Hillary Clinton APPROVED sharing debunked ‘covert’ communications between Trump and Kremlin-backed bank with press
Hillary Clinton’s former campaign manager Robby Mook told a court on Friday that she signed off on sharing debunked allegations linking Donald Trump and the Kremlin-backed Alfa Bank with the media in the run-up to the 2016 election.
Mook told the trial of Michael Sussman, the first to be indicted by Special Counsel John Durham in his Russia origins probe, that he was first briefed about Alfa Bank by campaign general counsel Marc Elias.
He said he also discussed it with then senior adviser Jake Sullivan – now the White House National Security Adviser- and campaign chairman John Podesta about whether to share the information with a reporter.
‘I discussed it with Hillary as well,’ Mook told the court.
He also admitted the campaign wasn’t ‘totally confident in the legitimacy of the data’, but was hoping a reporter would follow it up and determine if it was ‘accurate’ or ‘substantive.’
‘I don’t remember the substance of the conversation, but notionally, the discussion was, hey, we have this and we want to share it with a reporter,’ Mook said.
They decided to share it with the reporter after the meeting, he testified.
‘I recall it being a member of our press staff,’ Mook said. ‘We authorized a staff member to share it with the media.’
The court was also shown the infamous October 31, 2016, message from Hillary saying: ‘Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.’
She included a statement from Sullivan titled ‘exposing Trump’s Secret Line of Communication to Russia’.
Sussman is accused of lying to the FBI about the fact that he was representing Clinton’s 2016 campaign interests and that of another client – although the campaign says it never authorized Sussman´s actions.
James Baker was the FBI’s general counsel in September 2016 when Sussmann scheduled a meeting to provide him with computer data that Sussmann said showed a potential secret communications channel between Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization.
Sussmann is accused of lying to Baker during that meeting by saying he was not presenting the computer data on behalf of a particular client.
Prosecutors allege Sussmann was not forthcoming about his Clinton ties because he assumed the FBI would consider the information less credible if it thought it was being presented with a partisan intent.
The Sussmann prosecution was brought by John Durham, the prosecutor appointed as special counsel during the Trump administration to investigate potential government wrongdoing during the early days of the investigation into Russian election interference and potential ties with the Trump campaign.
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