Tracking the latest Durham Developments

WSJ Report: potential charges against several lower-level FBI employees

U.S. Attorney For Connecticut John Durham Resigns – NBC Connecticut

The Wall Street Journal reports Special Counsel John Durham is:

  • “Presenting evidence to a grand jury and preparing a lengthy report expected to be completed in the coming months, according to people familiar with the matter.”

  • “Examining potential criminal charges against several lower-level FBI employees, and people who aren’t in government, according to people familiar with the matter.”

They expect the long-awaited Durham report to be delivered at some time after the end of the summer.

Background

In December 2019, after the IG report detailed the Carter Page FISA abuses, Durham released a statement disagreeing with the IG’s conclusions about the predicate for opening Crossfire Hurricane (and theoretically the broader Trump/Russia investigation):

After that, before the 2020 election, Attorney General Barr appointed Durham as Special Counsel. This appointment specified that Durham’s investigation would include (but not be limited to) violations of law relating to Crossfire Hurricane and the Mueller Investigation:

The Focus

According to the WSJ, “Prosecutors working for Mr. Durham have focused on people outside the FBI who provided information that helped to fuel the 2016 investigation.”

Who would that include?

The Alfa Bank allegations: As we previously discussed, and as The New Yorker first reported back in October 2020, Durham had impaneled a grand jury relating to the false Alfa Bank/Trump Organization story. This included a request of testimony from former Feinstein staffer Daniel Jones (who has deep links to Fusion GPS).  

Igor Danchenko: Danchenko is the primary subsource (PSS) of Christopher Steele who we suspect of lying to the FBI about his ties to Russian intelligence and fabricating his discussions with other witnesses. Durham has subpoenaed his records from his previous employer, Brookings.

As to the potential for false statement charges, Danchenko denied to the FBI that he had “any contacts with the Russian intelligence.” However, FBI records show that Danchenko was previously “in contact with a known Russian intelligence officer” and that he seemed “very familiar” with another Russian intelligence officer.

And as observed by Stephen McIntyre (follow @climateaudit), Danchenko “fabricated information” attributed to a Russian source.

Christopher Steele: This is the obvious answer. The Steele Dossiers have essentially been disproven. There is no doubt that they were, in large measure, false. The question then becomes whether Durham’s team can prove Steele made knowingly false statements to his FBI handlers.

FBI employees: At the time of Durham’s appointment as Special Counsel, AP reporter Mike Balsamo reported that Durham’s criminal probe “really is focused on the activities of the crossfire hurricane investigation within the FBI.”

We might have context for that. In March 2021, CNN reported that Durham was at least partially focused on “the bureau’s disclosures” to the FISA Court. And we do know that Durham was provided materials relating to the investigation of General Flynn. One can’t help but think there might be internal discussions among FBI employees about the veracity of the FISA warrants.

Finally, as all things Durham, we’re left with more questions than answers.  

First, the scope of Durham’s appointment includes “law enforcement activities directed at the 2016 presidential campaigns.” Campaigns plural.

As the New York times, reported, Durham’s team sought “information about the FBI’s handling of the Clinton Foundation investigation.” What did they find, and did team Durham also look into the Hillary Clinton server investigation?

Second, Durham’s appointment includes authority to review the Mueller investigation. Is this limited to submissions to the FISA Court, or might it include other investigative steps?

If so, does it include special counsel Andrew Weissman’s destruction of evidence – when he “accidentally” wiped his iPhone twice in 2018?

In any event, if the WSJ reporting is true, we might see some bad actors formerly with the US government escape justice.