This is John Durham. It is possible that you may have heard of him. but not lately. When Trump was president, he was extremely pissed off about the FBI Russia investigation and the Mueller probe. He called it a hoax and a witch hunt. In April, 2019, then Attorney General Bill Barr (now self styled truth teller) started a review of the FBI’s origins into the FBI investigation of alleged Russian interference. He identified Durham to lead the investigation. In October, 2020, Barr secretly appointed Durham as special counsel.
Fox Propoganda (also known as Fox News) went full bandwagon, on the investigation. They blared out, daily, how Durham would expose the corruption of Obama, and others, in trying “to get” Donald Trump. Like Pavlov and his dog, Fox had their audience drooling in anticipation. Even, as recently as last month, Trump was sure of a result in his favour. He said, on his social media platform, that the public was waiting,
“with bated breath’ for the Durham Report, which should reveal corruption at a level never seen before in our country.”
Did not turn out that way. Since October 2020, the Durham team has spent $4.5 million on this investigation. Spending, before October 2020, is not available, given that Durham was acting in the role of US attorney, as opposed to Special Counsel. The investigation has taken longer than the Mueller probe.
In 2020, Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty to altering an email that claimed that Carter Page was a CIA source. This was during the process of continuing a wiretap on Page. Clinesmith, an ex FBI lawyer, was sentenced to one year probation and 400 hours of community service. No jail time. In September, 2021, Michael Sussman, a partner, for the law firm, Perkins Cole, was indicted for allegedly telling FBI general counsel that he did not represent a client, that was pertinent to the investigation. Fox, again went on full attack. A trial was held. Sussman was acquitted. A source for the controversial Steele Dossier, Igor Danchenko, was arrested, in 2021, for making false statements to the FBI. Danchenko, a Russian analyst, as well as a supporting witness, (for Durham) are both out of the country and have no intention of showing up to provide testimony.
After three years, and at least $4.5 million spent, after much Fox fanfare, the result is no jail time for one person and acquital for another. Furthermore, the New York Times reported yesterday,
“Now Mr. Durham appears to be winding down his three-year inquiry without anything close to the results Mr. Trump was seeking. The grand jury that Mr. Durham has recently used to hear evidence has expired, and while he could convene another, there are currently no plans to do so, three people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Durham and his team are working to complete a final report by the end of the year, they said, and one of the lead prosecutors on his team is leaving for a job with a prominent law firm”
So, while this whole probe started off with a bang and a lot of fanfare, in certain quarters, it appears to be ending in a whimper. As Charlie Savage, a Pulitzer prize winner, at the Times, states,
“Mr. Barr’s mandate to Mr. Durham appears to have been to investigate a series of conspiracy theories.”