FBI agent Curtis Heide testified that he’s also under investigation by Special Counsel John Durham
Posted BY: Natalia Mittelstadt
FBI agent Curtis Heide testified Tuesday in the Michael Sussmann trial that by early October 2016, less than two weeks after the investigation was opened, the allegations about Russia’s Alfa Bank that Sussmann pitched to the agency appeared unsubstantiated.
Sussmann, a 2016 Clinton campaign lawyer and former private attorney, is on trial in a federal court in Washington, D.C., on the charge he lied to the FBI in September 2016 by saying he came to the bureau as a concern citizen with information showing a back channel connection between the Trump Organization and the Kremlin.
Special Counsel John Durham has provide evidence that Sussmann was in fact representing clients at the meeting – the Clinton campaign and then-Neustar tech firm executive Rodney Joffe.
Heide, who is also under investigation by Durham, helped opened the Alfa Bank investigation on Sept. 23, 2016, about a week after Sussmann brought evidence to FBI general counsel James Baker, as part of the larger Trump-Russia collusion plot that has since been debunked.
Heide also testified in court that he’s under investigation for not turning over exculpatory evidence related to the collusion plot, the origins of which Durham is trying to unravel.
According to an Oct. 3, 2016, email from Heide, who was part of the Chicago FBI branch at the time, he wanted to interview an anonymous source who provided information about the alleged collusion.
The email, sent just weeks before Clinton-Trump Election Day, state he wanted to conduct the interview because the investigation was reaching a logical conclusion because the allegations appeared to be unsubstantiated.
Heide also testified Tuesday that he had questions regarding a document the FBI received that was related to the investigation and wanted to interview the source. However, he never learned the source of the data in the paper nor the identity of the white paper author.
The trial is taking place the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and has been scheduled to end Friday, after two weeks. Susssman has plead not guilty to the single charge of lying and faces up to five years in prison if found guilty by jurors.
Court proceedings began Tuesday with testimony from ex-FBI Principal Deputy General Counsel Trisha Anderson, who said she doesn’t recall knowing that Sussmann represented a client when he pushed the Trump-Russia collusion plot to the bureau in 2016.
The testimony was critical to the case,, considering Sussmann is charge with lying to the FBI in not disclosing he was representing clients.
Anderson was a deputy who worked under Baker when Sussmann provided the data for allegations.
During initial questioning by the prosecution, Anderson testified that prior to the Alfa Bank allegation she had interacted with Sussmann regarding litigation against the FBI that he was part of on behalf of a client.