Lew Rockwell | Oct 27, 2020 | 0
Ex-Colleagues See Durham Dropping Bombshells Before Labor Day
While much speculation inside the Beltway says U.S. Attorney John Durham will punt the results of his so-called Spygate investigation past the election to avoid charges of political interference, sources who have worked with Durham on past public corruption cases doubt he’ll bend to political pressure — and they expect him to drop bombshells before Labor Day.
Durham’s boss, Attorney General Bill Barr, also pushed back on the notion his hand-picked investigator would defer action. Under Democratic questioning on Capitol Hill last week, he refused to rule out a pre-election release.
“Under oath, do you commit to not releasing any report by Mr. Durham before the November election?” Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Fla.) asked Barr, citing longstanding Justice Department policy not to announce new developments in politically sensitive cases before an election.
“No,” the attorney general curtly replied.
Justice Department policy prohibits prosecutors from taking overt steps in politically charged cases typically within 60 days of an election. Accordingly, Durham would have to make a move by the Friday before Labor Day, or Sept. 4.
A low-profile prosecutor, Durham has kept a tight lid on his investigation into the origins of the specious Russiagate investigation of Donald Trump and his 2016 campaign, leading to rampant speculation about who he might prosecute and whether he would take action ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.
That could well be of historic consequence, since his probe involves both the Trump administration and high-level officials in the previous administration, including Trump’s presumptive Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. Recently declassified FBI notes show Biden offered input into the investigation of Trump adviser Michael Flynn in early January 2017. Another declassified document reveals that Biden was among those who requested Flynn’s identity be “unmasked” in foreign intelligence intercepts around that same time.
If Durham announces criminal indictments or plea agreements involving former officials operating under the Obama-Biden administration, or releases a report documenting widespread corruption, independent voters could sour on Biden and sympathize with Trump. On the other hand, kicking the ball past the election could dispirit Trump’s base.
“I would find it hard to believe that he punts under any circumstances,” said former assistant FBI director Chris Swecker, who knows Durham personally and has worked with the hard-nosed prosecutor on prior investigations.
He pointed out that Durham would risk throwing away 16 months of investigative work if he delayed action beyond the election.
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