The ongoing trial of former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann for lying to the FBI revealed on Friday that Clinton approved a plan during her failed 2016 run to promote a fake narrative about collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian interests.
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook took the stand to testify and admitted that Clinton approved the scheme to send information to journalists about the phony story of links between Donald Trump and Alfa Bank in Russia.
The plot successfully prompted a news outlet to publish reports of alleged secret negotiations between Trump and the Russian bankers. The concocted “opposition research” eventually led to a federal investigation and a finding by the FBI that there were no links between Trump and any Russians.
The Mook testimony is the first public confirmation that Clinton was personally involved in handing the Russian story to journalists as a campaign tactic. He said that several leaders of the campaign were not “totally confident” of the allegations and wanted to have journalists “investigate them further.”
As a result, Mook said he discussed the plan directly with Clinton, who gave her approval to proceed.
The leftist media outlet Slate published a report on October 31, 2016, that claimed a team of anonymous computer researchers discovered secret communications between Trump’s real estate operation and Alfa Bank.
The Slate report failed to include the fact that the computer researchers were actively collaborating with Sussmann and other high-level members of the Clinton campaign.
Mook was asked at trial to read from a statement posted by Hillary Clinton citing the Slate story as anti-Trump election material. The statement said that “computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.”
The post linked a statement by Jake Sullivan that said the material “could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow.” Sullivan was a top advisor to the Clinton campaign and now acts as National Security Advisor to Joe Biden.
The charges against Sussmann involve his allegedly lying to FBI general counsel James Baker during a September 19, 2016, meeting asked for by Sussmann. Text messages shown at the trial indicate that Sussmann told Baker he wanted to have the meeting in his personal capacity and not on behalf of any client.
Billing records and other evidence show that Sussmann was in reality acting on behalf of Clinton when he led the FBI into investigating the fake Trump-Russia story.