In the spring of 2019, then-Attorney General Bill Barr tasked U.S. Attorney for Connecticut John Durham with looking into the Trump-Russia collusion probe. By October, Fox News had reported that Durham’s inquiry became a criminal investigation.
Relatively little has been heard from Durham since then but that may soon change, as The Hill reported over the weekend that Durham could soon be presenting evidence to a grand jury with regard to his much-anticipated findings.
Grand jury involvement
As The Hill noted, Durham “is presenting grand jury evidence and preparing a report” on the findings of his nearly two-year-long undertaking.
What’s more, Durham is also said to be reviewing plans to file criminal charges against individuals within the FBI, along with others who provided false information concerning alleged collusion between Russia and the 2016 campaign of former President Donald Trump.
In addition, The Hill cited a Friday Wall Street Journal report as stating that Durham’s investigation is expected to wrap up by summer’s end but with the latest developments, that deadline will likely be extended.
One prosecution so far
Thus far, Durham’s investigation has only resulted in a single criminal prosecution, that of former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, which was announced in 2019.
Fox News reported that Clinesmith was sentenced to 12 months probation and 400 hours of community service in January after he pleaded guilty to illegally altering an email regarding Trump campaign advisor Carter Page.
Clinesmith changed an email to read that Page was “not a source” for another government agency. An investigation by Inspector General Michael Horowitz found that Page had previously supplied information to the CIA.
“[He] lost his job, and his government service is what has given his life much of its meaning,” U.S. District Judge James Boasberg said of the defendant.
“He was also earning $150,000 a year and who knows where the earnings go now,” Boasberg added. “He may be disbarred or suspended from the practice of law, you may never be able to work in the national security field again. These are substantial penalties.”
“Special counsel” status
In October of 2020, Politico reported, then-AG Barr issued an order elevating Durham to the status of Special Counsel, a move that the Associated Press noted would make it exceedingly difficult for the incoming Biden administration to fire him.
Barr explained at the time of the announcement that his actions would “provide Durham and his team some assurance that they’d be able to complete their work regardless of the outcome of the election.” Hopefully, Durham’s years-long effort will soon bear fruit.