(…) Notes (produced by Durham) taken by Assistant FBI Director Bill Priestap and former FBI Deputy General Counsel Trisha Anderson – taken in their conversation with Baker after his Sussmann meeting – help corroborate Baker’s recollection of Sussmann’s lies:
In this filing, Sussmann seeks to preclude the use of these notes, arguing they are hearsay not subject to an exception. (It also confirms that Priestap has testified before a grand jury – something we posited back in January.) Durham disagrees and argues they are admissible, and Durham likely wins this dispute.
Sussmann also asks the Court to order the Special Counsel to give Rodney Joffe immunity for his testimony – or have the case dismissed.
Of course, Joffe (Tech Executive-1 in the Sussmann indictment) is the Sussmann client who helped lead the effort to manufacture the Alfa Bank/Trump hoax. Sussmann maintains that Joffe would “offer critical exculpatory testimony on behalf of Mr. Sussmann” – but cannot because Durham is “manufacturing incredible claims of continuing criminal liability for Mr. Joffe that are forcing Mr. Joffe to assert his Fifth Amendment right.”
That’s a long way of saying that Joffe faces real (and perhaps imminent) criminal exposure. Let’s talk about that for a moment. The bad news for Joffe is good reading for us.
The April 1, 2022 letter from Joffe’s attorney to Sussmann’s attorney. In this letter (available here – with my highlights), Joffe’s counsel confirmed that Joffe “remains a subject” of the Special Counsel’s investigation. According to Andrew DeFilippis (from the Office of the Special Counsel), Joffe’s “status in the investigation was sufficient to establish a good faith basis to invoke the privilege against self-incrimination.”
To this statement, Joffe’s attorney responded that the statute of limitations had run since the events described in the Sussmann indictment. The Special Counsel disagreed, stating that “certain fraud statutes have longer than a five-year limitations period,” and the Russian Yota phone-related allegations (given to the CIA in February 2017) “percolated through various branches of the government and around the private sector after that date, in various forms.”
Sussmann’s attorney argues that Joffe would provide favorable testimony, including:
- Sussmann and Joffe agreed that the information should be conveyed to the FBI and the CIA to help the government.
- The information was conveyed to the FBI to provide a heads-up that newspaper outlets were going to publish a story about links between Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization.
- The researchers and Mr. Joffe himself held a good faith belief in the analysis that was shared with the FBI, and Mr. Sussmann accordingly and reasonably believed the data and analysis were accurate.