special Counsel John Durham’s team and, Bret, wrapping it up late this afternoon, it was revealed Sussmann met with the CIA in February 2017. That’s after the election to continue pushing that Russia bank story the trial will continue on Monday and we will be there, Bret? 

BAIER: Okay, David, thank you. Let’s bring in George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley. Jonathan, thanks for being here tonight. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Trump-Russia Origins Probe; Sussmann Criminally Charged With Lying to FBI]

JONATHAN TURLEY: Bret, Thank you. 

BAIER: I want to get your thoughts on this case. You know, there may not be a lot of people other places that are following it. We’re following it very closely and have really from the beginning. But today, this testimony was — was pretty interesting. And, it goes to the bigger picture, I think, that John Durham is trying to set here about the narrative of what was happening inside the Clinton campaign, including Hillary Clinton herself. 

TURLEY: Yeah. What was particularly interesting, is Durham has wanted to have a broader scope for this trial to bring in more information about the campaign And the — Judge Cooper in this case has really shut him down and limited the evidence, limited the scope of his questions. And then all of a sudden, Mook drops the name of names. I mean, Hillary Clinton has always had a sort of Voldemort status of She Who Must Not Be Named in a scandal. I mean, they — the Clintons have really been able to avoid direct responsibility in a series of scandals. And here was campaign manager effectively dropping the dime on his former boss and saying look, she approved it. She knew about it. Now, the reason that’s important is that this claim was utterly ridiculous. It didn’t have a basis. It was quickly rejected by people in the government and it was without any foundation when people looked at it. But, the Clinton campaign pushed it anyway. This Alfa Bank story was pushed by Jake Sullivan — now the national security adviser — and by Clinton herself. But the thing to keep in mind is that President Obama was briefed when he was President that Hillary Clinton was planning to make a Russian collusion claim against Donald Trump to try to get out of her own e-mail issues during the campaign and we now have someone saying yeah, she greenlighted the Alfa Bank claims, which were completely without foundation. 

BAIER: Well, here is Mark Penn, a former Clinton adviser about this revelation today in court. Take a listen. 

MARK PENN: This is a remarkable revelation that the Clinton campaign itself was distributing the story, getting it from Marc Elias and that entire chain had been carefully hidden throughout the election period. I mean, it’s too late to have any political or I suspect legal consequences, but it is — it is remarkable. It is incredible. It ties it directly to Hillary herself. One wonders what the Mueller investigation was doing that they didn’t discover any of this at the time and it took Durham and a witness for the defense, I might add, to — to bring out this remarkable revelation.

BAIER: What about the last part of that sound bite about Mueller? Why does in not come out in a year of investigation? Why doesn’t all of this come out into the light, number one? Number two, by Mook testifying when he did, the judge has now let that Clinton tweet that he was going to exclude into the trial. And the jury has seen that tweet. 

TURLEY: Yeah. And it’s very damning. I mean, the evidence against Sussmann is considerable that he intentionally lied about his representation of the Clinton campaign and pushing this claim. There’s a legitimate objection here to the Mueller investigation. We have seen a lot of information uncovered by John Durham that was not revealed. We had heard that Durham was not happy with the Mueller investigation. And actually was not happy with parts of the inspector general investigation because of their omission of criminal facts. And we’re now beginning to see why. And so, this is really sort of — sort of elevating this — this scandal significantly. You know, people have got to keep in mind that Marc Elias, who was the general counsel of the campaign, was accused by at least one reporter of denying the campaign was behind the Steele dossier. But there is also this pattern in which the Clinton campaign pushed the Steele dossier, pushed the Alfa Bank claim to the media and to the FBI while they were also hiding their role in funding and pushing these claims and then when you combine them with the fact that they were found to be really groundless, you have an amazing disinformation campaign that may have been the most successful in U.S. history.

BAIER: I only have 10 seconds here but a lot of people will say, “okay, okay. We thought this. It’s coming to light. But what happens now?”

TURLEY: That’s a good question. I mean, the Clintons are really quite adept at avoiding direct responsibility on some of these scandals and I expect that will be the case here with the exception of false statements made to federal investigators. There is not a lot that could be brought for charges against a wider array of individuals. That’s why the special counsel investigation is so important if he can produce a report that finally sheds light on how this extraordinary campaign unfolded through the Clinton campaign. 

BAIER: Okay. Jonathan, as always. Thank you.

(….)

6:53 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Trump-Russia Collusion? Hillary Clinton Approved Sharing Claims With Press]

BAIER: Meantime, the John Durham investigation now the Michael Sussmann case in trial although after today, is it going to be called the Hillary Clinton case? because, take a listen. 

DEVIN NUNES [on FNC’s The Story, 05/20/22]: Durham’s issue here is not going to be that he doesn’t have evidence. His issue is going to clearly be that 95 percent of the people in Washington, D.C. didn’t vote for Donald Trump and then you have jurors who definitely supported Hillary Clinton. 

ANDY MCCARTHY [on FNC’s America Reports, 05/20/22]: What the judge was basically telling Durham’s prosecutors is, you know, look, this is the Michael sussmann false statements trial. You’re not turning it into the Hillary Clinton trial. And, yet, it seems like that’s exactly what the defense did today. 

ROBERT CHARLES [on FNC’s Fox & Friends First, 05/20/22]: If you start to pull a thread out of the sweater — [SCREEN WIPE] — that sweater is going to come apart ultimately. [SCREEN WIPE] This is the thread that is pulling at the entire Clinton campaign. 

BAIER: And Matthew, this is how CNN writes it again, this is CNN writing it: “Hillary Clinton personally approved plan to share trump-Russia allegation with the press in 2016….Campaign manager says the trial has shed light on the dark arrests of political opposition research and how campaigns dig up dirt and plant stories in the press.” Implications? 

MATTHEW CONTINETTI: I’m a reminder at the moment during the Watergate hearings when Nixon aide Alexander Butterfield revealed the existence of the taping system and it kind of shocked the world. Here, Robby Mook is saying, yep, Hillary Clinton gave the order. She ordered the code red. And even though I think it’s right that the legal experts are going to focus and the trial will focus on what Sussmann said, I think what Hillary’s role will be a major factor in any congressional investigations, Bret, that may start next year when the Republicans take over the house. 

BAIER: But Susan, to Jonathan Turley’s point, I mean, what are we looking at here? This is really a case about Michael Sussmann lying to the FBI. But does it get to a John Durham narrative that lays all of this out?

SUSAN PAGE: You know, Matt just mentioned Watergate and I’m thinking it’s been 50 years since Watergate — since the Watergate scandal. And we are still trying to figure out some of the implications, some of the motivations, what really happened, who did what. Do you think 50 years from now we will still be talking about what happened with Russia and efforts to make Russia — what Russia actually did in the 2016 election and what allegations that the Trump people have — have denied and — and debunked in some cases? Maybe so. 

BAIER: Yeah. I don’t know. I do know that, Juan, there is not a lot of places that are covering it — this trial because they have to explain it and they haven’t explained it from the beginning.

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3 Comments

    1. The very soul the fate of the nation wil be determined in the next election. If enough communists/ socialists disguised as democrats aren’t thrown out of office the country will probably plunge face first into another civil war!

  1. How many people in the Democrat Party are you not connected to lies subversion and this ridiculous Russia Trump collusion delusion?

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