Update on the Durham probe.
The judge presiding over the Sussmann indictment has ties to the lawyer.
They were “professional acquaintances” back in the 1990s.
His wife has ties to Lisa Page.
NEW: Judge Christopher Cooper is presiding over the Durham case against Michael Sussmann. Cooper said he was "professional acquaintances" with Sussmann at DOJ in 1990s, and Cooper's wife represents Lisa Page. No sign that Durham team will push for recusal.https://t.co/6vfu35IcML
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) September 22, 2021
The judge presiding over the case against Democratic lawyer Michael Sussmann said he was “professional acquaintances” at the Department of Justice with Sussmann in the 1990s, and the judge’s wife represents former FBI lawyer Lisa Page — issues special counsel John Durham’s team has not raised to push for recusal.
The grand jury indictment against Sussmann, a former DOJ veteran, centers on a September 2016 meeting between him and then-FBI General Counsel James Baker in which Sussmann passed along allegations claiming there was a secret backchannel between Russia’s Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization. While Durham says that Sussmann told Baker he was not working for any specific client, the special counsel contends Sussmann was secretly doing the bidding of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as well as working on behalf of a yet-unnamed technology company executive.
Page worked as a lawyer with Baker at the FBI and helped with the Crossfire Hurricane Trump-Russia investigation.
Judge Christopher Cooper, appointed to the federal bench by President Barack Obama following a unanimous Senate confirmation, was assigned the high-profile case. Cooper raised his relationship with Sussmann at the start of a Zoom call hearing on Wednesday, during which Sussmann made his first appearance at the district court following his “not guilty” plea last week.
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