(PresidentialInsider.com)- The trial of former Clinton campaign cybersecurity lawyer Michael Sussmann began this week with jury selection on Monday.
Sussmann is charged with concealing from the FBI that he was working on behalf of the Clinton campaign and a tech executive when he brought so-called “evidence” about a back-channel connection between the Trump Organization and Russia’s Alfa-Bank to the bureau in September 2016.
During Monday’s jury selection, the Special Counsel himself was in the courtroom sitting behind the prosecution team overseeing the case.
Most of the day was taken up by what is called the “voir dire” process where dozens of potential jurors are questioned by the judge, prosecutors, and defense attorneys. The full jury, consisting of 12 jurors and four alternates, was finalized Monday evening.
Among those questioned during jury selection were some who expressed disdain for former President Donald Trump and/or support for Hillary Clinton. Most of those questioned said they had heard nothing about Michael Sussmann’s case until they spoke with the judge last week.
One woman who ended up on Sussmann’s jury recounted remembering “a lot of shenanigans” during the 2016 election. She admitted to the court that she “strongly” disliked Trump and didn’t believe she could be impartial if the case was about someone on the Trump team. But she added that if the trial isn’t directly about Trump, she could probably be impartial.
Another woman who also made the final cut is a DC lawyer who said she had heard of the Clinton campaign law firm Perkins Coie but had never heard of Michael Sussmann. She claimed that she didn’t remember if she made any campaign donation during the 2016 election, but admitted that if she had, it would’ve been to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. While she admitted having a “strong preference for one candidate over the other,” she said she believed she could be impartial in Sussmann’s trial.
Judge Christopher Cooper told the jurors that while Sussmann’s case “certainly has political overtones,” they weren’t there “to relitigate the 2016 election.” During the day’s “voir dire” process, Judge Cooper repeatedly reminded jurors, “Donald Trump is not on trial. Hillary Clinton is not on trial.”