Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Why Is John Durham Still At DOJ Undermining the Work Of Select Committee - While His "Investigation" Feeds Into Trump's Lies

            Durham, the Barr mole at DOJ undermining work of House Select Committee

"It may be that Democrats just need to get stiffer spines when dealing with right-wing bullies and terrorists, even when doing so means the right will react with violence. As Brian Beutler of Crooked Media argued in his newsletter last week, it's reasonable to worry that the utter failure of the Department of Justice to arrest Trump or his allies for their many crimes "is driven by fear" of a violent backlash. Certainly, Trump has been using intimidation recently, promising pardons for people who commit violence for him and demanding ugly reactions from his followers if he does face a consequence.

But this failure of nerve on the part of Democratic leadership is going to screw us all over in the long run."- Amanda Marcotte yesterday, The Bundy Takeover Is Now Complete: How the GOP Has Embraced Pro-terrorist Politics

"Special Counsel John Durham continues to unravel the Trump-Russia 'collusion' story, and his latest court disclosure contains startling information. According to a Friday court filing, the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign effort to compile dirt on Donald Trump reached into protected White House communications."

So croaked the WSJ editorial yesterday (p. A16) with its grandiose, misleading header: Trump Really Was Spied On

Adding for good measure: "the filing relates to Mr. Durham’s September indictment of Michael Sussmann, a lawyer who represented the Clinton campaign while he worked for the Perkins Coie law firm".   

But as I noted in my Sept. 18 post, 'No, DOJ's Durham Didn't Crack The Russia Case Wide Open', rebutting the then WSJ editorial by the obverse header tag:  

"Uh, no, lunkheads, it doesn't.  That collusion - actually conspiracy of Trump and Co. with the Russkies- still stands, but you are just too dense and hard headed to admit it.  The point being that whatever Hillary lawyer Michael Sussman distorted (i.e. in presenting documents purporting to show secret internet communications between the Trump organization and Russia -based Alfa Bank) still does not nullify what Trump, his odious campaign and family members did."   

The WSJ hacks couldn't restrain themselves, however, so mesmerized were they by Durham's specious nonsense, going on to blabber about the Clinton campaign and even Robert Mueller's conclusions, e.g. 

Mr. Durham’s revelations take the 2016 collusion scam well beyond the Steele dossier, which was based on the unvetted claims of a Russian emigre working in Washington. Those claims and the Sussmann assertions were channeled to the highest levels of the government via contacts at the FBI, CIA and State Department. They became fodder for secret and unjustified warrants against a former Trump campaign official, and later for Robert Mueller’s two-year mole hunt that turned up no evidence of collusion.

 But this is horse manure given  Part 1 of Mueller's report :

proved conspiracy (going a step further than collusion) beyond any reasonable doubt, prompting even Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Tribe to remark:

"What we have here is a situation where the Mueller report shows without any doubt that a hostile foreign power attacked the United States in this (2016) election.  That Donald Trump welcomed that attack, benefited from it and then - the last couple of years - tried to cover it up every possible way." 

That Durham is causing incalculable damage to the House Select Committee (of the January 6th insurrection)  by sowing more fodder for Rightist conspiracy purveyors is also  evident as noted in a new report in Mother Jones:

Is John Durham Deliberately Stoking Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories? – Mother Jones


Special counsel John Durham’s investigation of the origins of the Trump-Russia scandal has turned into a conspiracy-theory-generating machine for feverish right-wingers. And his latest filing raises the question of whether that is by design.

A few days ago, Durham, appointed by Trump Attorney General William Barr, filed what normally is a routine and technical motion in a legal proceeding as part of his case against Michael Sussmann, a Democratic lawyer who Durham has indicted for allegedly lying to an FBI official. The filing concerned a possible conflict of interest involving Sussmann’s attorneys. But the motion included several paragraphs of supposed “factual background” that exploded within right-wing media. It led to a Fox News story with a dramatic headline: “Clinton Campaign Paid to ‘Infiltrate” Trump Tower, White House Servers to Link Trump to Russia, Durham Finds.” Other conservative outlets followed suit. The Washington Examiner howled, “Durham says Democrat-allied tech executive spied on Trump’s White House office.”

Donald Trump got into the act. He issued a statement claiming Durham’s latest filing “provides indisputable evidence that my campaign and presidency were spied on by operatives paid by the Hillary Clinton Campaign in an effort to develop a completely fabricated connection to Russia.”

Trump the 'Liar of All Liars' got into the act? But is anyone paying attention? Why is this useless, destructive Barr- seeded mole Durham still at DOJ anyway?  How can one have a consistent Justice Dept. working in alignment with the purpose and aims of the Select Committee when at the same time it is harboring a guy undermining its purpose by energizing the Right's minions against it?   This is also material given as the MJ report points out,

The researchers examining the DNS data were not infiltrating anything. Lawyers for Joffe and David Dagon, a Georgia Institute of Technology data scientist who helped develop the research Sussmann shared with the CIA, have challenged Durham’s representations. Dagon’s attorneys note that the DNS logs examined related to the Russian phone service came from the time of Barack Obama’s presidency. That appears credible, given that Sussmann’s meeting with the CIA was only three weeks after Trump had taken office. And they told the New York Times that Dagon and associates were using “nonprivate” DNS data and “were investigating malware in the White House, not spying on the Trump campaign.

Which suggests Durham is deliberately acting as a Barr-Trump aligned mole within the DOJ to destroy the validity of not only Mueller's report, but the future work of the House Select Committee - by politicizing what ought to have been an open and shut case against Trump.  This again begs the question: Where is AG Merrick Garland in all this? Why is he allowing Durham to run wild sowing this nonsense that plays directly into the Right's ongoing tropes that Hillary and Co. tried to take down poor Trump when it was Hillary who suffered at the hands of Trump and his Russkie pals.   As Chris Hayes aptly pointed out on an All In introduction two years ago:

Remember this, during the campaign the only investigation that became public was the one regarding Hillary Clinton, which arguably lost her the election. The FBI was investigating Trump at the very same time but no one uttered a word about it. If they were so desperate to bring Trump down you'd think someone would have said something.  They didn't. So the whole conspiracy theory doesn't even hold together

Again, is anyone paying attention or are we to just gobble up the bunkum being spread by the WSJ e.g.

Along the way the Clinton campaign fed these bogus claims to a willing and gullible media. And now we know its operatives used private tech researchers to monitor White House communications. If you made this up, you’d be laughed out of a Netflix story pitch

Bogus claims? Hardly! The only thing bogus is Durham's investigation which in the parlance of Louisiana's Russell Long might be compared to "picking gnat shit out of sawdust." The same with the other Rightist conspiracy mongers and hacks trying to turn that gnat shit into some giant, "sordid story" (WSJ term) that rivals the January 6th insurrection.  But it shouldn't take a Mensa member to see what is going on.  For me the slam dunk event that secured Durham's  "investigation"  as worthless occurred two years earlier when his then top aid Nora Dannehy resigned.   

Recall here that  The Hartford Courant  originally reported that Ms. Dannehy resigned because of improper pressure from the (then Barr) DOJ to produce a report on the investigators.  But as I noted in my earlier post, perhaps this showed Ms. Dannehy possessed a genuine moral compass enabling her to see that such a bogus probe into the justified investigation of Trump would only result in a travesty of justice.  As it has.  In that regard the conclusion of the MJ piece pretty well nails it:

It’s clear from Durham’s own filing that there is no evidence that Trump and White House servers were infiltrated. This charge originated with Kash Patel, a onetime aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and pro-Trump operative who has long toiled to discredit the Trump-Russia scandal. Discussing the Durham motion, he made an inaccurate claim to Fox that the document showed that Clinton lawyers had tried to “infiltrate” Trump Tower and White House servers. (Patel, who was a top Pentagon aide at the end of the Trump administration, has been subpoenaed by the House select committee investigating the January 6 riot.)

Ultimately, the fault for this phony bombshell rests with Durham. His filing did not specify the exact time period the DNS lookup research covered. It did not include sufficient details of the alleged links between Joffe and the Clinton campaign to provide a clear picture.

 For me and many others who wish to see the House Select Committee investigation into the January 6th insurrection succeed, it is time to cut Durham loose once and for all. His presence in the DOJ is an abhorrent anomaly and residue of Trump and Barr's malfeasance and can no longer be tolerated.

See Also:

Opinion | Biden’s Justice Department Should Not Be Pursuing Trump’s Political Vendetta - POLITICO


by Will Bunch | February 18, 2022 - 8:37am | permalink

— from the Philadelphia Inquirer


For an embattled Donald Trump, the news that scrolled continuously this week across the bottom of America’s most-watched cable news network — the Fox News Channel — could not have come at a more welcome time. The 45th — and hopeful 47th — president had been battered in mainstream outlets over his habit of destroying government documents ..But those stories weren’t airing on Fox, because its primetime hosts were pushing what they saw as a much bigger scoop.

Calling it “the biggest election and presidential spying scandal in the history of this great country,” Fox News veteran host Sean Hannity went large with a claim that the 2016 Democratic presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton had paid operatives to spy on rival Trump by “infiltrating” his computers at Trump Tower and even at the White House. Hannity’s breathless report on the alleged scandal was backdropped by a graphic calling it “Worse Than Watergate,” while his higher-rated colleague Tucker Carlson went with “Clinton campaign paid to ‘infiltrate’ Trump orbit.” But these claims were 99% adulterated baloney. The so-called “Hillary spied on Trump” storyline was based on a new court filing by federal prosecutor John Durham, who was tasked by then-Attorney General William Barr during the Trump years to investigate their theory that the Trump-Russia probe was rife with official misconduct — and who has little to show for his work so far.

To get deep into the weeds of what is so off base about the Fox News reporting, you should read thorough debunkings by journalist Aaron Rupar and by Charlie Savage in the New York Times.


Watch Out for Bill Barr's Flunky John Durham to Fabricate a Report That Would "Absolve" Russia of 2016 Election Interference | The Smirking Chimp



Spy behind infamous ‘Steele Dossier’ breaks silence l GMA - YouTube

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