Is Nunes kidding. Durham is not going anywhere – is he in on the take?
KOMMONSENTSJANE – THE CASE AGAINST WILLIAM BARR
Devin Nunes: John Durham should be unleashing fresh charges now
If it were up to Devin Nunes, special counsel John Durham unveils a wave of new charges right now, escalating his endeavor to root out misconduct in the FBI’s Russia inquiry.
But Durham isn’t doing that — in fact, his years-long investigation appears to be winding down with what could be the final prosecution of the affair — leading Nunes, who during his closing act in Congress sent more than a dozen criminal referrals to the Justice Department focused on the Russia matter and the 2016 election, to openly speculate Durham is somehow “being blocked” from expanding his aim.
“I think what is happening here, Durham is being blocked,” Nunes said Friday on Fox News. “And I don’t say this lightly. He’s being blocked by somebody within the Department of Justice where he cannot bring the charges that should be brought right now. And those are charges of conspiracy of lying to Congress, misleading Congress, [and] defrauding the government.”
‘TEAR APART’ DOJ AND FBI: DEVIN NUNES IMPLORES REPUBLICANS TO ACT ON JOHN DURHAM BOMBSHELL
Nunes, who is now CEO of former President Donald Trump’s media venture, Trump Media and Technology Group, is leaning into his skepticism of the Biden administration’s appetite to let Durham run its course without interruption. He previously questioned whether the Justice Department would allow Durham to release a report summing up his work.
Attorney General Merrick Garland assured, in responding to prying questions from Republican lawmakers nearly one year ago, “you would know if he weren’t continuing to do his work,” while also noting that the vitality of Durham’s investigation was evident in a then-recent financial activity report. Before that, Garland declined to promise during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in February 2021 that he would protect Durham’s investigation or make any eventual report public.
However, Garland said he didn’t have any “reason” to think it wasn’t the right move to allow Durham to continue his work, and, in July 2021, a Justice Department official said the agency “agrees” with an order by former Attorney General William Barr regarding transparency for the review when he made Durham, then the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, a special counsel — a designation that provided him extra protection to continue his work following a change in administrations.
Durham’s investigation began more than three years ago. While Trump and his allies claim the businessman-turned-politician was unfairly targeted in a bid to undermine his campaign and presidency, Democrats and some legal observers claim the inquiry is meant to undercut Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation and inflict damage on Trump’s political foes.
During his appearance Friday, Nunes argued Durham appears to be “systematically” putting the FBI on trial in the case against a leading source for disgraced former British spy Christopher Steele’s infamous anti-Trump dossier. Igor Danchenko, a U.S.-based Russian lawyer, is fighting five counts of making false statements tied to what he told the FBI about the now-discredited, Democratic-funded dossier, and one just got dismissed.
Among the more explosive revelations in the Alexandria, Virginia, courtroom trial so far was testimony that the FBI offered Steele up to $1 million to prove his dossier claims, but he did not get the money because he could not “prove” the allegations. That testimony came from FBI supervisory intelligence analyst Brian Auten, who disclosed this week that Durham informed him in 2021 that he was a “subject” of the special counsel’s criminal review of the Trump-Russia investigation, and confirmed that the FBI had recommended he receive a suspension due to his actions as a member first of the Crossfire Hurricane team and then of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into ties between then-candidate Donald Trump and the Russian government. Further, an FBI special agent and a former analyst who served on both Mueller’s team testified that the special counsel’s office declined to investigate and never interviewed Charles Dolan, the Clinton-allied business associate of Danchenko, despite their urging.
Claims in Steele’s dossier were undermined by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who, in a late 2019 report, criticized the DOJ and the FBI for at least 17 “significant errors and omissions” related to the FISA warrants against onetime Trump campaign aide Carter Page, a U.S. citizen who was suspected of acting on Russia’s behalf but never charged with wrongdoing, and for the bureau’s reliance on Steele’s dossier in seeking to obtain that surveillance authority. Page appeared with Nunes on Friday during the interview conducted by host Sean Hannity and lamented how his misgivings about the Russia investigation have only increased as more information becomes public.
Though convinced that Durham is on a roll uncovering unsavory links between the FBI, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, and the Democratic National Committee, Nunes appeared to accept that Durham’s investigation won’t bring to fruition the sorts of intense prosecutions and long prison sentences, including for high-level FBI officials, envisioned by the Trump faithful. “It just seems like Durham’s hands are tied somehow, some way. Someone is not letting him bring the charges that he should be bringing right now,” Nunes said. “Maybe I’m wrong. I hope I’m wrong.”