The Judge’s Ruling is Correct

Michael Sussmann, the Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer (among other roles) moved in court to strike portions of Special Council John Durham’s indictment of him, including in particular, the indictment’s “Factual Background” section. Sussman claimed that the section had “prejudicial” information and “false allegations” and so would taint the jury pool from which his jurors would be drawn. DC District Judge Christopher Cooper waved the BS flag at Sussman’s move.

I’m not going to strike anything from the record. Whatever effect the filing has had has already passed.

That’s correct. More important, though, are these factors. One is that, of course the indictment contains “prejudicial” information: grand juries are, by design, one-sided affairs intended solely to determine whether there’s enough material to warrant a formal charge and a trial. That’s why the evidence presented to a grand jury is sealed until trial; only the fact of the indictment and the nature of the government’s case can be made public before that trial—and never made public at all if, with or without indictment, the government decides not to proceed to trial.

The other factor, regarding the “false allegations” claim, is a so what one. The accuracy of the allegations, along with the accuracy and believability of any facts or other evidence underlying the allegations, are for juries to determine at trial, not for judges to deny jury access to via prosecutorial presentation.

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