OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
An op-ed published by The Hill lays out what makes Special Counsel John Durham’s ongoing investigation into the origins of the “Trump-Russia collusion” investigation significant.
The piece, by Kevin R. Brock, a former assistant director of intelligence for the FBI, notes that for a year and a half, the country did not hear much of out Durham after he was appointed late in former President Trump’s term. Aside from indictments regarding “peripheral” figures, it looked to many of Trump’s supporters as though not much was going to come of Durham’s probe and “that elites higher up the stack are going to get away with their chicanery,” Brock wrote.
“The problem for Durham is that these perceptions were providing the Biden Department of Justice (DOJ) with increasing political top cover to shut down the special prosecutor’s office as an unproductive, politics-driven exercise in futility that is wasting taxpayer dollars,” Brock continued.
“If Durham were to be terminated, the American people might not even push back much since no one had a clue whether his investigation was bearing meaningful fruit,” he wrote.
Brock went on to note that Attorney General Merrick Garland has already moved to undercut Durham by undertaking measures to repair the reputation of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe who had been fired during the Trump administration.
But, he added, Durham could not simply hold a press conference and divulge his investigation’s inner workings and findings. So instead, he used a rather “innocuous” court filing on that actually contained a number of bombshell revelations, tipping his hand to his findings.
Tucked inside the court filing, John Durham laid out a good chunk of the case he’s building, and it was stunning. Durham revealed the outlines of a corrupt conspiracy by operatives linked to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The exposed conspiracy allegedly made a contrived, fraudulent, and shocking attempt to entice the FBI and CIA to use their powers against the rival Trump campaign and presidency.
This recent filing by Durham was designed to have two effects. First, and most important, he has now made any decision by the president or attorney general to dump him much more difficult to undertake. The last time a president fired a special prosecutor who was making significant progress, he lost his presidency. [Our emphasis]
Second, Durham has signaled to the American people that his investigation has legs, despite perceptions of plodding inertia. He has provided hope that accountability in D.C. — rare as a MAGA sticker on a Prius — actually might happen.
Brock concludes that given what Durham has recently disclosed, there are more than sufficient grounds to allow him to continue his probe.
Senate Democrats are also mulling action against Durham as he prepares to release an investigative report following his more than two-year probe into the origins of the false ‘Trump-Russia collusion’ narrative.
Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee were responding to a well-timed New York Times report over the weekend claiming that there were ethical concerns during the investigation that led to several staff departures.
They included alleged concerns over former Attorney General William Barr’s involvement in the probe, as well as the decision to go to trial lacking sufficient evidence.
“These reports about abuses in Special Counsel Durham’s investigation — so outrageous that even his longtime colleagues quit in protest — are but one of many instances where former President Trump and his allies weaponized the Justice Department,” committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) noted in a statement.
“The Justice Department should work on behalf of the American people, not for the personal benefit of any president. As we wait for the results of ongoing internal reviews, the Senate Judiciary Committee will do its part and take a hard look at these repeated episodes, and the regulations and policies that enabled them, to ensure such abuses of power cannot happen again,” he said.
Last month, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan predicted that Durham would at some point go after the FBI for an alleged role in perpetuating what turned out to be a false narrative about former President Trump and Russia.
Jordan said he is working to expose problems with the Trump-Russia investigation and contended that Durham will finish his investigation with a bang. Jordan noted that Russian-born analyst Igor Danchenko — a key source for the Steele dossier that alleged ties between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia — was arrested as part of the Durham investigation.
The most important allegations made in the Steele dossier — which had connections to Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the law firm Perkins Coie — have not been proven and many have been disputed by the FBI.
“So, these are lies from 2016 and 2017. I think that’s a key distinction. These are indictments from the original lies. This is not a lie. These are the lies that started the whole Russia investigation,” he added.
This week, the U.S. Department of Justice notified Jordan it won’t give his panel access to most of the information he has requested regarding the probe into President Joe Biden’s mishandling of classified and sensitive documents.
In a letter sent to Jordan and GOP Rep. Mike Johnson, Assistant Attorney General Carlos Felipe Uriarte cites a handful of “special rules” governing special counsel probes that bar the Justice Department from releasing such information to the public.