Actor and podcast host Russell Brand received backlash last week for a video discussing the recent indictment of Michael Sussmann, an attorney who represented Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016, for allegedly lying to FBI officials.
The Wrap reported:
“On Tuesday, one of Brand’s recent YouTube videos, titled ‘Trump was RIGHT About Clinton & Russia Collusion!!’ started going viral. In it, he claims there is ‘serious evidence’ that Hillary Clinton worked with Russia to create this ‘conspiracy.’
“Within hours, fans flooded Twitter with their disappointment in Brand, noting how the actor’s ‘serious evidence’ seems to stem from just one source. Others simply avoided the video altogether, given what they already know about the controversial comedian.”
The “one source” Brand was referencing in his video was an article by journalist Glenn Greenwald discussing the indictment of Sussmann as part of U.S. Special Counsel John Durham’s probe into the FBI’s investigation of supposed ties between Russia and former President Donald Trump’s campaign.
The indictment was approved by Biden administration Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and is the second allegation of criminal behavior resulting from the probe after FBI agent Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty to lying to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court and submitting an altered email to receive the court’s permission to spy on former Trump campaign official Carter Page.
Sussman’s indictment centers on if he intentionally misled the FBI into believing he was not representing the Clinton campaign when he provided information to the FBI on alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. As the New York Times noted, “Mr. Sussmann is a former computer crimes prosecutor who worked for the Justice Department for 12 years. In 2016, he represented the Democratic National Committee on issues related to Russia’s hacking of its servers.”
According to the indictment, Sussman “stated falsely that he was not doing his work on the aforementioned allegations ‘for any client,’” which caused FBI General Counsel James Baker to believe that Sussman was acting merely as a “good citizen” and not as a “paid advocate or political operative.”
The indictment further alleges that Sussman was actually acting “on behalf of specific clients” — including “the Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign.”