Reminder: John Durham Is A Highly Experienced Prosecutor
There’s a lot of hair's-on-fire stuff going around among non-lawyer, non-LE researchers on the Durham prosecutions. Every time some ploy is advanced by Sussmann’s defense team the cries of despair are heard. John Durham is a highly experienced prosecutor. He knows what he’s doing and, by all indications of his deliberate approach, thinks all these issues out in advance.
Case in point.
Last night commenter EZ pointed out a new exhibit that was released in the Sussmann case:￼
16 hr ago
>> https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.235638/gov.uscourts.dcd.235638.27.4.pdf <<
Durham files exhibit D in Sussmann case.
Baker interviewed for a job at Perkins Coie after leaving FBI.
Mark Wauck16 hr ago
Just one page of at least 9 in whatever the original doc was.
EZ15 hr ago
>>Lawyers for Michael Sussmann, accused by Trump-era special counsel John Durham of lying to FBI in a 2016 Trump-Russia meeting, seek quick trial after prosecutors turn over evidence showing star witness recalled the meeting differently than the indictment.
>>> Lawyers for Michael Sussmann, accused by Trump-era special counsel John Durham of lying to FBI in a 2016 Trump-Russia meeting, seek quick trial after prosecutors turn over evidence showing star witness recalled the meeting differently than the indictment. <<<
The Exhibit is offered to contradict how Durham characterized Baker's recollection.
Of course, defense if likely cherry-picking what to submit as an exhibit. For all we know, Baker may have subsequently clarified his recollections.
Mark Wauck14 hr ago
I'm pretty sure Durham has thought this issue through. This seems like it might be part of an effort to gin up public sympathy.
EZ14 hr ago
... and/or an effort to force him to make a decision earlier than he'd like to.
I agree he wouldn't put in the indictment statements he can't back up with evidence.
Mark Wauck14 hr ago
"force him to make a decision earlier than he'd like to"
That would, IMO, be wishful thinking. I don't think that will happen.
It appears that that single page out of nine was from an FBI 302 from their interview of Baker. Reminder: 302’s are not direct evidence. Baker, not the agent or his 302, will be called as a witness, and then will be cross examined. The 302 may be used to cross examine Baker—perhaps to claim that his story has changed—but because of the nature of 302s as summary reports of investigation, Baker’s verbatim statements under oath will be what’s important.
A lot of people got over excited—people who don’t understand the rules of evidence. Dr. Shipwreckedcrew injected some much needed reality into these conversations—which also serves as a reminder of why I’m not getting excited about these early proceedings. Not at this point.
Check out the tweets. The point is, Baker will have testified before a Grand Jury under oath. That testimony will be admissible and will have a controlling effect on Baker’s trial testimony—if that’s what thing’s come to. This is why prosecutors have important witnesses—witnesses who will testify to the words of defendants—testify under oath before a Grand Jury rather than rely on the recollection and characterization of the agents. There are a lot of potential ins and outs, but at this point it’s not terribly complicated. Durham will have cemented Baker’s testimony in place by his Grand Jury testimony, and Baker is now under tremendous pressure to stick to what he said under oath:
Hans Mahncke @HansMahnckeHere's why Baker is going to be a terrible witness. He's going to get shredded to bits. Note the second from last highlight. Absolutely devastating to Durham's case. He better have some additional ammo. https://t.co/cAjbdDmM1I
Good agents tend to be conservative in their reporting and characterizations of what a witness says, rather than being “interpretive” in their write up, knowing that trial testimony is a matter for the prosecutor and the witness:
Marval @Marval32562@HansMahncke Recalls….seems…The interviewer/interrogator is using “recall” or “seems” statements…..deliberately.
ThunderStrzok (Real Thunder; not really Strzok) @ThunderStrzok1@shipwreckedcrew I'm sure the defense will let the jury know that there are other versions to Baker's story. That's not good for the prosecution.