U.S. Attorney from Connecticut John Durham has been tasked by Attorney General Bill Barr to “investigate the investigators.” Essentially, he is working to get to the bottom of the Russia hoax that served as the basis for the damaging, years-long investigations into candidate-turned-President Donald Trump and his associates.
The intent behind Barr and Durham’s probe is to ensure that such abuses of the Justice Department don’t occur again. But Fox News investigative reporter Sara Carter warns that unless Durham’s probe produces actual indictments, there will be little to stop the same thing from happening again in the future.
New rule for politically sensitive investigations
Carter’s warning came during a Friday appearance on Fox News host Sean Hannity’s program, where they discussed a new rule that Barr recently imposed on the FBI and Justice Department.
In essence, Barr declared that any future investigations into prominent political figures, candidates, or campaigns will require authorization from the attorney general, with an eye toward preventing unscrupulous low-, mid-, or even high-level law enforcement officials from launching such investigations on their own.
But, as Carter explained, we need to see some real accountability for past misdeeds. The new rule isn’t enough.
“The important thing to remember here is that even though Attorney General William Barr is going to have all of these new rules in place in an effort to avoid this happening in the future, I talked to sources today,” Carter said.
She went on: “Former senior FBI officials that say if there aren’t indictments — if people don’t actually pay the price for what happened here — which was an attempted coup, basically, on the president of the United States, and also just destroying the civil liberties of an American citizen, Carter Page, then what’s going to stop the next person?”
Carter said “the important point here” is “to entrust that the next attorney general will be somebody upstanding, somebody like we see in Attorney General William Barr.”
“What if that next attorney general is somebody like we’ve seen in the past, somebody who will sign off on a, you know, this type of application and allow this type of spying to happen? So that’s the question,” she added.
Indictments would add teeth to new rule
Joining the discussion was Harvard law professor and attorney Alan Dershowitz, who agreed in principle with Barr’s new rule.
However, he suggested there need to be broader protections overall to protect all American citizens from politically motivated investigations by federal law enforcement.
It is an objectively good thing that Barr is taking steps to guard against a repeat of 2016. That said, Carter is right: the guilty parties must be held accountable — or else they’ll just be emboldened to do it again.