Attorney General Bill Barr’s sudden update on the Durham probe in the midst of wall-to-wall coronavirus coverage last week shocked Democrats and has fueled new anticipation of a reckoning for the “Deep State” among the president’s supporters, Breitbart notes.
Barr is hoping for Durham to finish up by summer. In a sign of how intense the probe might be, Durham went to Washington, D.C. in March to make sure it grinds on despite the coronavirus, according to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal.
Not much is known about the findings of Durham’s criminal investigation of the Trump-Russia probe, but it is being followed by those who suspect that President Donald Trump was the target of a “coup” within President Barack Obama’s intelligence community.
The probe needs to be wrapped up within the next few months, National Review’s Andrew McCarthy warns, or risk being written off as an election stunt. Delay too long, and the probe could end up scuttled if Trump fails to win re-election.
“I think it is important that Attorney General Barr reminded everyone that this is going on and it is being looked at in a very serious way and I think just as a matter of common sense if you’re Durham and we don’t know what his timeline is but to make a decision one way or another. But the closer we get to election day the more any charges he brought would be framed by the media as a Trump campaign stunt,” McCarthy told Steve Malzberg on WMAL-AM Saturday.
Barr gives an update
In an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham last week, Barr hinted that an investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham into the Russia hoax has uncovered something “something far more troubling” than mere “sloppiness” and that prosecutions could be on the way.
Trump and his allies have long said that the Russia investigation was a “witch hunt” based on a salacious, political dossier, and Barr has been sympathetic of that view, telling Ingraham last week that Trump had “every right” to be frustrated with the probe. Many Trump supporters have long wondered when, if ever, there will be accountability for rogue intelligence agents who allegedly pursued Trump for political purposes.
So far, there has been no spectacular reckoning over what Barr called a baseless probe, but there may be reasons to hope that that will change soon. The Journal report and the comments by Barr to Ingraham, suggest that activity in Durham’s probe is increasing, not decreasing.
According to the Journal, Durham’s team is drilling down into the CIA to find out if former CIA director John Brennan put his thumb on the scale to hurt Trump by influencing the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment, which asserted that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to boost Trump’s campaign. Brennan is a vocal critic of Trump and, along with James Comey, is often mentioned as a likely anti-Trump conspirator. Durham’s team also wanted to talk to British former spy Christopher Steele, whose dossier was critical to the start of the Russia investigation — but the British government refused.
In his interview with Ingraham, Barr said that indictments are a possibility if Durham finds evidence of criminal activity. This is hardly the first time Barr has expressed concern that the Obama administration might have abused its power to target Trump, but his statements this time were particularly candid:
My own view is that the evidence shows that we’re not dealing with just the mistakes or sloppiness. There was something far more troubling here. We’re going to get to the bottom of it. And if people broke the law and we can establish that with the evidence, they will be prosecuted.”
Barr stands with Trump
The attorney general’s comments to the media — sparing but often brutally frank — have kept routine calls for his resignation going. Undeterred, Barr continues to voice his concerns about the Russia probe, telling Ingraham that it was “one of the greatest travesties in American history:”
What happened to [Donald Trump] was one of the greatest travesties in American history — without any basis. They started this investigation of his campaign. And even more concerning, actually, is what happened after the campaign. A whole pattern of events while he was president … to sabotage the presidency … or at least have the effect of sabotaging the presidency.
Those are heavy words. Will they come with heavy consequences for the perpetrators?