During the 2016 Presidential election, a story started to circulate in D.C. that then-candidate Donald Trump was working alongside the Russian government to try and steal the election from Hillary Clinton and the American people. While that story captivated the mainstream media and outlets like CNN stoked the unfounded claims, it wasn’t known till later that the person behind the accusations was Michael Sussmann, who was a Democratic cybersecurity lawyer. One of his clients was none other than Hillary Clinton. As the allegations against Trump have been revealed to be nothing more than disinformation, Former U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman admitted that special counsel John Durham, who investigated the matter, might not have expected the story to explode as it did and for Sussmann to now be facing trial. 

On Monday, the trial of Sussmann begins, and determining the outcome, could be the first domino to fall in a much larger criminal case. Still, Tolman, as can be seen below, said, “He’s facing up to five years in federal prison, and when you decide to go to trial, you also lose all of the benefits that the federal code has to offer for someone that’s cooperating with the government. I’m not sure Durham expected that this would go to trial. I think his plan was to charge Sussmann, be able to use this case, and hopefully have him cooperate to give him the broader and bigger picture of the conspiracy that involved perhaps even Hillary Clinton and her campaign.”

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As for the efforts from Durham, Tolman noted that there was enough evidence to convict Sussmann but added that a plea deal might be made. “He’s been able to pierce the attorney-client privilege, and he’s been able to see documents and emails and things that I think are helping him put together that larger picture. But once the conviction occurs — and he does have enough evidence. He has enough evidence to make this conviction, but assuming the conviction occurs, at that point, Sussmann will have a large incentive to help and cooperate in order to lower his sentence before the judge.”

While Durham might have enough evidence, Tolman explained the prosecution was lacking when it comes to witnesses. “I think he does have a lot of documented evidence that I think can support it. But what he’s lacking are individuals coming forward that will resonate with the grand jury and with the jury when he tries a larger conspiracy case. And that’s what he needs. He needs individuals that were part of the conspiracy to cooperate.”

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Users online shared their thoughts, writing, “We all know Hillary is guilty.”

Another person concluded, “People are afraid to cooperate. They all know they will commit “suicide” if they do.’

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