AG Barr appoints 'bulldog' federal corruption-fighter John Durham to probe origins of Russia hoax investigation
With the appointment of the U.S. attorney for Connecticut to investigate the origins of the probe into specious allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, a troika is now in place to get to the bottom of the biggest political scandal in American history: the weaponization of the federal government's law enforcement and Intelligence Community to sabotage a rival presidential campaign. It is already public knowledge that the U.S. attorney for Utah, John Huber, was appointed by former A.G. Sessions to investigate the Clinton Foundation and surveillance abuses. Inspector General Michael Horowitz is said to be investigating how the FBI handled the Steele dossier and Steele himself, as well as Stefan Halper, a CIA and FBI asset who attempted to lure George Papadopoulos into incriminating the Trump campaign by planting intelligence with him.
The appointment of Durham was not publicly announced, but reporters from outlets such as Fox News, USA Today, and the New York Times were quietly informed of the move.
So who is John Dunham, and why was he appointed?
Fox News says, "Durham is known as a 'hard-charging, bulldog' prosecutor, Fox News is told."
In addition, Fox tells us:
In January, House Republican Reps. Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows wrote to Durham seeking a briefing, saying they had "discovered" that Durham's office was "investigating [former FBI general counsel James Baker] for unauthorized disclosures to the media."
Durham does have a history of going after official corruption in federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies. The New York Times:
John H. Durham, the United States attorney in Connecticut, has a history of serving as a special prosecutor investigating potential wrongdoing among national security officials, including the F.B.I.'s ties to a crime boss in Boston and accusations of C.I.A. abuses of detainees.
Durham was appointed to lead that investigation by Janet Reno, Bill Clinton's attorney general.
Notably, the Boston abuses he investigated — that resulted in prison time for FBI agent John Connolly, who collaborated with crime boss White Bulger and framed four innocent men for murders that Bulger committed — involved Robert Mueller, who was assistant U.S. attorney and then acting U.S. attorney in Boston for much of the period. Mueller "wrote letters to the parole and pardon boards throughout the 1980s opposing clemency for the four men framed by FBI lies."
The Times notes that Durham also has investigated the CIA's abuses:
In 2008, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey assigned Mr. Durham to investigate the C.I.A.'s destruction of videotapes in 2005 showing the torture of terrorism suspects. A year later, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. expanded Mr. Durham's mandate to also examine whether the agency broke any laws in its abuses of detainees in its custody.
To me, the most interesting aspect of this appointment is that it avoids naming a special counsel, who would have to start fresh and whose work would be done in secrecy for an unlimited amount of time. Durham apparently has been at work on related issues of leaks and has a sterling bipartisan reputation as a corruption-fighter. This could well give him a head start on a special counsel. If a speedy uncovering of corruption is an issue, this is a good move.
We shall see what he comes up with and how fast he works.
Photo credit: Department of Justice.