REPORTED BY SHELBY TALCOTT | SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT | May 20, 2022
Hillary Clinton’s former campaign manager testified Friday that the then-Democratic presidential nominee personally approved spreading material that claimed the Trump organization had a secret communications channel with a Russian bank to the media.
Robby Mook, Clinton’s former campaign manager, testified Friday in special counsel John Durham’s case against former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann. At one point, Mook was pressed about the level of understanding within the campaign regarding allegations that the Trump organization had a secret connection with Alfa Bank. Mook was also pressed on whether the campaign was going to distribute such allegations to members of the press, according to Fox News. Mook admitted that former campaign general counsel Marc Elias first informed him of the Alfa Bank situation, and also said the Clinton campaign was unsure whether the data was legitimate.
The former campaign manager continued on to say that discussions about giving the information to reporters happened amongst multiple senior campaign officials – and, most notably, the then-Democratic presidential nominee herself. (RELATED: Former FBI Official Testifies In Durham Case, Says He’s ‘Confident’ Sussmann Denied Acting On Behalf Of Client)
“I discussed it with Hillary as well,” Mook said, according to Fox News. “I don’t remember the substance of the conversation, but notionally, the discussion was, ‘hey, we have this, and we want to share it with a reporter.’”
Mook also admitted that “she [Hillary Clinton] agreed” to have the information spread out to the media. While he expressed uncertainty in when, exactly, Clinton was briefed on the idea, he noted that he remembered “that she agreed with the decision,” Fox News reported.
Sussmann, a Democratic lawyer with ties to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, was charged last year by Durham with lying to the FBI during a 2016 meeting. Friday’s testimony came one day after U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper denied the defense’s motion for a mistrial.