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Former FBI lawyer Baker testifies in Sussmann trial over Trump-Russia probe

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Former FBI lawyer James Baker, a star witness for the prosecution in the trial of former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann, has taken the stand. Sussmann is accused of lying to Baker at a meeting back in September 2016, less than two months before that year’s presidential election.

At that meeting, Sussmann provided Baker with computer data Sussmann said showed a potential secret communications channel between a Russia-based bank and the Trump Organization, the company of then-candidate Donald Trump. Sussmann is accused of saying he was not presenting the computer data on behalf of a particular client. Prosecutors alleged Sussmann was not only representing the interests of the Clinton campaign and another client but also a technology executive who had provided him with the data.

Testifying Thursday, Baker said he was “100 percent confident” Sussmann told Baker he was not acting on behalf a particular client during the meeting.

“Michael’s a friend of mine and a colleague, and I believed it and I trusted that the statement was truthful,” Baker testified.
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. Baker said he was led to believe by Sussmann that the material suggestive of a digital backchannel had been compiled by serious and respected cybersecurity specialists.
The FBI assessed the data that Baker received and determined that there was no actual suspicious or secret contact between Russia and the Trump campaign.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Shannon Longworth: The star witness in the prosecution’s case against Hillary Clinton’s former campaign lawyer, Michael Sussman, testified today.
That witness is former FBI lawyer James Baker.
Sussman is accused of lying to the FBI and scheming to help Clinton get elected in 2016.
Today — Baker said he was “100 percent certain” that Sussman told him he was not acting on behalf of a particular candidate when he presented the information.

Prosecutors allege Sussmann was not forthcoming about his Clinton ties because he assumed the FBI would consider the information less credible.

Clinton and her campaign have not been accused of breaking any laws.

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Former FBI lawyer James Baker, a star witness for the prosecution in the trial of former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann, has taken the stand. Sussmann is accused of lying to Baker at a meeting back in September 2016, less than two months before that year’s presidential election.

At that meeting, Sussmann provided Baker with computer data Sussmann said showed a potential secret communications channel between a Russia-based bank and the Trump Organization, the company of then-candidate Donald Trump. Sussmann is accused of saying he was not presenting the computer data on behalf of a particular client. Prosecutors alleged Sussmann was not only representing the interests of the Clinton campaign and another client but also a technology executive who had provided him with the data.

Testifying Thursday, Baker said he was “100 percent confident” Sussmann told Baker he was not acting on behalf a particular client during the meeting.

“Michael’s a friend of mine and a colleague, and I believed it and I trusted that the statement was truthful,” Baker testified.
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. Baker said he was led to believe by Sussmann that the material suggestive of a digital backchannel had been compiled by serious and respected cybersecurity specialists.
The FBI assessed the data that Baker received and determined that there was no actual suspicious or secret contact between Russia and the Trump campaign.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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