Barr Assigns Federal Prosecutor To Investigate Origins Of Russia Probe

Attorney General William P. Barr has assigned John H. Durham, the United States Attorney in Connecticut, to investigate the origins of the Russia Investigation. The country remains divided over the Russian Investigation with many questions raised as to political influence and targeting. Durham is a former special prosecutor with a long and distinguished record at the Justice Department, including prior investigations into CIA abuses of detainees and internal corruption. Besides, he has one of the most intense official photos in government that I have ever seen.

There will be some overlap in the investigation. The department’s inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, is already investigating the use of wiretap applications and any political influences in the investigation. John W. Huber, the United States Attorney in Utah, has been investigating in conjunction with Horowitz. This will be the third investigation and does not count congressional investigations.

Horowitz has had an incredible career. Durham graduated with honors from Colgate University in 1972 and received his law degree in 1975 from the University of Connecticut School of Law. He was also a VISTA volunteer for two years on a Montana Indian reservation.

The appointment should satisfy critics who have demanded a full investigation into the origins of the investigation and the role of the Steele Dossier in the early decisions. Frankly, I believe that, at this point, the public interest is best satisfied with the maximum level of transparency. That means Trump dropping his executive privilege arguments and the Justice Department fully investigating both sides of the matter. My concern is only that I fail to understand why the Huber and IG investigations were not sufficient.

What do you think?

165 thoughts on “Barr Assigns Federal Prosecutor To Investigate Origins Of Russia Probe”

  1. Highlighting this:

    “In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Barr also reiterated his claim that “government power was used to spy on American citizens,” declining to specify more.”

    Huff Post, based on a Wall Street Journal article that’s behind a paywall:

    William Barr: U.S. ‘Spying’ Was Just As Bad As Russian Interference In 2016

    The attorney general has attempted to vehemently defend President Donald Trump, such as assembling an investigation into the FBI investigation into Trump.

    In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Barr also reiterated his claim that “government power was used to spy on American citizens,” declining to specify more.

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/william-barr-fbi-spying_n_5cdeb741e4b00e035b8e947e

    1. A bit more from the Wall Street Journal:

      “In a separate interview with the Wall Street Journal, Barr appeared more certain, asserting, “Government power was used to spy on American citizens.”

      “”I can’t imagine any world where we wouldn’t take a look and make sure that was done properly,” he added.”

      Excerpt from linked article, including additional comment made to WSJ:

      https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ag-william-barr-doubles-down-on-spying-claims-questions-origins-of-russia-probe/

      In two separate interviews, Barr doubled down on his assertion that illegal spying did take place, a claim he made before senators last month. In a conversation with Fox News’ Bill Hemmer on “America’s Newsroom,” Barr suggested that he wanted to get to the bottom of whether “government officials abused their power and put their thumb on the scale” during the Russia investigation. He criticized unnamed officials as providing “inadequate” explanations for what took place.

      “People have to find out what the government was doing during that period,” said Barr, adding that if the U.S. government is concerned about foreign influence in the U.S. election process, it should be equally worried about potential abuses of power within the federal government. Barr said he wouldn’t “speculate” on when such alleged spying exactly started.

      In a separate interview with the Wall Street Journal, Barr appeared more certain, asserting, “Government power was used to spy on American citizens.”

      “I can’t imagine any world where we wouldn’t take a look and make sure that was done properly,” he added.

  2. Meanwhile, back at the real investigation, documents released today in court proceedings about Flynn show :
    1. A Trump attorney left a voicemail to Flynn’s attorney reassuring him of the President’s “warm” feelings for him in the context of Flynn’s testimony.
    2. A person with connections to Congress was part of the WH group attempting to discourage Flynn’s testimony.
    3. Campaign officials discussed “reaching out” to Wikileaks.

    The judge has asked for the voicemail recording and other evidence.

    https://twitter.com/kyledcheney

    1. L4D says: “Reaching out” to Wikileaks is a euphemism for dangling a pardon in front of Julian Assange’s nose. Same thing goes for Trump’s “warm feelings” for Flynn. There’s a passage in The Mueller Report describing Trump no longer having “warm feelings” for Flynn after Flynn entered into his cooperation agreement with the SCO.

      P. S. Senator Grassley has a staffer by the name of Barbara Ledeen who gets a mention in The Mueller Report for having worked with Flynn, Erik Prince and Peter Smith in their great sleuthing project to find Hillary’s emails. So Ms. Ledeen looks good for item 2 on the list above.

      1. Excerpted from the article linked above:

        But the Mueller report’s depiction of Smith, Ledeen, Flynn, and Prince’s efforts suggests that Trump and his immediate campaign orbit were deeply intent on obtaining Clinton’s private e-mails during the period when Russia was hacking into them.

        In September, 2016, Smith and Ledeen rejoined forces, at which point Prince provided some of the funding for the operation. Mueller’s team obtained files from Smith’s computer showing that Smith had documents that WikiLeaks had stolen from the computer of the Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta, though Mueller found no conclusive evidence that Smith had obtained the stolen files prior to WikiLeaks’s public release of them. (Smith died in May, 2017, in what was ruled a suicide.)

      2. The point of these recent revelations about Flynn’s cooperation with Mueller is to establish Trump’s motive and intent to obstruct justice by tampering with witnesses and even tampering with evidence.

        P. S. It is not immediately clear that Trump did not invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself when Trump refused to answer roughly three in four of Mueller’s written questions.

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