Don’t let anyone tell you that Special Counsel John Durham might as well pack it up after his loss in court Tuesday in the Sussmann case. That’s the mainstream media narrative –- at the conclusion of a trial they deliberately ignored –- and since when has a mainstream media narrative been true?
Former Attorney General Bill Barr appeared on “Jesse Watters Primetime” Wednesday night to comment on the Durham investigation in light of Michael Sussmann’s acquittal. Here’s the big take-away from that interview:
“No one’s more frustrated than the law enforcement people who are trying to uphold the law and trying to uphold one standard of the law –- and there’s not; there are two standards of the law, and we’ve had this struggle with that. And people have done, I think, a very good job trying to develop this case in the face of very strong headwinds. And part of this operation is to try to get the real story out. I’ve said from the beginning...if we can get convictions, if they’re achievable, then John Durham will achieve them. But...the other aspect of this is to get the story out, and I think the Danchenko prosecution [relative to the ‘dossier’] is gonna further amplify these themes and the role that the FBI leadership played in this, which is increasingly looking fishy and inexplicable.”
The prospect that the “dossier” was Russian disinformation fed through the Hillary campaign was “very real,” Barr said, and never looked into by special counsel Robert Mueller, Barr said, “even though he had all the relevant facts.”
Barr said he disagreed with Andrew McCarthy about the case being “lost or mismanaged” because of Durham painting the FBI as being ‘duped.’ (If you read what we said yesterday, you know we’re more in line with Barr than McCarthy on this.) “He didn’t. What I think he skillfully did,” Barr continued, “was focus on the clearest violation of the law that didn’t require him to prove even...[a] much more onerous case of the bad faith of the FBI at this stage. That would’ve been a Herculean case...[with a] high degree of difficulty compared to what he was doing.”
Durham didn’t say the FBI were ‘duped’ –- he “treated them as neutral, and let the facts speak for themselves,” Barr said. And the materiality of the lie told to the FBI, Barr thought, was clear. But this is a case that has to be built “painstakingly.” It would have been “a very hard case to prove, at this stage,” that the FBI “are bad guys,” he said. “Especially in front of a DC jury.”
NOTE that Barr has twice used the qualifier “at this stage,” implying that down the road, given what the investigation has revealed at that point, it might not be so hard to make the case.
“Complicated cases like this take a long time to build,” Barr concluded. “They occur step-by-step, and in secret. People don’t like that. But if they want people punished, that’s what it takes. If they want the facts of what happened, you can get it that much more quickly; you can give people immunity, and then require them to provide evidence. So, if you want the facts, if you want a report, that can be done fairly quickly. But if you want scalps, that takes time.”
If it’s true great minds think alike, I should congratulate the former attorney general for echoing essentially what we said here after the Sussmann verdict was read. The points to keep in mind are these:
– It’s true: there really are two systems of justice, and that is now painfully clear.
– Besides getting convictions if possible, Durham’s larger purpose is to get the full story out.
-- The next trial (Danchenko, involving the Steele “dossier”) will continue doing that.
-- The case did NOT hinge on the FBI being duped. Durham meant to let the facts show their behavior to be “fishy and inexplicable.” (In this courtroom, there would have been an acquittal either way.)
-- One big question to be answered is why the Mueller investigation tiptoed around known facts.
– The case Durham is building is very complicated and will take a long time.
– Durham is after big scalps. Don’t worry; this trial was just to sharpen the cleaver a little.
So, where does the investigation go from here? THE EPOCH TIMES has an excellent piece on that. (Writer Hans Mahncke does agree with McCarthy that Durham was pushing the “overarching” narrative that the FBI was duped; again, we saw that a bit differently.) Of course, there’s Danchenko and the “dossier” --- that trial is scheduled for October --- but there are other private actors such as the infamous Marc Elias, Fusion GPS co-founders Peter Fritsch and Glenn Simpson, and, of course, Rodney Joffe –- who was NOT granted immunity.
There was testimony in the Sussmann trial suggesting that Joffe had a role in analyzing the alleged Russian hacking of the DNC emails in May 2016. “If Joffe was involved in shaping the narrative of the alleged hacking,” Mahncke writes, “it would cast yet more doubt on the flimsy but prevailing conclusion that the Russian government was responsible.”
Let’s hope and pray that Durham is headed in that direction. It might even be the Holy Grail. The so-called “Russian hack” story laid the foundation for the whole Trump-Russia Hoax, yet there’s no evidence, at least that has been made public, that the DNC server was hacked by the Russians. The FBI accepted that explanation from the DNC without even examining their hard drive, which is in the possession of a company called CrowdStrike.
Mahncke points out that if Durham has more serious charges in mind for Joffe, he’s not hemmed in by the statute of limitations. For lying to the FBI, it’s only five years (and the allegations are from 2016), but for major fraud against the United States, it’s seven years.
Of course, there are also the “fishy” government actors such as the FBI’s Peter Strzok, Andy McCabe and Director James Comey. They seem like much slipperier fish to catch, but we now have evidence from this trial that the people on the 7th Floor were “fired up” about the Alfa Bank server and demanded a full investigation even though they had no credible evidence.
Jake Sullivan is another possible target. One fact, however, complicates Durham’s look at some government actors and shows how incestuous Washington DC is: Attorney General Merrick Garland’s counsel, Margaret Goodlander, is married to...Sullivan, who was helping spread the fake Alfa Bank narrative with Hillary and is now working in the Biden White House. For Durham, every day must feel like going to work in a mine field.