FACT CHECK: Did The Military Arrest Michael Sussmann?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims the military arrested former federal prosecutor and Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that Sussmann was arrested. A Pentagon spokesperson denied the claim.

Fact Check:

Sussmann was indicted in 2021 on charges of lying to the FBI about a tip he passed to the agency about former President Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, according to CNN. He was unanimously acquitted by a jury May 31, the outlet reported.

The Facebook image features a photo of Sussmann with text on the left-hand side that reads, “Military Arrests Michael Sussman for Treason!” The claim also appeared on Twitter. (RELATED: Did The US Military Arrest White House Deputy Chief Of Staff Jen O’Malley Dillion?)

There is no evidence that Sussmann has been arrested for such a crime or will be facing a new trial. Neither the Pentagon nor the Department of Justice has issued any press releases or put out any social media posts regarding Sussmann’s alleged detainment. The last statement about the lawyer appears to be from the Justice Department’s original September 2021 announcement about indicting him for false statements.

“That claim is completely false,” a Pentagon spokesperson said in an email to Check Your Fact. The spokesperson further pointed Check Your Fact to the Posse Comitatus Act, which “limits the powers of the federal government in the use of federal military personnel to enforce domestic policies with the U.S.” This includes barring federal troops from participating in civilian law enforcement except when “expressly authorized by law.”

The claim appears to stem from a June 6 article published on Real Raw News, which documents an early-morning raid on a beachfront property allegedly belonging to Sussmann. Real Raw News includes a disclaimer on its website that reads in part, “This website contains humor, parody, and satire.”

This is not the first time a false claim about a high-profile individual being arrested has circulated on social media. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim from February 2022 that alleged former Vice President Mike Pence had a warrant issued for his arrest.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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