A jury was picked Monday in the trial of a lawyer who worked with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and is accused of lying to the FBI as it investigated potential ties between Donald Trump and Russia in 2016.
Jurors in the politically charged federal trial of Michael Sussmann were asked questions that included whether they voted in the 2016 election or volunteered for any presidential campaigns and whether they’ve “read or heard anything” about Clinton, Trump or other people or entities that will figure in the case, including the FBI and the CIA.
Opening statements are scheduled to begin Tuesday, and the trial is expected to last two weeks.
Sussmann, a cybersecurity lawyer who represented the Clinton campaign in 2016, is charged with making a false statement to the U.S. government.
In the indictment, special counsel John Durham alleges that Sussmann misled then-FBI general counsel James Baker at a Sept. 19, 2016, meeting at which Sussmann was passing on information about allegations of secret communications between Russia and the Trump campaign.
“During the meeting, Sussmann lied about the capacity in which he was providing the allegations to the FBI. Specifically, Sussmann stated falsely that he was not doing his work on the aforementioned allegations ‘for any client,’” the indictment says, when, in reality, “Sussmann acted on behalf of specific clients, namely a U.S. Technology Industry Executive, a U.S. Internet Company and the Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign.”
The FBI later determined that Sussmann’s concerns — that obscure internet data showing the possibility of a secret communications channel between computer servers associated with the Trump Organization and Russia’s largest commercial financial institution, Alfa Bank — were unfounded.
Prosecutors said the alleged lie was important because it misled the FBI “about the political nature of his work