- The Washington Times
Monday, September 20, 2021

The list of inside-the-Beltway legal players connected to Democrats in the case against Michael Sussmann, a lawyer indicted by special counsel John Durham, includes not just Mr. Sussmann’s attorneys but the judge as well.

Mr. Sussmann will face a trial judge who appears to have background connections to the FBI‘s original Russia investigation. 

U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Cooper, who is overseeing the case against Mr. Sussmann, is married to attorney Amy Jefress, who represented former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, Just The News first reported Monday.

Ms. Page was a top lawyer on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team in the FBI‘s Trump-Russia investigation, and became best known for anti-Trump tweets to her former paramour, now former FBI agent Peter Strzok.

“It seems the two-tiered system of justice continues — how can a judge oversee a federal criminal case in which his wife’s client may end up being a witness in, for either the defense or the government?” Kash Patel, who served as chief of staff to the acting Secretary of Defense under President Donald Trump, told The Washington Times in a statement. 

Mr. Durham, who is investigating the origins of the FBI‘s Trump-Russia probe, has accused Mr. Sussmann of making a false statement to the FBI about his warning related to computer servers tied to the Trump Organization that were backchanneling communications with a Russian bank.

Mr. Sussmann’s former law firm, Perkins Coie, has represented the Democratic National Committee. He is being represented in the criminal case by the law firm of Latham and Watkins, whose attorneys Sean Berkowitz and Michael Bosworth told reporters that Mr. Sussman “committed no crime.”

Prior to his time at Latham Watkins, according to an online corporate biography, Mr. Berkowitz worked as director of the special task force created to investigate the Enron corporate scandal, and was lead prosecutor in the criminal case against Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling.

Mr. Berkowitz in 2005 replaced then-Justice Department attorney Andrew Weissman, who became a lead prosecutor in Mr. Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Mr. Bosworth served on Mr. Biden’s presidential transition team, and prior to that worked as special counsel to FBI Director James Comey Jr., who defended the Russia investigation as “essential” during Senate hearing testimony in September 2020.

Mr. Comey agreed to launch the FBI‘s probe into Russian interference into the 2016 election and investigate the alleged ties between Russia and members of the Trump campaign. Mr. Trump fired Mr. Comey in May 2017.

• Kerry Picket can be reached at kpicket@washingtontimes.com.

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