Against the backdrop of media reports surrounding U.S. Attorney John Durham, and an investigation into potentially corrupt 2016 investigators, perhaps it’s worthwhile to pause, evaluate, reset the outlook and review the backstories.
There’s room for cautious optimism, but there’s also reason to temper expectations. First within the latest Fox News report, the following is noted:
Fox News – […] Durham, known as a “hard-charging, bulldog” prosecutor, according to a source, will focus on the period before Nov. 7, 2016—including the use and assignments of FBI informants, as well as alleged improper issuance of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants. Durham was asked to help Barr to “ensure that intelligence collection activities by the U.S. Government related to the Trump 2016 Presidential Campaign were lawful and appropriate.”
A source also told Fox News that Barr is working “collaboratively” on the investigation with FBI Director Chris Wray, CIA Director Gina Haspel, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and that Durham is also working directly with Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who is currently reviewing allegations of misconduct in issuance of FISA warrants, and the role of FBI informants during the early stages of the investigation. (read more)
If this report is correct; and if this review parameter is accurate as described; then Durham is ONLY looking at the gross intelligence activity prior to the 2016 election.
This is pertinent because it means Durham is NOT looking at the DOJ/FBI corrupt activity that surrounds the Mueller probe, Rod Rosenstein, corrupt current FBI agents/officials; corrupt investigative outcomes and cover-ups that occurred during 2017 and 2018 (James Wolfe etc.)… Regardless of disposition, career DOJ and FBI employees (ie. Mueller’s staff of workers), will remain safe under this limited review. Keep this in mind.
Recently Attorney General Bill Barr delivered a farewell address during the departure of DAG Rod Rosenstein. Many people took the highly visible back-slapping internecine send-off to mean that Rosenstein was departing as an honorable soldier; and Barr’s praise of Rosenstein was evidence of his honorable character… Et cetera, Et cetera.
But what was the alternative?
Was it possible for U.S. Attorney General William Barr to publicly outline the years-long gross abuses and inherent corruption of the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation in full public visibility? Was it possible for him to verbally destroy the reputations of all participating members within both organizations over the past three years? Of course not.
Think about the ramifications of brutal honesty.
If Barr was publicly and brutally honest, the political backlash would not only be nuclear in scale; but also our foreign adversaries would immediately pounce on a narrative of how this great constitutional republic was built upon lies and fraud. The reputation of the United States law enforcement and intelligence community could likely never recover. From an intellectually honest position, clearly AG Barr had limited options.
That said, with the introduction of John H Durham, what the hell was U.S. Attorney John Huber (Utah) doing for the past two years? Huber was previously assigned to assist Office of Inspector General Michael Horowitz in November of 2017, so why is John Durham now assigned to OIG Horowitz seemingly to do the same thing? The answer is not complex.
Originally Horowitz was assigned on January 12, 2017, to review issues related to the DOJ and FBI relating to improper conduct in advance of the 2016 election. [Read] That original mandate led to two investigations/reports: (1) Leaks from the FBI (Andrew McCabe outlined); and (2) Overall DOJ/FBI investigative bias and political outcome. Mid-way through these investigations, November 2017, is when Huber was assigned to assist. [Read]
In March 2018, while the two avenues of investigation were ongoing; at the request of AG Jeff Sessions; the OIG opened a third review: Potential FISA abuse [Read] So in March 2018, Michael Horowiz has three investigations underway.
A month later, April 13, 2018, Horowitz releases the IG report on McCabe. Now he’s down to two investigations again. On June 14, 2018, Horowitz releases the IG report on DOJ and FBI misconduct/bias. Now the only remaining investigation is the FISA review. This is when any visible activity by John Huber ends. It makes sense Huber would end in/around June 2018, because Horowitz had an easily manageable, albeit important, singular review.
WASHINGTON DC – […] US Attorney John Huber in Utah is no longer involved on Russia issues. Huber had originally been tasked with looking at allegations of surveillance abuse by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but has been in a holding pattern as the inspector general completes his review of the surveillance warrant the FBI obtained on Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.
Huber’s review of other issues related to Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation is nearing completion, the source said.
♦ A criminal referral on McCabe for leaking to media was sent to DC U.S. Attorney Jessica Liu in April 2018. That criminal review looks like it was dropped approximately six months later; around the same time the criminal DOJ cover-up operation for SSCI leaker James Wolfe was executed in October of 2018. Yes, I’m saying “criminal cover-up” carried out by the DOJ to protect the multiple institutions of government who would have been severely impacted.
Throughout 2018, simultaneous to the Mueller probe’s ongoing corrupt effort; career officials within the institutions of the DOJ and FBI are transparently working with an agenda to protect the interests of the institutions. Career mid-tier officials and investigators (ref. 40 FBI agents for Mueller etc.) remain embedded despite the top tier firings and resignations. [Again, reference DOJ/FBI Papadopoulos operation July 2018]
A month after Wolfe was protected by a plea deal; and a month after McCabe was seemingly protected; and the same month Rosenstein provided Mueller with (the second scope memo) authority to target Mike Flynn Jr…. the mid-term election was held.
The morning after the election, President Trump fired Jeff Sessions.
Mid-November 2018: Corrupt DOJ/FBI embeds remain in place. Mid-November 2018: President Trump does not appoint Rod Rosenstein as Acting Attorney General.
Within a week, November 14, 2018, the OLC issues guidance that Jeff Sessions former chief-of-staff, now Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, can oversee the Mueller/Weissmann probe.
♦ Now, in order to bring U.S. Attorney John H Durham into the picture, go back to the October 2018 timeline again. •DC Attorney Jessie Liu does not charging James Wolfe with leaking classified intelligence. •DC Attorney Jessie Liu (likely, very likely) drops the criminal referral of McCabe, again a leaking issue. Later McCabe goes on book tour.
When and Where was the criminal referral of former FBI legal counsel James Baker sent? October 3rd, 2018, lawyers for James Baker inform Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows that their client has been under investigation for leaking to media and the prosecutor is John Durham.
So the referral for James Baker, was sent outside DC and likely was done quite a while ago. Status? Unknown. [Baker was relieved of his FBI duties in December of 2017.] There is a distinct possibility, much like Andrew McCabe, the criminal review of James Baker was previously dropped.
Via Robert Litt […] Durham’s investigation had nothing to do with the Russia investigation or the Steele dossier. I have first-hand knowledge of this because, in my former capacity as general counsel to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, I was interviewed by Durham as part of that investigation. I’m not at liberty to disclose what Durham was investigating, but it concerned events that occurred long before the 2016 election and were unrelated to Russia or the dossier. Others have reported that Durham has cleared Baker; I have no personal knowledge of that. (link)
While it would be false to say Durham has been investigating the origin of the Russia collusion-conspiracy investigation, he obviously has been involved in the investigative perimeter of events. So one can presume he has a solid frame of reference:
FOX NEWS – Durham, known as a “hard-charging, bulldog” prosecutor, according to a source, will focus on the period before Nov. 7, 2016—including the use and assignments of FBI informants, as well as alleged improper issuance of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants.
CNN – […] Barr is working in close collaboration with CIA Director Gina Haspel, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and FBI Director Christopher Wray, the source said.
[…] The source said Durham and Barr are doing a comprehensive review, and Durham is with working with the Justice Department’s Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, as well. (read more)
♦ Who was the CIA Deputy Director of the National Clandestine Service for Foreign Intelligence and Covert Action over Europe, while John Brennan and Peter Strzok were running their European 2016 counterintelligence operations?….
That would be current CIA Director Gina Haspel.
Bottom line: This Barr “investigation” could end up with accountability; or this Barr “investigation” could unearth so much institutional corruption and gross malfeasance that Barr will stand at a podium and duplicate recent events:
Time will tell.