The idea that former President Donald Trump worked with the Russian government to steal the 2016 election was adopted by more than just Hillary Clinton and her campaign. Several news outlets reported on the story and even tried to make connections to how Trump might have done it. But almost six years after the night Trump changed politics as we know it, the trial of the former lawyer to the Clinton campaign, Michael Sussmann, is underway.
With claims that Hillary Clinton purposely helped create and promote the accusations, many have waited to hear what Sussmann had to say about his story and relationship with the former First Lady. But it appears that might not happen as on Thursday, it was reported Sussmann would not be testifying.
Trying to understand the purpose of not putting him on the stand, Fox News’ host Julie Banderas welcomed Former assistant U.S. attorney Andy McCarthy to explain the defense.
In the video, which can be watched above, McCarthy said, “He’s confident that the case is going in his direction. And it’s odd to say that under circumstances when the proof is overwhelming that the statement was false. But there’s a difference between the statement being false and the FBI being fooled by it. And I think the statement at this point is better understood as a kind of a cover story so that the FBI could take information or feel comfortable taking information that was obviously political opposition research.
“So what the Sussmann defense has been able to show is the government has big trouble trying to prove the materiality of the false statement, which is an essential element of it, because the FBI really wasn’t fooled and because they went to great lengths to conceal the fact that they had accepted information from a partizan political source.”
Not only did McCarthy state that the trial was going in their direction, he noted the dangers that come with putting a defendant on the stand. “Well, I think that’s always a concern. But as an old trial lawyer myself, I’ve seen many, many cases where defendants got up on the stand to testify when they shouldn’t have, because they just convinced themselves that the jury wants to hear it from them, that they’re not guilty. And to my mind, the biggest advantage a criminal defendant has going into a trial is that the defendant doesn’t have to prove anything, and all of the burden is on the government. Once you give your own story, once you offer your own story, that advantage largely dissolves because then it becomes your story against the government story. And that’s usually worse than the defense.”
It appears that Sussmann’s lawyers agree that the onus is on the government, and Sussmann will not be offering assistance with a testimony of his own.