Sunday, December 29, 2019

The Attack on Durham

A letter written by a host of progressive Democrats – among them U.S. Representatives Hank Johnson, D-GA, Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., Jared Huffman, D-Calif., Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., and five other progressive Democrats — marks the beginning of a concerted attack on U.S. Attorney from the District of Connecticut John Durham, appointed by Attorney General William Barr to investigate events surrounding what might be called the prelude and aftermath of the completed Robert Mueller report which, much to the disappointment of Democrats leading the charge against President Donald Trump, did not find prosecutable instances of collusion between Russia and the President.

According to a story in CTMirror, the letter “said Barr and Durham should be ousted because they ‘inappropriately interfered in independent Department of Justice investigations and intentionally used (their) positions to mislead the American public in defense of President Donald J. Trump.’ … The letter was prompted by the response of Durham and Barr to Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s recently issued report on his own investigation of the origins of the Russia probe.”

The accusation falls on very stony ground because it is not possible to “interfere” in a COMPLETED investigation by commenting on the investigation.  This common sense rule applies equitably to everyone, including editorial writers, reporters and reputation tarnishers who have abandoned reason and common sense, such as the authors of the letter referenced in the CTMirror story.

Both men, Barr and Durham, the story notes, “issued statements critical of the Horowitz report,” which had been completed and publicized before the comments had been made. Both Barr and Durham were careful not to interfere in the Horowitz investigation, which was narrowly focused on events surrounding an application to a FISA court that kicked off years of hearings, investigations and commentary damaging to the Trump administration. Durham’s remark on the report was brief and on point.

CTMirror notes, “Durham’s statement was opaque, saying ‘based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.’” Durham is conducting his own investigation, far more wide-ranging than Horowitz’s. The statement was necessarily "opaque" because the Durham report is ongoing and likely will not be filed before spring.

The letter cited by CTMirror demands the resignation of Barr and Durham, neither of whom, according to the letter “possess the integrity necessary to serve in the Department of Justice.”

The letter, the story notes, was not signed by any of the seven members of Connecticut’s all-Democrat U.S. Congressional Delegation. However, “the letter’s demand for Barr’s resignation is not unique. In May, for instance, Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Barr should ‘probably resign’ because, the senator said, the attorney general had mislead the public about the conclusions of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report into Russian meddling.” Blumenthal’s artful word “probably” is necessarily opaque because it is not at all certain that Barr had “mislead the public about the conclusions of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report into Russian meddling.”

The Mueller report firmly asserted that neither Trump nor anyone connected with the White House had engaged in collusion with Russia, but the report was opaque on the question of obstruction of justice. No one critical of the Mueller report after the report had been released to the general public has yet been accused by Democrat congressmen of having engaged in “interference” in the Mueller investigation – for the sensible reasons stated above: once an investigation has been completed, comments issued following the completed investigation cannot be construed as “interference in the investigation.”

The eagerly awaited Durham report, due sometime in the spring, is not merely the cherry on the cake of an upcoming Republican presidential campaign. It is the cake, the hitherto uncited data and proof of a destructive, purposeful, four-year effort on the part of Democrats to strangle the Trump presidency in its crib.

The tendentious and premature attack on Durham – by all accounts, including Blumenthal’s, an honorable and effective prosecutor – is an attempt to blast in the bud what promises to be a thorough examination of the pre and post Mueller Report which, following a three year, highly partisan examination of the Trump 2016 campaign, FOUND NO COLLUSION between Trump and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. No doubt partisan Democrat smear-agents even now are scouring Durham’s high school records for signs of post Me-Too-Era irregularities, as happened with Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court.    

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