Attorney General William Barr has tasked Connecticut-based U.S. Attorney John Durham with getting to the bottom of how the Trump–Russia collusion probe began. Now, some congressional Democrats are trying to make sure he never accomplishes that task.
A group of 11 House Democrats sent a letter to Barr on Friday demanding that he and Durham resign, The Connecticut Mirror reports.
“We write to call for your and U.S. Attorney John Durham’s immediate resignation,” the representatives wrote, “because you inappropriately interfered in independent Department of Justice (DOJ) investigations and intentionally used your positions to mislead the American public in defense of President Donald J. Trump.”
The letter was penned by Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) and signed by Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Rashida Tlaib, (D-MI), William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Jared Huffman, (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky, (D-IL), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), David Cicilline (D-RI), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and Steven Cohen (D-TN), according to a press release from Johnson’s office. (As you might expect, it is a fairly progressive bunch.)
Mouthpieces for Trump?
In the letter, the members of Congress accuse Barr and his “hand-selected prosecutor” of having “consistently and publicly questioned the legitimacy of the Justice Department, acting as mouth pieces for Donald Trump rather than public servants bound to the rule of law.”
They backed their claim up with a list of grievances, beginning with Barr’s testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee last April, when he said he believed that “spying [on then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign] did occur” in 2016 — namely, by the FBI, under the leadership of James Comey.
“This unfounded assertion was not only inappropriate given the ongoing nature of the investigation,” the representatives wrote, “but in the wake of the release of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) report, it was a completely inaccurate statement.”
That report, which came from IG Michael Horowitz, marked the next issue Johnson took with Barr: the attorney general publicly disagreed with the inspector general, according to The New York Times. “Your uncorroborated and inappropriate statements on the OIG report legitimize fringe conspiracy theories and erode public trust in the Justice Department’s credibility,” Johnson and his colleagues wrote to Barr.
The Democrats were also unhappy with Durham’s own statement on the IG report; according to the Times, the U.S. attorney said:
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.
“John Durham has also consistently attempted to undermine the legitimacy of the OIG report and the top law enforcement agencies in our country in the defense of Donald Trump,” the Democrats wrote Friday. “At your direction — in a highly unusual step — Mr. Durham opened his own sham investigation into the legitimate work of the FBI. Mr. Durham spoke openly about the investigation as it was ongoing, and more damningly claims to have access to additional evidence not available to the Office of the Inspector General, further vandalizing the credibility of the OIG report.”
Keep on trucking
Based on these instances, Johnson alleged that Barr is “unfit to hold the position of Attorney General” and that his “dedication to eroding public trust in our legal systems represents the antithesis of what a Justice Department official should be.”
“Mr. Durham is equally as complicit in this mission,” the Democrat added. Together, he said, their “actions demonstrate that neither of [them] possess[es] the integrity necessary to serve in the Department of Justice.”
With this, the group of Dems requested the resignation of both men. But this wouldn’t be the first time Barr and his team have been the subject of such demands — and it won’t be the last.
As the Democrats kick and scream, Barr and Durham will keep on trucking, uncovering the plot that lays behind the Russia collusion hoax. The truth will soon see the light of day.