May 31, 2022 – Sussmann trial: Sussmann edited FBI press release about DNC hack because it ‘undermined’ the DNC’s narrative

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Documents released during Michael Sussmann’s federal trial show the FBI solicited advice from Hillary Clinton’s lawyer on a press release describing the intelligence agency’s awareness of the Democratic National Committee hack in 2016.

James Trainor (Credit: public domain)

The original press release sent over to Sussmann by Jim Trainor, the assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division, noted that the FBI was aware of “a possible cyber intrusion involving the DCCC,” or the Democratic National Campaign Committee, via “recent media reporting.”

“Michael – our press office is once again getting a ton of calls on the DCCC matter. A draft response is provided below. Wanted to get your thoughts on this prior to sending out,” Trainor wrote.

In his reply, Sussmann asked the FBI to change the first line of the press release to reflect the DNC’s messaging on the hack. He explained that he preferred a more definitive statement that made clear “the FBI is aware of the cyber intrusion involving the DCCC that has been reported in the media.”

Trainor accepted the suggestions with minor protest and agreed to send out Sussmann’s manipulated version of the press release soon.

“Mike – I am fine with the below suggestions. We try to really limit what we see and not acknowledging too much but the below edits are fine and we will send out,” Trainor wrote. (Read more: The Federalist, 5/31/2022)  (Archive)