That issue was complicated after a text message came to light in which Mr. Sussmann, arranging for the meeting a day earlier, indicated that he was reaching out on his own. But it was what, if anything, he said at the meeting itself that was at issue.
Mr. Baker testified that he was “100 percent” certain that Mr. Sussmann repeated those words to his face. But defense lawyers pointed out that he had recalled the meeting differently on many other occasions.
The defense team also argued that Mr. Sussmann was in fact not there on behalf of any client, even though he had clients with an interest in the topic. And they questioned whether it mattered, since the F.B.I. knew he represented the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign on other issues, and agents would have investigated the allegations regardless.
Midmorning, the jury asked to see a trial exhibit meant to bolster the defense’s argument that Mr. Sussmann did not consider himself to be representing the Clinton campaign. It was a record of taxi rides Mr. Sussmann expensed for the Sept. 19 meeting at F.B.I. headquarters.
He logged those rides to the firm rather than to the Clinton campaign or to the technology executive, Rodney Joffe, who had worked with the data scientists who developed the suspicions and brought them to Mr. Sussmann. Prosecutors asserted that Mr. Joffe was his other hidden client in the meeting.
During the trial, prosecutors had made much of how Mr. Sussmann logged extensive hours on the Alfa Bank matter to the Clinton campaign in law firm billing records — including phone calls and meetings with reporters and with his partner at the time, Marc Elias, the general counsel of the Clinton campaign.
Defense lawyers acknowledged that the Clinton campaign had been Mr. Sussmann’s client for the purpose of trying to persuade reporters to write about the matter, but argued that he was not working for anyone when he brought the same materials to the F.B.I.