“Former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann wants to make sure the jurors at his upcoming trial in heavily Democratic Washington, DC, know he was working against former President Donald Trump — even before they hear any evidence in the case.
In court papers filed ahead of jury selection set for Monday, Sussmann’s lawyers asked federal Judge Christopher Cooper to include an explicit reference to Trump in his preliminary instructions for the trial.
Sussmann’s lawyers also asked Cooper to refer to special counsel John Durham’s prosecutors as “the special counsel” instead of “the government,” which is the preference of Durham, who was appointed by then-Attorney General Bill Barr in October 2020.
In 2016, DC voters favored Clinton over Trump, 90.9% to 4.1%, and Democrats in the nation’s capital now outnumber Republicans, 76.5% to 5.4%, according to an April 30 tally posted online by the DC Board of Elections.
Tom Fitton of the conservative group Judicial Watch said Sussmann’s requests amounted to an attempt to tilt the playing field against Durham.
“The goal of the defense suggests this is a political operation,” he said Tuesday.
(…) In court papers filed late Monday, defense lawyers asked Cooper to summarize Sussmann’s indictment instead of reading it verbatim to the jury before opening statements.
They also requested that the judge note that Sussmann is accused of “conveying particular allegations concerning Donald Trump” when he describes the alleged crime at issue. (Read more: New York Post, 5/10/2022) (Archive)