According to reports, special counsel John Durham landed two pivotal wins on May 4th in the lead-up to the trial against former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann, with the judge in the case ordering a key witness to testify in the trial and agreeing to review documents that the defense is trying to conceal via claims of attorney-client privilege.
Back in April, we at Red Voice Media reported on Durham filing a response over the defense attempting to invoke attorney-client privilege regarding communications involving Fusion GPS.
Contained within Durham’s April 25th filing responding to the motion to suppress, he claimed, “none of the arguments or facts contained in these parties’ filings and accompanying affidavits undermine the Government’s limited request that the Court review 38 relevant documents in camera to determine if they are being properly withheld from the Government’s trial evidence based on the attorney-client privilege and attorney work product protections.”
The case against Sussmann stems from a September 2016 meeting he had with an FBI agent where he allegedly lied about not representing any clients whilst handing over some unsubstantiated Trump allegations during this meeting.
Durham’s April filing cleverly pointed out that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and Fusion GPS shouldn’t even be trying to claim attorney-client privilege, as the “purported privilege holders who have intervened do so in a case in which the defendant has denied representing any client when he brought the Russian Bank-1 allegations to the FBI.”
Obviously, these and other points raised in Durham’s April filing resonated with U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper, as the judge approved Durham’s request to review 38 of the documents that prosecutors are hoping to use in Sussmann’s trial later in May.
On top of the momentum gained with the documents, Judge Cooper also reported unsealed his order to compel Fusion GPS computer researcher Laura Seago to testify in the upcoming trial, in exchange for limited immunity.
Seago’s attorneys reportedly informed prosecutors that their client planned to “invoke her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination absent a court order of immunity compelling her to testify at trial,” which it appears that such immunity is being granted.
In Judge Cooper’s ruling regarding Seago’s compelled testimony, he wrote that, “no testimony or other information compelled under this Order (or any information directly or indirectly derived from such testimony or other information) may be used against Laura Seago in any criminal case, except a prosecution for perjury, giving a false statement, or otherwise failing to comply with this Order.”
It’s unclear what sort of testimony Seago is going to bring to the table during the Sussmann trial, but whatever it may be, it was enough for Durham to argue that it is “necessary to the public interest.” Fusion GPS nor Seago’s attorney have publicly commented on the recent developments in the Sussmann case.