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As we reported earlier, Michael Sussmann was found not guilty of lying to the FBI, despite the evidence that he was working for the Clinton campaign and that he told FBI General Counsel James Baker that he was not working for any client.
That raised questions as to how, given the evidence, you get a not guilty verdict in this case? Now, part of the issue may have been judicial rulings that hindered Special Counsel John Durham’s case to some degree, as I noted. The other part may have been you likely started out with an unfavorable jury, to begin with, in D.C., but then, in this case, you also seemed to have a problem with the jury — with donors to Hillary Clinton and even one who had a child who played on a sports team with Sussmann’s daughter.
After the verdict, the jury forewoman, who declined to give her name, spoke to the media. She said charges should never have been filed against Mr. Sussmann in the first place. “I don’t think it should have been prosecuted,” she said of the case. “There are bigger things that affect the nation than a possible lie to the FBI.”
“It was the government’s job to prove it and they succeeded in some ways and not in others,” she continued. “We broke it down and it did not pan out in the government’s favor.”
She declined to say in which ways she thought the government succeeded and that those who would complain about the result weren’t in the jury room.
“Politics was not a factor,” she insisted.
That’s a problem — that means that she/they may have been replacing her/their own judgment about whether it should have been prosecuted at all, instead of weighing what she should have been weighing — whether or not they could find that he lied to the FBI beyond a reasonable doubt.
As George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley observed in a Twitter thread, “Telling a lie to the FBI was the entire basis for the prosecution. It was the jury’s job to determine the fact of such a lie and its materiality.” Turley allowed, “[T]his statement can be a simple criticism of the underlying charge without admitting to bias in weighing the elements. Yet, it would have prompted a challenge in the courtroom if expressed during jury selection.”
Turley had previously noted the problem with the jury.
Some blasted it as jury nullification.
That’s ultimately a big question here. Nobody can ignore that the big takeaway is that the Clinton team was behind promoting Russia collusion that damaged so much in the country–and a lot more is coming. You can present all the evidence you want, and there was plenty of evidence here. But are we going to be ever be able to hold them to account in D.C., if you have comments like this?