Durham’s Lame Duck Period: Democratic Leaders Suggest A Dim Future For Biden-Related Investigations

Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the growing pressure on prosecutors during the lame duck period to move forward in their investigations into the Russian investigation or Hunter Biden. House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff again strongly suggested that such investigations should end with the entry of a Biden Justice Department.  Schiff told MSNBC that investigations of a president-elect constitute “tearing down our democracy” and a way to “delegitimize” a president. This is precisely what I raised in my column on the expected effort by some to scuttle the Biden related investigations. The statement was only the latest indication that Democrats are likely to push to end any investigations touching on the Bidens, including statements from individuals known to be under consideration for Attorney General. In doing so, they will likely have the support of many members of the media who would be embarrassed by any findings of wrongdoing after insisting that there was nothing to cover and refusing to ask Biden specific questions on the campaign trail on these allegations.

Here is the column:

With the election’s conclusion, Washington has entered that precarious period known as the “lame duck.” Unlike real wounded waterfowl, lame-duck presidents tend to be more active in the waning days of their terms. From John Adams’ “midnight judge appointments” to Barack Obama’s last-minute executive orders, presidents often move to cement policies or personnel before the chiming of the constitutional clock. This year, however, it may be prosecutors who feel the greatest fight-or-flight pressure.

Months before the election, many Democrats and analysts demanded that the Justice Department refrain from bringing additional indictments or releasing new information connected to either the Russia investigation or the Hunter Biden scandal. Andrew Weissmann, one of special counsel Robert Mueller’s top prosecutors, called on prosecutors not to assist the Justice Department before the election, to prevent damaging disclosures for then-Democratic candidate Joe Biden. Despite pressure from President Trump, the Justice Department under Attorney General Bill Barr did appear to hold the line before the election under a long-standing policy.

Months before the election, many Democrats and analysts demanded that the Justice Department refrain from bringing additional indictments or releasing new information connected to either the Russia investigation or the Hunter Biden scandal. Andrew Weissmann, one of special counsel Robert Mueller’s top prosecutors, called on prosecutors not to assist the Justice Department before the election, to prevent damaging disclosures for then-Democratic candidate Joe Biden. Despite pressure from President Trump, the Justice Department under Attorney General Bill Barr did appear to hold the line before the election under a long-standing policy.

Prosecutors in the Russia and Hunter Biden investigations may now face the opposite pressure — to move more quickly in the Trump administration’s final two months. The obvious concern is that a Biden administration might scuttle or shut down pending investigations. Indeed, Democrats have denounced the investigation into the discredited Russia collusion case as a political “hit job” and could justify terminating it as a promised “reform.”

In October, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) joined Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in asking the FBI to resist pressure to investigate Hunter Biden. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) denounced the ongoing Russia investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham as “tainted” and “political.” On the campaign trail, Biden dismissed the “investigation of the investigators.”

In a Senate hearing this week on the Russia investigation, Democratic senators — including Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., considered a short-lister to be the next attorney general — denounced the continued investigations before the arrival of the incoming Biden Justice Department.

If prosecutors are concerned about such an intervention, they may have to act in the next two months.

Russia investigation

Before going dark in October, U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation made headlines with the criminal plea of former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who lied to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court in order to continue surveillance of a Trump campaign adviser. There have been rumors for months that Durham found material not disclosed by special counsel Mueller or the Justice Department’s inspector general in their prior investigations. He also is known to have been working with a grand jury as part of his investigation.

There is ample reason why a Biden administration would want to see Durham’s investigation closed. Earlier this year, disclosures contradicted Biden’s denials that he knew of or was involved in the investigation of figures like Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn; the disclosures indicated Biden may have sought to “unmask” Flynn in surveillance reports. There also are accounts from the Oval Office that Biden was briefed on the Flynn investigation, including the fact that the FBI thought his discussions with Russian diplomats were “legit.” Earlier, FBI investigators sought to end the Flynn investigation for lack of evidence of any crime; according to one report, Biden raised the possibility of prosecuting Flynn under the Logan Act, a federal law widely viewed as unconstitutional.

The Durham investigation may not result in new indictments but could result in the release of new evidence. Indeed, the greatest risk of intervention by the Biden administration would be the withholding of any report or the use of classification rules to bar parts of its release. That report could shed light on how the Russia investigation began and was sustained, despite early intelligence refuting the collusion allegations. This includes recently released information that President Obama was briefed on intelligence suggesting that Hillary Clinton was working to falsely paint Trump as colluding with Russians. Such findings could be highly embarrassing not only to Obama administration officials but a number of congressional Democrats — including Rep. Schiff, who assured the public that, after contrary findings by the special counsel and the inspector general, his House committee had clear evidence of collusion. Schiff never produced that evidence.

Hunter Biden investigation

It may be easier for the Biden Justice Department to shut down an investigation of Hunter Biden. Although most of the media imposed a blackout on coverage, the alleged Hunter Biden laptop contains disturbing evidence of a global influence-peddling scheme by Hunter and his uncle, James Biden. The laptop’s emails, which the Biden family has not denied are authentic, directly contradict statements by Joe Biden. Moreover, Hunter Bidens ex-business associate, Tony Bobulinski, gave the FBI a sworn statement that not only was this a knowing influence-peddling scheme but that Joe Biden knew of and was involved in it.

The FBI reportedly subpoenaed the laptop as part of a money-laundering investigation that included Hunter Biden in 2019. If true, that investigation could directly implicate the president-elect.

The danger for prosecutors is greater because the Biden administration can rely on a supportive media. The only people more embarrassed by allegations of criminal conduct in the Hunter Biden investigation would be media members who have repeatedly assured the public that there is nothing to investigate.

If these investigations move forward with possible criminal charges related to Biden or his family, there may even be a question of whether the current or next attorney general should establish a special counsel.

Consider again the Hunter Biden investigation: Hunter previously contradicted his father, who denied discussing his son’s foreign business deals. Now Hunter’s business partner has recounted meeting with Joe Biden and raising concerns with James Biden about the legal implications of those deals. When Trump came into office, many Democrats demanded a special counsel appointment on much less evidence, even before the firing of FBI Director James Comey. It turned out there was no proof of collusion. There is comparatively more evidence of Joe Biden’s involvement, including statements made under threat of prosecution.

That is why developments in the next few weeks will be so interesting. These prosecutors could set their investigations into the amber of the lame-duck period as insurance against Biden administration interference. That could force a question over the need for a special counsel, if criminal conduct is further revealed by indictments or reports.

Prosecutors in the lame-duck often are like Shakespeare’s Richard II, who lamented: “I wasted time then, and now time wastes me.” If there is evidence of criminal conduct in these investigations, time waits for no prosecutor.

262 thoughts on “Durham’s Lame Duck Period: Democratic Leaders Suggest A Dim Future For Biden-Related Investigations”

  1. Fox Meet Henhouse

    What’s worse than the fox guarding the henhouse? The fox building the henhouse.

    Voting machines and software are now the center of attention in this contested election. One of the largest providers of such systems is Smartmatic. Peter Neffenger is the company’s Chairman of the Board of Directors. He is now a member of Joe Biden’s transition team. I don’t care which side of the aisle you’re on — that stinks to high heaven.

    The corruptibility of those voting systems is *not* a partisan issue. Countless individuals and organizations have been sounding a warning, long before this election. For example, Senator Ron Wyden (a Democrat) introduced the “PAVE Act” (co-sponsored by democrat luminaries such as Booker, Warren, Sanders). Said Wyden of the Act: “The PAVE Act scraps insecure voting machines that are juicy targets for hackers and replaces them with reliable, secure hand-marked paper ballots.”

    (Please don’t tell me that if I have evidence of fraud, that I should report it to the authorities. That’s a strawman. In responding, is it also possible to avoid the fallacies of diversion and ad hominem? Or is that asking too much?)

    1. Democrats talk endlessly about ‘systemic’ racism. It’s time to talk about systemic voter fraud.

    2. Thank you, Sam, for bringing to our attention the connection between Neffenger and the transition team. I had not been aware of it. It’s disconcerting, but actually not surprising.

  2. Barack Obama is much more divisive than Donald Trump. And he has done more to stoke racial divisions in America than any public official in recent memory.

    1. Who is most divisive is a matter of opinion. Some people agree with you, many don’t.

  3. Are Trump supporters still waiting on the report on Hillary’s e-mails? Or maybe they want to see Obama’s birth certificate? Are they still raiding stores with globes and stepping on them until they are flat? Or are they still mad that Obama did nothing on stopping 9-11. Is Obama’s Muslim prayer rug gonna be in Trump’s Presidential library? Maybe Trump supporters should spent their time and money on Trump’s Legal Defense Fund. After looking at pictures of the largest Presidential inauguration in history on Jan 20 2017.

    1. Listen to what Obama says. Barack Obama is and always was much more divisive than Donald Trump. Obama (and his wife) have done more to stoke racial divisions in America than any public official in recent memory.

    2. Obama lied about a lot of things, big things, like Obamacare, but because of the lefty media bias he still gets away with lecturing Americans about “truth,” while never being asked hard or important questions about the unprecedented corruption within his own administration.

  4. All affected persons, including blog moderators, are encouraged to carefully review the following information in connection with their moderation decisions. They will recognize that it is intended as satire that raises important issues relating to the role of the government and the media, the rule of law, and free speech.

    Washington, DC (Authorized for Release through Approved Information Channels) – The Party today announced new guidance concerning investigations into the conduct of Party-aligned persons and organizations. This guidance is applicable to all Party stakeholders, including the Department of Justice, their state and local counterparts, members of the news media, and social media platforms. It is intended to codify informal practice first adopted in January, 2009.

    Effective immediately, all investigations relating to Party-aligned elements will be presumed to be politically motivated disinformation operations intended to obstruct Truth and Reconciliation. Affected parties are advised as follows:

    1. All investigations that involve or may implicate Party-aligned elements require pre-clearance from Party Authorities. For clarity, this requirement is not limited to investigations carried out by governmental authorities but is also applicable to members of the news media and other interested parties and organizations.

    2. Investigations that have not been pre-cleared shall be documented as politically-motivated disinformation operations. In appropriate circumstances, such investigations may be described as being without evidence, debunked, Russian disinformation, divisive, anti-science, delegitimizing the most secure election in history, or by other approved narrative. Further guidance may be obtained from the US Agency for Global Media.

    3. All persons shall immediately discontinue efforts in support of any investigation that has not received Party approval. These investigations include, but are not limited to, investigations into conduct related to the 2016 presidential election, relationships between senior Party officials and foreign persons and entities (including but not limited to the Ukraine and China), and the integrity of the 2020 election. Any such investigations shall be described as set forth in item 2 above.

    4. Conduct not in accordance with these guidelines will be subject to investigation and review by Party Authorities. Adherence to these guidelines will be considered as a factor when evaluating the performance of career employees in the Department of Justice or other organizations.

    Immediate implementation of these guidelines is authorized under previously approved directives adopted in response to the COVID-19 emergency. Further information on these guidelines will be communicated as circumstances dictate.

      1. Dear Mr. Anonymous:

        As part of your ongoing education as to Party Doctrine, you are encouraged to familiarize yourself with “The Banality of Evil” as described by Hannah Arendt.

        However, please use extreme caution in communicating the doctrine set out in this text, as it is not to be applied to Party-aligned elements. Proper usage dictates that activities undertaken on behalf of the Party be characterized as noble, in the furtherance of social justice, or their functional equivalents. Pending further guidance, please contact your local Secretariat for Party Education for more information.

  5. I don’t think anybody needs to “push” Durham to not do the job he was hired to do. He’s been running down the clock for 2 years. The Durham investigation was just a puppet show to keep Trump supporters pacified until the election was over. When I learned he was a Democrat I knew nothing would ever come of his investigation and that’s a very sad state of affairs. This is not America.

  6. It is being reported that John Durham is dropping his investigations into Spygate, “Worried About Blowback From Joe Biden”. If this is the case, then there is no justice system in the US any longer. We went three years listening to the left cry about how the President was obstructing justice, but yet a supposed bulldog prosecutor is worried about blowback.

    1. The Right Dishonorable John Durham is investigating how best to conclusively nullify the U.S. Constitution, forcibly impose communism on America and irrevocably establish the global hegemony of communist China.

  7. So Schiff admits to spending the last four years tearing down our repubilc. The creature deserves to burn.

  8. The rule of law does not apply to Democrats in power. They are the Democrat government ruling class.

    Their voters will be untroubled. After years of howling that colluding with Russia was treason, punishable by a stiff prison sentence, that outrage just floated away when it was revealed that Hillary colluded with the Russians, and that Russian interference was in the form of the Trump dossier, and all the subsequent investigations.

    After claiming that Trump’s hotel chain letting rooms to foreigners at the going rate was breaking the Foreign Emoluments Clause in the Constitution, they did not care at all that Hunter Biden was paid millions of dollars to work in Ukrainian oil and gas, during which Biden bragged about a quid pro quo that saved the company. They don’t care about Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, and other family members being investigated for money laundering.

    No, with tears of gratitude and hope in their eyes for a Nirvana, they say all investigations against Democrats must cease.

    The useful idiots. Sic ’em on Trump. Ignore Democrats. Sic ’em on Trump voters. Ignore Democrats. They don’t even work for treats.

    1. Karen, Joe Biden didn’t do anything to save Burisma, he carried out EU, World Bank, and US policy endorsed by US Senators including Republican Ron Johnson to get rid of a corrupt beuracrat.

      Other than that carry on with your infantile conviction that Democrats are bad people and Republicans good. At least you have accepted your leader is heading for the door.

      1. @Joe – No, Biden was fatally conflicted given his family’s business interests in the Ukraine. He had two choices, either of which would have been simple, honorable and legal.

        He could have declined the Ukraine role, or recused himself so that it could be handled by someone without a conflict. Or he could have asked his son to decline the Burisma role, or to resign from it. Of course, since Hunter was particularly unqualified for the Burisma role, Biden knew the family would get bupkus if he recused himself.

        Biden had two honorable alternatives. Instead, Biden decided he wanted it all. The authority to act on behalf of the government. And the money for his family. With the complicity of the corrupt media and Democratic party, here’s a dollar saying he’ll get away with it, and the Presidency too. But one thing he didn’t earn is respect.

          1. Trump should just do a massive Data Dump right away of all docs the govt has on all those Traitors/Crooks, the Bidens/Clintons Bushs/Feinstein/Pelosi/ Schifty, etc.. directly to the public.

            Then appoint a special prostitute to bring cases against them following the evidence, charged/presented to a court far outside of Commie Controlled DC.

            Like did the Chicoms pay Hunter to rape those young Chinese gals, pay him or were those Black Tapes?

            What’s up now with the Biden’s Chicom Partner from a month or so back that came out exposing that the Bidens were attempting to set up a Scam against the US so he quit & went Public?


          2. “You think he he’d sell out for part of $50k a month?”

            No. He sold out for much more than that.

          3. @ Joe – When in doubt, always fall back to the Four D’s. Deny. Deflect. Dissemble. Democrat. Works every time.

            But you’re right, he probably sold himself and the family short. $600K/year is short money when you’re playing in the major leagues with the Clintons and Obamas, and Joe was only VP. Do you know the poorest guy in the world? He’s the one that makes 10% less than his best friend.

            Then figure Hunter needed the money to cover the blow and the child support for the new grandchild Hunter fathered with the woman they smeared. And if I understand the timeline the China business hadn’t quite taken off yet. But hey, every little bit helps.

            1. If Joe becomes president it opens up a whole new order of magnitude of “business opportunities” following in the Clinton and Obama model. Not that Joe really needs it after 47 years in politics. Besides, everyone knows that Democratic money is clean. Just hope that he’s not too old to enjoy it when he gets out of office.

              Always felt bad for the Clintons and how the Clinton Foundation fell on hard times when Hilary lost the presidency. Tough on the kids. Forced Chelsea to scrape by on scraps from her Board fees. The walls on the Manhattan apartment probably started closing in. Wonder if she had to fly commercial. JFK, LaGuardia, Newark. What a freakin’ disaster. Then Joe and Hunter got salty when they heard how much Chelsea made on the equity grants from her Board work. SEC disclosure rules are so inconvenient. Joe Friday’s right – Hunter really was a piker on the Ukraine gig.

              But really, the structure of the Clinton Foundation really is brilliant. Selfless. Helps the poor and downtrodden. Uranium is a great way to fight climate change. Word on the street is that Hillary may be in line for the UN role. No doubt interest in the Clinton Foundation’s charitable work will pick up right where it left off. The Clinton’s will be back in the saddle!

              Is there still time to invest in a nice little voting machine business, or did we miss the boat? Banker have been saying there’s some good money in that. And power. Along with the satisfaction that comes from funding the most secure election in history. Plus you don’ have to put up with the Ukranians. But did you ever work for the Chinese? They can be a real pain in the @ss.

              But when things are looking bleak, just fall back on the Four D’s. Deny. Deflect. Dissemble. Democrat. Works every time.

              1. Epstein, the Clinton Foundation is an A rated charity. Amusing that you hurl unsubstantiated allegations at Democrats who have released their tax returns, yet have no suspicions about the current president who hides his income, pays no taxes, and has family members operating his and other businesses within the WH.

                1. The Clinton Foundation is not a charity because they provide little or no direct aid. Look it up. They have problems right now with the IRS. The Foundation states they “facilitate,manage,convene.” They supplied no Aids drugs in Africa. They negotiated the price. This is and has been public knowledge.

                2. A foundation is not a charity. Check your tax laws. The Clintons pulled in $111,000,000 for Haiti. They spent $7,000,000 on Haiti and then $34,000,000 each for Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Hubbell for their brilliant foundation management. If it was a charity, they would be facing legal action…well, probably not as corrupt as the deep state/swamp is. As a foundation, they were able to steal most of the money…ethical bankruptcy, but hey, we are talking about democrat/marxists who have no ethics.

            2. Epstein, all recent past presidents made money on speaking fees, including the Republicans. Look it up.

    2. Karen, you have a knack for laying out the relevant facts clearly and succinctly. Your post is spot on.

    3. Of course the Biden investigation will end the same day he takes office, if not before.
      Dept. of Justice totally politicized, and the practice of not publicizing information near an election simply proves it.
      Durham’s investigation was just a red herring, never meant to actually do anything.
      Departments, even worse, are more loyal to themselves than the American people.

    4. Talk about “useful idiots”. You can always tell a Fox News disciple–they have been conditioned to hate Democrats, and they believe whatever lame argument they heard on Fox, which projects Trump’s lies and misconduct to Democrats.

      Hilary didn’t collude with anyone–Russians hated her because she didn’t need their money like Trump does, like Obama, she would sanction them, she won’t withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Germany, which is what Russians want and which Trump is doing, and that’s why they helped him cheat. Because he’s a failure at business–that’s why he accepted their help and needs their money. But you bought the Fox News talking point that it’s really Hillary who colluded with the Russians. This will hopefully be the last time it will be explained to you that the “dossier” was not the triggering event for the Mueller investigation. Another Fox lie. Read the Mueller Report.

      There’s no actual evidence that Hunter or Joe Biden committed any crime. No matter how much harping “Judge” Jeanine, Hannity, Ingraham, Tucker or Levine does, there’s no evidence. All of this was ginned up to help Trump, who LOST anyway.

      Today’s piece is yet another Turley effort to normalize Trump. It’s not working.

          1. Biz Insiders, Known Liars!

            The Pro American/Trump Rally was organized in less then a week & a half & had over a Million Loyal Americans show up!

            We’ll start the clock right now, lets see Biden/Kameltoe get more the an airport shuttle bus full of supporters show up in DC for a pro Biden/Kameltoe rally.

            Better yet have those phantom Biden supporters show up for a rally at the closest Constitutional Carry State Capitals to DC. That’s because we can clearly see much of the DC police was once again protecting the Fascist antifa/BLM Terrorist while they were beating up old women & children.

            1. What kind of ignorant, white trash, inbred cracker would call an accomplished woman like Kamala Harris “Kameltoe”? You don’t have sense enough to be ashamed. You probably think this is funny. She was: a district attorney, Attorney General, Senator and now is the Vice President. What are your accomplishments?

    1. Oh yeah OKY, and your leader worked up enough nerve to smile through a car window. He’s been hiding out for 12 days now, unable to face the music or perform his presidential duties – not that he ever did.

      1. Even a bank robber isn’t so stupid to not know the if the long arm of the Cops that he’ll be forced to give the stolen loot bank.

        It’s the same case with Biden & the DNC, they’re Busted, they’ve been Caught by the American People!

        One way or another they’ll be forced to surrender up what they’ve Stolen that belongs to loyal Americans, our Vote.

        Don’t be another Fool & think this is just about Trump, it’s far more then that, it’s about Freedom& Liberty.

  9. “We’re Fixin’ to Overturn the Results of the Election in Multiple States!”

    “We’re fixin’ to overturn the results of the election in multiple states, and President Trump won by not just hundreds of thousands of votes but by millions of votes that were shifted by this software that was designed expressly for that purpose. We have sworn witness testimony of why the software was designed. It was designed to rig elections. He was fully briefed on it. He saw it happen in other countries. It was exported internationally for profit by the people that are behind Smartmatic and Dominion.

    “They did this on purpose. It was calculated and they’ve done it before. We have evidence from 2016 in California. We have so much evidence I feel like it’s coming in through a fire hose.”

    – Sidney Powell

  10. Sidney Powell Drops a BOMB on Sunday Morning Futures: CIA May have Used Dominion for Its Own Benefit – Gina Haspel Should be Fired Immediately!

    During her interview Powell called for CIA Director Gina Haspel to be FIRED IMMEDIATELY.
    Powell said Haspel and the CIA must have known the Dominion voting systems had serious flaws.
    But Haspel and the CIA did nothing.

    Sidney Powell: It’s really an insidious, corrupt system and I can’t tell you how livid I am at our government for not paying attention to complaints, even brought by Democrats… No one in our government has paid any attention to it which makes me wonder if the CIA has used it for its own benefit in different places. And why Gina Haspel is still there in the CIA is beyond my comprehension.

    Gina Haspel should be fired immediately.

  11. “Sidney Powell: Smartmatic Voting Machine’s Chairman of the Board Peter Neffenger Named to Joe Biden’s ‘Transition Team”

    Peter Neffenger is a former Coast Guard Commander who served as Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration from July 2015 to January 20, 2017. Peter Neffenger is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of Smartmatic, a multinational company that specializes in building and implementing electronic voting systems. Last week Neffenger was named a member of Joe Biden’s “Transition Team.” This is well documented and is even posted on Wikipedia. Trump attorney Sidney Powell revealed this disturbing finding on Sunday Morning Futures this morning.

    – Jim Hoft, 11/15/2020

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