Ever since Attorney General Bill Barr tapped U.S. Attorney John Durham in 2019 to lead an “investigation of the investigators” and uncover the origins of the failed and potentially criminal anti-Trump probes of 2016-2017, there has been speculation over whether Durham would issue indictments and lead prosecutions or simply issue a report outlining everything that had occurred, without actually holding wrongdoers accountable.
Rep. Doug Collins (R-SC), ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, revealed that he falls into the first camp that is expecting actual accountability from the Durham probe once all is said and done, as he predicted on Thursday that “there won’t be a report,” at the end of the investigation the Washington Examiner reported.
Collins hopeful about Durham probe
Collins took part in a discussion at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland on Thursday that touched on a variety of topics and included a brief mention of Durham’s probe and the Republican congressman’s confidence that there will be some accountability in the wake of that investigation.
It is what Collins said after the CPAC event, however, that caught the attention of many, as the congressman told Fox News of Durham’s probe, “This is not going to be a Mueller report; there won’t be a report.”
He went on to note how exceptionally “quiet” Durham and his team have been about what, exactly, they’ve been up to. “When he’s ready to charge people, he’ll charge people,” Collins said. “And that’s when we’ll know.”
In other words, keeping in mind that Durham’s investigation is of a criminal nature, has been wide-ranging, and at least has the capability to impanel a grand jury, Collins has faith that Durham and Barr will “do the right thing.”
Optimism not universal
Not everyone is as optimistic about what the end result of Durham’s investigation will look like, however, as the Washington Examiner reported separately that Fox News legal analyst Greg Jarrett, filling in as guest host for Fox Business anchor Lou Dobbs on Thursday night, expressed his doubt that any sort of criminal charges will emerge from Durham’s probe while speaking with former House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz.
“Your former colleague, Congressman Doug Collins, said today that he believes that the John Durham investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia hoax and the FISA abuse and so forth will lead to criminal charges. I personally doubt that very much,” Jarrett said.
Chaffetz replied that, “based on the information we have already seen and already know,” criminal charges were definitely warranted in Durham’s “investigation of the investigators,” though he, too, also seemed to strike a cautionary tone against raising hopes too high.
But even as Chaffetz noted the “crystal clear evidence” of wrongdoing that had been exposed so far, Jarrett was still pessimistic of the end result and said, “Even the guy in the Carter Page FISA warrant application who literally altered documents. I mean, I bet you he’s going to escape too. It’s my prediction.”
Nobody knows for sure
To be sure, nobody outside of Durham, Barr, and their closest confidants and team members know what the final result of Durham’s probe will be, and even they may honestly be unsure of it themselves at the moment.
That said, Collins has seen quite a bit and presumably knows what he is talking about, and if he continues to express confidence that indictments will eventually be issued at the conclusion of Durham’s probe, rather than a simple summary report, that is good cause for the American people to share in that optimism as well.