Why a new House committee will likely 'ignore' John Durham’s 'giant waste of time and resources': reporter

Why a new House committee will likely 'ignore' John Durham’s 'giant waste of time and resources': reporter
John Durham (photo by Ron Sachs/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images)

For months, Fox News and other right-wing media outlets relentlessly hyped former special counsel John Durham’s probe of the Russia investigation. Durham, appointed by former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, conducted what was essentially an investigation of an investigation. And Fox News pundits, along with former President Donald Trump, predicted that the probe would be seriously damaging to prominent Democrats.

But when Durham finally delivered his final report for the probe, it was hardly the total annihilation of Democrats that Fox News hosts were expecting. Liberal pundits on MSNBC were quick to describe Durham’s findings as mostly a “nothingburger.” And according to reporting in the New York Times, Durham’s investigation included some questionable Russian sources.

Rolling Stone’s Nikki McCann Ramirez describes those Russian sources as “sketchy,” and she argues that House Republicans will probably “ignore” Durham’s probe when they conduct their new select committee on the “weaponization of the federal government.”

READ MORE:Top legal experts call for ethics probe into Bill Barr’s handpicked special counsel John Durham

Ramirez explains, “Earlier this month, Kevin McCarthy announced the creation of a new ‘weaponization of the federal government’ select committee aimed at investigating overreach by the Justice Department. One case that House Republicans are likely to ignore is special counsel John Durham’s probe into the Russia investigation, despite the New York Times reporting on Thursday, (January 26) that Durham and former Attorney General Bill Barr, who appointed him, may have abused their investigative powers in a litany of ways, including by using sketchy Russian intelligence to gain access to the e-mails of an aide to Hungarian billionaire George Soros, a frequent target of right-wing conspiracies.”

The Rolling Stone journalist points out that according to the New York Times’ reporting, Durham “seized on dubious Russian intelligence memos in order to target Leonard Benardo, the executive vice president of Soros’ Open Society Foundations.”

“According to interviews conducted by the Times,” Ramirez observes, "despite significant factual inconsistencies in the memos being raised by investigators, the special counsel reportedly went to great lengths to obtain information on the contents of Benardo’s e-mails. When a judge struck down a request from his office to access the information, citing a lack of evidence compelling enough to overwrite privacy laws, Durham reportedly attempted to circumvent her decision through a grand jury. While the Times was unable to ascertain if Benardo was subpoenaed by Durham, he did voluntarily provide the special counsel with the requested information.”

Ramirez describes Durham’s investigation as “primarily a giant waste of time and resources.”

READ MORE: John Durham DOJ probe ending without 'anything close' to results Donald Trump 'was seeking': report

“It’s the exact type of partisan witch hunt one might think a House committee on the ‘weaponization of the federal government’ might want to investigate, but Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who will run the subcommittee, is unlikely to bring it to the table,” Ramirez writes. “Jordan, a devout Trump loyalist, repeatedly lauded the Durham investigation, and publicly affirmed his belief that the probe would result in criminal penalties for those under Barr and Durham’s scrutiny.”

READ MORE: Bill Barr asked Italian officials to discredit Russia probe — they responded with evidence linking Trump to crimes

Read Rolling Stone’s full article at this link.

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