WILL HE ACHIEVE HIS ALLEGED GOAL?
by Sharon Rondeau
Robert S. Mueller III, who served as FBI director between 2001 and 2013, was designated “Special Counsel” in May 2017 shortly after then-FBI Director James Comey was fired. The investigation he assumed from the FBI came to employ 19 prosecutors with histories of donating and/or defending Democrats, clouded the Trump administration’s first two years, and captivated the attention of much of the country.
As the probe progressed, the mainstream media frequently hosted commentators who breathlessly predicted that former and current Trump aides would likely be indicted, including Obama’s CIA director, John Brennan.
A total of 37 individuals and entities were indicted by a grand jury empaneled by Mueller, although the majority are Russian and will almost certainly not face criminal prosecution in the United States. American citizens indicted who accepted plea deals were not charged with “conspiracy,” the statutorial equivalent of the colloquial term, “collusion.”
On March 22, Mueller turned in his report to Attorney General William Barr, who two days later released a summary indicating that no sealed indictments existed, that evidence of “collusion” on the part of the Trump campaign was insufficient; and that Mueller could not decide whether or not Trump had “obstructed justice” in relation to the probe.
In May, Barr’s office announced that Durham was assigned to discover the underpinnings of the “collusion” narrative given that Mueller’s team found no evidence to support the theory of a conspiracy between the campaign and the Kremlin. As has been reported by former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, now the committee’s ranking member, the FBI opened an investigation into the Trump campaign in “late 2015” or “early 2016” and deployed a number of informants to meet with Trump campaign aides in Europe and domestically.
Comey; his former deputy, Andrew McCabe; former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates; and other once-prominent figures at the FBI and Justice Department have been floated as possible subjects of criminal prosecutions for their suspected roles in obtaining surveillance warrants on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page under questionable circumstances.
McCabe was referred for criminal prosecution shortly after his termination in March 2018, and former FBI General Counsel James Baker’s attorney told House Judiciary and Oversight Committee members last fall that his client was the focus of a criminal probe into media leaks led by Durham.
The historically low-profile Durham is known as a politically-neutral, seasoned and effective prosecutor who brought FBI agent John Connolly to account for protecting two criminal informants, Whitey Bulger and Stephen Flemmmi, during the 1990s in Boston, where Mueller was assistant U.S. attorney at the time. Connolly remains in prison to this day.
Another prominent case Durham investigated and prosecuted was that of the destruction of CIA recordings of interrogations of terror suspects.
Having worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in Connecticut for a number of years, President Donald Trump nominated Durham to be U.S. attorney in March of last year.
Unlike the DOJ’s inspector general, who cannot empanel a grand jury or question individuals no longer in the employ of the government, Durham has full subpoena power and the ability to empanel and present evidence to a grand jury.
Shortly after Durham’s appointment was announced, Fox News Legal Analyst Gregg Jarrett told Hannity that he believed a grand jury had already been convened for Durham’s “Russia” review.