Who is John Durham? AG Barr names special counsel to keep investigating Russia probe origins for Joe Biden admin

This decision was made in October, two weeks before the election, according to a letter he sent to Congress on Tuesday, December 1


                            Who is John Durham? AG Barr names special counsel to keep investigating Russia probe origins for Joe Biden admin
William Barr (Getty Images), John Durham (United States Department of Justice)

Attorney General William Barr has appointed John Durham as special counsel, allowing the federal prosecutor protection to carry on his investigation into the origins of the Russia probe into the incoming Joe Biden administration. This decision was made in October, two weeks before the election, according to a letter he sent to Congress on Tuesday, December 1, as reported by NPR.

The NPR report stated that the attorney general said he appointed Durham as a special counsel “to provide him and his team with the assurance that they could complete their work, without regard to the outcome of the election.” The AG had originally appointed Durham, the US attorney for Connecticut, in 2019 to look into the beginning of the investigation into connections between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia.

Initially, it started as a review of the probe but later was elevated to a criminal investigation. Until now, one individual has been charged as part of Durham's work: former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who pleaded guilty to altering an email that was used in seeking surveillance of a former Trump campaign adviser. The order appointing Durham as a special counsel allows him to investigate whether any federal official or employee broke the law in connection with the investigation into the 2016 presidential campaigns and people associated with the Trump administration. It also specifies that Durham will submit a final report to the attorney general “in a form that will permit public dissemination.”

Barr accepted in his letter to Congress, he had expected Durham to finish his work by summer. However, he said the pandemic and other information that his investigation uncovered delayed the timeline.

Who is John Durham?

John Durham (United States Department of Justice)

According to a 2019 report in The New York Times, Durham has been a Justice Department lawyer since 1982 and in his career as a public servant has conducted special investigations under both Democratic and Republican presidents. Trump had nominated him to be United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut in 2017 and the following year he was confirmed.

The NYT article states that from 2008 to 2012, Durham worked as the acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, where he was tasked with investigating whether the CIA had destroyed videotapes in 2005 that showed agents torturing terrorism suspects. Durham’s investigation into the CIA tapes expanded a year later, during the Barack Obama administration, by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who asked him to investigate whether the agency violated any laws in its treatments of detainees.

In 1999, Attorney General Janet Reno had asked him to investigate the connection between the FBI and the Boston crime boss James (Whitey) Bulger, a longtime informant. That investigation led to the prosecution of a former FBI supervisory special agent and a former Massachusetts state police lieutenant, according to the Justice Department.

What the Internet had to say

There were some reactions to Barr’s decision on Twitter as well. A user alleged, “What William Barr has done by appointing John Durham as special counsel to continue on their sham investigation of the Mueller probe is obvious sabotage of the first few months of President Biden’s admin. The Biden AG should fire Durham on 1/20/21 without hesitation.” Another opined, “Mueller was investigating major election interference between a campaign and an adversary. Something that was consequential to our democracy and proved unprecedented amount of communication btw the two. Durham is literally just redoing the IG investigation bc it didn’t prove.” LATimes Legal Affairs columnist Harry Litman wrote: “Durham's appointment is Barr's revenge.  It's like the kids' prank of leaving a lit bag of poop at the door and ringing the doorbell.  The idea is that new AG will have to stomp it out, with the attendant mess and stench.”



 

 



 

 



 

 

These remarks were made by the internet and individual organizations, MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and nor does it support these claims being made on the Internet.  

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