Officials say Judge Christopher Cooper’s ties to leading Democrats and key figure in discredited Trump-Russia probe should disqualify him from case of Michael Sussmann, lawyer who fed anti-Trump dirt to FBI while hiding connection to Hillary Clinton campaign.
Last week, the special counsel appointed to oversee the probe into the FBI’s investigation of former president Donald Trump indicted Michael Sussmann, a lawyer for the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. Republicans and Trump allies are optimistic about the latest development in John Durham’s investigation but are still concerned that Attorney General Merrick Garland might halt the investigation to protect allies and even the president himself.
FBI notes appear to suggest that as vice president, Joe Biden played a role in the Democratic Party project to smear Trump as a Russian asset by raising the obscure, disused, 18th century statute the Logan Act as a possible vehicle for prosecuting Michael Flynn for speaking with the Russian ambassador to Washington — even after FBI case agents had cleared Trump’s incoming national security adviser of wrongdoing.
And now Republicans are raising concerns that the judge appointed to the Sussmann case has too many conflicts of interest to preside over it fairly.
Current and former officials say that federal District Court Judge Christopher Cooper’s professional and personal relationships with top Democrats and figures behind the FBI’s Trump investigation should force his recusal. Cooper’s wife, for instance, represents disgraced FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who oversaw the FBI’s Trump probe.
In September 2016, Sussman met with Page’s boss, then FBI General Counsel James Baker. The former DOJ cybersecurity expert handed Baker documents falsely asserting that the Trump Organization’s computer servers were communicating suspiciously with the computer servers of a Russian financial institution.
The purpose of the documents Sussmann passed to the FBI was to further the Clinton campaign’s false narrative holding that Trump had been compromised by Russian officials. Former CIA director John Brennan reported to President Obama that Clinton herself approved the scheme in order to deflect attention away from her use of a private email server.
By Lee Smith