Key Player in Ex-Clinton Lawyer’s Trial Intends to Plead the Fifth

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A former technology executive who helped spy on the White House intends to invoke his right against self-incrimination if he is called to testify during the upcoming trial of a lawyer who represented Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the 2016 election, according to court documents.

Michael Sussman, the lawyer, is set to go on trial for allegedly lying to the FBI.

Sussman was representing Rodney Joffe, a tech executive, when he went to the FBI and handed over three white papers that contained unsubstantiated allegations against then-candidate Donald Trump, Clinton’s rival in the presidential race, according to U.S. prosecutors.

Sussman says he gave the information to the FBI as a concerned citizen and the parties he was representing at the time are not relevant.

If Joffe were to testify during the trial, he would “offer critical exculpatory testimony,” Sussman’s lawyers said in one of the new filings. Among the angles would be that “Mr. Sussmann and Mr. Joffe agreed that information should be conveyed to the FBI and to Agency-2,” believed to be the CIA, “to help the government, not to benefit Mr. Joffe.”

But Joffe plans on invoking his rights under the Fifth Amendment if called to testify because prosecutors say he remains the subject of an investigation.

Steven Tyrell, representing Joffe, said in a letter just made public that he spoke with Andrew DeFilippis, a prosecutor on Special Counsel John Durham’s team, on March 31 after receiving a subpoena for Joffe to testify.

After receiving confirmation Joffe remains under investigation, Tyrell asked for more details.

“Rather than provide any additional information to aid in our assessment of the risk of prosecution, Mr. DeFilippis stated that in his view, Mr. Joffe’s status in the investigation was sufficient to establish a good faith basis to invoke the privilege against self-incrimination. Mr. DeFilippis further stated that OSC did not want to get into any more detail, and presumed that Latham would understand if Mr. Joffe decided to invoke,” Tyrell said in the letter, which was sent to Sussman’s lawyers at Latham & Watkins.

By Zachary Stieber

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