A document revealed during the trial of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann on Monday showed that the leadership of the Federal Bureau of Investigation lied to its field agents about the source of debunked claims that former President Donald Trump’s campaign was communicating with the Russian Alfa Bank, wrongly saying it was referred to the agency by the Department of Justice, instead of coming directly from Sussmann, the New York Post reported Monday.
“In that referral, the DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE provided the FBI with a white paper that was produced by an anonymous third party,” an internal FBI communication erroneously said, “According to the white paper, a U.S.-based server that is owned by the TRUMP ORGANIZATION has been communicating with the Russian-based ALFA BANK organization in Moscow, Russia.”
The document, which was compiled by agents Curtis Heide and Allison Sands on Sept. 23, 2016, as a record of the investigation, did not mention that the “white paper” was provided by Sussmann on Sept. 19, or that he was representing the Clinton campaign at the time.
Sussmann is accused of lying to the FBI regarding the genesis of the Russian collusion investigation as part of special counsel John Durham’s investigation.
According to the report, that document was widely circulated around the upper levels of FBI leadership, including agent Peter Strzok, who sent his then lover, FBI attorney Lisa Page, a text saying he would “stop” Trump from winning the 2016 election and serving as president.
The disinformation was then transmitted to the Chicago field office and Sussmann’s name as the source was “shielded” from agents.
In October, Chicago field office agent Heide wrote to his superiors in Washington that he “really wants to interview the source of all this information. Any way we can track down who this guy is and how we’re getting this information?”
Agent Ryan Gaynor responded to Heide that the matter was being discussed but did not reveal Sussmann as the source of the material.
According to reporting from The Washington Post, Sussmann told FBI officials that he was not representing anyone when he turned the Alfa Bank materials over to them, but court documents admitted as evidence during the current trial show Sussmann billing the Clinton campaign for the time he spent meeting with the FBI, and later the Central Intelligence Agency.
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