John Durham Owes the American People an Apology for Wasting Their Money


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  jbb  •  3 weeks ago  •  12 comments

By:   Shan Wu (The Daily Beast)

John Durham Owes the American People an Apology for Wasting Their Money
Four years and millions of taxpayer dollars later, Durham's report just validated the FBI's opening of the Russia probe. The special counsel, not the FBI, should say sorry.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Four years and millions of taxpayer dollars later, Durham's report just validated the FBI's opening of the Russia probe. The special counsel, not the FBI, should say sorry.


Shan Wu

Published May. 16, 2023 10:50AM ET 

Special counsel John Durham's final report reveals that four years, a $6.5 million spend, and many dining dates with former Attorney General Barr yielded nothing. As a prosecutor who served as a supervisor on an independent counsel investigation, I find Durham's investigation to be a complete waste of taxpayer dollars.

Recall that Durham was handpicked by Barr to investigate the probe commenced by the FBI in 2016 into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia that formed the basis for the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. The Mueller probe yielded indictments of 34 individuals, two companies, and convictions of top Trump campaign officials.

By comparison, Durham's investigation sent no one to jail but did manage to lose two jury trials, including the final loss, in which Durham personally got into the well of the courtroom to make various arguments to the jury justifying his own investigation.

Contrary to the expectations set by former President Donald Trump, Durham failed to produce any evidence of what Trump promised to be "the crime of the century"—presumably involving the "deep-state conspiracy" mantra of Trump supporters—and sent no one to jail.

What Durham did do was aid and abet the killing of a lot of trees by producing a 300-plus page report that reads like a plagiarized version of the 2019 report by the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General, in which Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded that the FBI properly opened the Russia probe—code-named Crossfire Hurricane—and found no evidence of political bias by the FBI. The OIG's report contained a meticulous analysis of the Russia probe and offered criticisms of the FBI's then process for utilizing FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, warrants that resulted in reforms undertaken by the FBI.

Plagiarists usually try to pass off others' work as their own by paraphrasing and adding a few original ideas of their own. Durham adds nothing new to the OIG report but does sound like he pulled from Wikipedia concepts like "confirmation bias" to make it look like he was adding new conclusions to what the OIG had already concluded. Of course, confirmation bias is a real psychological term defined roughly as how people are biased toward confirming their existing beliefs. But it shouldn't take four years and $6.5 million to warn that confirmation bias isn't among the best practices for criminal investigations or, for that matter, any investigation.

Following the release of the OIG's 2019 conclusion that the FBI had acted properly in opening the case, Durham immediately made a public announcement that he disagreed with some of its conclusions "as to predication and how the FBI case was opened." Durham made this statement despite his own admission that his investigation was still ongoing. His statement was greeted with incredulity by former FBI Director James Comey, who said he could make no sense of it and warned Durham: "Don't be a part of the sliming of the IG and the department as a whole. Do your work."

Durham at least seemed to have taken the "do your work" part of that admonition to the tune of four more years on the taxpayer dime.

But Durham's 2019 bravado ended with a whimper, as his report ended up supporting the conclusion in the 2019 OIG report that the FBI had properly opened the investigation, although Durham does quibble over whether it should have been opened as a preliminary investigation rather than a full investigation.

He offers almost nothing in the way of recommended policy change or reform for the FBI besides a half-hearted suggestion at the very end of the report that the FBI should have an official designated to "challenge" politically sensitive investigations. Arguably, that kind of "red team" function is already fulfilled by the layers of scrutiny that accompany any politically sensitive investigation.

Durham also lacks any moral authority to lecture the FBI or anyone else about concerns over political bias when his entire investigation originated with Barr's efforts to politically weaponize the DOJ. Durham's investigation was so compromised that his own top aide, a respected career prosecutor, resigned in protest over Barr's pressuring Durham to issue a report prior to the 2020 presidential election. Presumably, such pressure was intended by Barr to help Trump in the election by undermining the legitimacy of the Russia probe. Another lawyer resigned in protest over Durham's decision to indict a lawyer with ties to the Clinton campaign.

Further calling into question Durham's motivations is a notable absence from his report of the allegations made against Trump by Italian officials in the fall of 2019. These allegations involved a tip from an Italian official that linked Trump to financial crimes and were serious enough to merit investigation. But Barr and Durham decided to have Durham do the investigation even though it would not appear to fall within Durham's investigation mandate. Durham never brought criminal charges and there is no mention of the allegations or what investigation Durham undertook in his final report.

In response to Durham's report, FBI Director Chris Wray stated that the FBI's current processes, many based on reforms instituted after the 2019 OIG report, would have prevented many of the "missteps identified in [Durham's report]."

In my opinion, this was an unnecessarily defensive statement by Wray. The FBI's opening of the Russia probe has been validated, so it has nothing to apologize for. It's John Durham who owes an apology to Americans for having wasted their money.


jrDiscussion - desc
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JBB    3 weeks ago

While conceding that the origins of all the CIA and FBI investigations into Trump's secretive relationships with clandestine agents of Putin's Russian State Intelligence Services were legally predicated Durham plays semantics by only saying that a "full investigation" was not fully justified.

Trump got himself investigated by seeking out and meeting with Russian spies and agents...

Among other reasons, beginning by at least 2014 and continuing right up to Election day in 2016 Trump was in constant negotiations with Vlad Putin to build a Trump Tower in Moscow while lying about it. He even offered Vlad Putin a luxury penthouse as a bribe to try and close the deal.

So, of course they investigated. How could they not when Trump blundered into multiple ongoing surveillance operations. Ours and every other Intelligence services in the world were watching and monitoring Trump's interactions with known clandestine agents of Russian and her allies...

That is why Trump had to pardon Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn to cover up the truth and keep them loyal to him personally...

Greg Jones
Professor Guide
1.1  Greg Jones  replied to  JBB @1    3 weeks ago
"Trump's interactions with known clandestine agents of Russian and her allies..."
Baseless allegations not supported by facts. Merely a figment of your imagination since you can't provide proof
The whole failed Mueller probe was a left-wing conspiracy to discredit Trump. It came up empty. 
The facts of this blunder by the Dems are well known. It was originated by Hillary and it's main purpose to deflect and detract attention away from her illegal handing of classified materials.

dennis smith
Professor Silent
1.1.1  dennis smith  replied to  Greg Jones @1.1    3 weeks ago

Add 2 impeachments by the House.

Professor Quiet
1.1.2  cjcold  replied to  dennis smith @1.1.1    3 weeks ago

Justified impeachments. Trump and his crew were/are guilty as hell.

Professor Principal
1.2  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @1    3 weeks ago
Among other reasons, beginning by at least 2014 and continuing right up to Election day in 2016 Trump was in constant negotiations with Vlad Putin to build a Trump Tower in Moscow while lying about it. He even offered Vlad Putin a luxury penthouse as a bribe to try and close the deal.

Gee, which agencies were conducting these investigations?

Do you think the agencies are credible, unbiased, competent, and have intelligent people working for them?

Do you think that maybe ---- just MAYBE-----that if they didn't find anything in ALL THAT TIME, it is because THERE WAS NOTHING TO FIND?

Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
2  Just Jim NC TttH    3 weeks ago

Talk about backward thinking..........when does the flood of apologies come from the Russia, Russia, Russia probe start?

Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  JBB  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2    3 weeks ago

When will those Durham falsely prosecuted, who were vindicated in court, get apologies?

Professor Quiet
2.1.1  Ronin2  replied to  JBB @2.1    3 weeks ago

You mean vindicated in courts that were in heavily Democrat bastions of stupidity jurisdictions.

Chances of getting a fair unbiased trial- less than zero. 

Law professor Jonathan Turley notes that Judge Cooper has made life unusually difficult for Special Counsel Durham in pursuing Sussmann, especially in comparison with the comparably hostile environments colleagues like Judges Emmett Sullivan and Amy Berman Jackson created for defendants Gen. Flynn and Trump ally Roger Stone , respectively.

To wit, as Turley details, Cooper has "barred Durham from arguing that there was a 'joint venture' in deception [between Sussmann and Joffe] with the Clinton campaign," "limited the evidence that Durham can present" and "refused prosecution access to some evidence and, while allowing access to some emails between the campaign and an opposition-research firm [Fusion GPS]...barred their introduction at trial due to the late request from the prosecutors."

What's more, Judge Cooper overruled prosecutors when they objected to the seating of several jurors.

About those jurors, some 12 of whom will decide the case: As Judge Cooper's own background demonstrates, Washington, D.C. is the ultimate company town, and it is dominated by Democrats who voted over 90 percent for Clinton in 2016. This bias was reflected in the pool from which the jury was selected .

The prosecution sought to have one juror booted from the case—an Amazon employee who works in public policy who had contributed to Clinton's campaign. Judge Cooper rejected the effort to dismiss him on the juror's word he would "strive for impartiality as best I can."

There are reportedly at least two other Clinton donors in the jury pool, one of whom has also made political contributions to leftist icon Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

Another prospective juror works for the Sierra Club. She thinks "the police should be defunded."

Still another prospective juror said her husband worked for Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign. She too was permitted to remain on the panel.

As was a juror whose daughter plays on the same high school crew team as Sussmann's.

Nothing like a judge restricting evidence and hand picking a pro Hillary jury. This is what passes for justice in Democrat controlled areas.

Any verdict by a biased mighty mental midget leftist jury is a good verdict./S

Professor Principal
3  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago

Nice, straightforward explanation from an expert. 

The Durham probe was always a political effort to rehabilitate Trump. Shameful. 

Professor Principal
4  Kavika     3 weeks ago

Bull Durham delivers a load of useless BS.

Bob Nelson
Professor Guide
5  Bob Nelson    3 weeks ago

There are quite a few NT members who owe everyone an apology for wasted time. 

dennis smith
Professor Silent
5.1  dennis smith  replied to  Bob Nelson @5    3 weeks ago

Are you one of those?


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