Here are some of the legal news stories making headlines this week:
There are new developments relating to the January 6th attack at the Capitol.
- Former Trump White House trade advisor Peter Navarro revealed he received a subpoena to testify before a grand jury relating to January 6th. Elie Honig tweeted that the subpoena signals that the Department of Justice’s inquiry is “expanding in a meaningful way.” Elie also pointed out that the subpoena likely means that “DOJ believes Navarro is a witness with relevant information to a potential criminal case.” In addition to DOJ’s subpoena, Navarro received a subpoena from the January 6th Committee in February.
- DOJ is also reportedly investigating the scheme to send fake, pro-Trump electors to Congress to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. Several Trump attorneys received subpoenas relating to their alleged involvement in the scheme, including, among others, Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, and Jenna Ellis.
- A federal circuit court ruled that political candidates who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” may be disqualified from running for office. The case stemmed from a challenge to Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s (R-NC) eligibility to run for re-election due to his alleged involvement in January 6th, but the decision likely will not have much practical impact, for now, since Cawthorn lost his primary election last month.
A jury acquitted Michael Sussmann, an attorney for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, of lying to the FBI.
- Sussmann was indicted last year in relation to special counsel John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the FBI’s Russia probe. Former Attorney General Bill Barr directed Durham to lead the investigation three years ago, and in late 2020, Barr appointed Durham as special counsel, in an attempt to ensure that the investigation continued under the Biden administration.
- At trial, prosecutors argued that Sussmann acted like he had “a license to lie” when he failed to disclose that he was representing the Clinton campaign in a meeting with the FBI to discuss alleged ties between Donald Trump and Russia. In his defense, Sussmann’s legal team argued that Durham and prosecutors created a “political conspiracy theory,” and that the prosecution lacked evidence to show that he lied.
- Sussmann was the first person charged by Durham to go to trial. In 2020, former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith pled guilty to altering an email relating to the Russia probe. Later this year, Russian analyst Igor Danchenko is expected to go to trial over charges of lying to the FBI.
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