Hillary Clinton Personally Signed Off on Sharing Trump-Russia Alfa Bank Smear With Media, ex-Campaign Manager Testifies By Debra Heine for American Greatness
Hillary Clinton personally approved the dissemination of now debunked opposition research linking Donald Trump and a Kremlin-backed Bank in the run-up to the 2016 election, former Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook testified in court Friday.
The trial of former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann—the first to be indicted by Special Counsel John Durham in his years long probe into the origins of the Trump-Russia hoax—began on May 16.
Sussmann has been charged with making a false statement to the FBI when he told FBI General Counsel James Baker in September 2016 that he was not doing work “for any client” when he requested and attended a meeting in which he presented “purported data and ‘white papers’ that allegedly demonstrated a covert communicates channel” between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank.
Mook, who was called to the stand by Michael Sussmann’s defense, testified that he was first briefed about the Alfa Bank by campaign general counsel Marc Elias. He said campaign officials were not “totally confident” in the legitimacy of the material, but were hoping the media could verify it.
During cross-examination by government prosecutor Andrew DeFillippis Friday, Mook was asked about the campaign’s understanding of the Alfa Bank allegations against Trump and whether they planned to release the data to the media.
Mook said he was first briefed about the Alfa Bank issue by campaign general counsel Marc Elias, who at the time was a partner at lawfirm Perkins Coie.
Mook testified that he was told that the data had come from “people that had expertise in this sort of matter.”
Mook said the campaign was not totally confident in the legitimacy of the data, but had hoped to give the information to a reporter who could further “run it down” to determine if it was “accurate” or “substantive.”
On Thursday, Baker testified that the FBI investigated the material alleging a Trump connection to Alfa Bank, and found that “there was nothing there.”
Mook said he discussed with several senior campaign officials whether to give the information to a reporter, “including campaign chairman John Podesta, senior policy advisor, now White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, and communications director Jennifer Palmieri.”
‘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.