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Ex-lawyer for Clinton campaign law firm pleads not guilty to charge in Trump-Russia probe

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WASHINGTON, Sept 17 (Reuters) – A former lawyer for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign law firm pleaded not guilty on Friday to mendacity to the FBI, a charge by a U.S. particular counsel investigating the origins of a FBI probe of potential ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign.

Sean Berkowitz, a lawyer for Michael Sussmann, 57, a cybersecurity specialist who labored for the Perkins, Coie law firm, informed U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui that he was coming into “a plea of not guilty on behalf of Mr. Sussmann”.

Andrew Defilippis, representing particular counsel John Durham, requested that circumstances for Sussmann’s launch on bail embrace limiting his journey to Washington D.C. and New Jersey, and that he switch a firearm he owned to a 3rd celebration.

Berkowitz agreed to the circumstances. The subsequent listening to was scheduled for Sept. 22 earlier than U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper.

Sussmann was accused in an indictment issued on Thursday by Durham of creating false statements throughout a Sept. 19, 2016, assembly with James Baker, then General Counsel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The indictment accused Sussmann of falsely telling Baker he did not signify any shopper when he met him to give the FBI white papers and different knowledge information containing proof of questionable cyber hyperlinks between the Trump Organization and a Russian-based financial institution. Sources aware of the investigation recognized the financial institution to Reuters as Alfa Bank.

The indictment stated Sussmann turned over that info to Baker not as a “good citizen” however as an legal professional representing a U.S. know-how govt, an web firm and Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Sussmann “will fight this baseless and politically-inspired prosecution,” his attorneys Berkowitz and Michael Bosworth stated in an announcement on Thursday. Sussmann resigned from Perkins Coie on Thursday.

Sussmann is the second individual to be prosecuted by Durham since Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney General William Barr tapped him in 2019 to examine U.S. officers who investigated Trump-Russia contacts. Trump portrayed the 2016 FBI investigation as a political witch hunt.

Reporting By Mark Hosenball; modifying by Grant McCool

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