Patterico's Pontifications

5/16/2023

John Durham’s Judgment

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:03 am



The Durham Report is supposedly out. Merrick Garland has said he will release it in a few weeks, but in the meantime he has prepared a short summary of its findings, which pronounce the FBI has been “totally exonerated.”

Nah, just kidding. The report is out. Somehow the Attorney General managed to just release it without delaying it for the purpose of allowing a mischaracterization to float out there for a few weeks.

John Durham has pronounced judgment on the FBI’s opening of an investigation into the demonstrated ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign.

I’d be more inclined to pay attention to Durham’s opinion if he did not have this habit of bringing high-profile cases and then losing them at trial. That’s not a recipe for trusting a prosecutor’s judgment.

I’d also be more inclined to pay attention to Durham if one of his top prosecutors had not resigned in protest over concerns that he was acquiescing to political pressure to produce the sort of report that emerged yesterday.

To me, those are reasons to question the judgment of a prosecutor. Of course, if you’re a Trumpist hack, YMMV.

41 Responses to “John Durham’s Judgment”

  1. the durham report is awesome and shows the little piggies in the fbi to be corrupt corrupt corrupt, yes that is what they are, its not like that muller report which was trash

    /happyfeet

    Patterico (2fe2dc)

  2. Why did happyfeet suddenly come to mind when I had just written the words “Trumpist hack”?

    Patterico (2fe2dc)

  3. Reiterating and summarizing my comments from the open thread, if Putin’s actions weren’t enough to start an FBI counterintelligence investigation, then I really don’t know what is. IMO, the GOP-led Senate Intelligence Committee had it right when they concluded that “the Russian government engaged in an aggressive, multi-faceted effort to influence, or attempt to influence, the outcome of the 2016 presidential election”.

    Two, Durham spent four years investigating the investigators, and the only scalp he can semi-claim is Clinesmith. I say “semi” because IG Horowitz is the one who busted the FBI attorney and, since he doesn’t have prosecutorial powers, appropriately handed it over to Durham.

    Three, Durham not only didn’t recommend further indictments, he didn’t make any recommendations to the FBI in his report. The PR line is that recommendations were already made and incorporated.

    Four, Trump crowed that the FBI committed the “crime of the century”, but it turned out to be another one of his big fat hoaxes, almost on par with this Election Fraud Hoax. Durham was not Trump’s retribution. No case.

    Five, the FBI did f-ck up on one or more of the Carter Page FISA warrants, but that’s pretty much it. That’s the “scandal”, but in the larger scheme of things, specifically in context of Putin’s bad intentions toward our American election and Manafort’s bad intentions in sharing internal polling data with a Russian spy and all the contacts between Trump people and Putin people, the FISA warrant cockup is nothingburger territory.

    Six, Durham has no place to declare that the FBI should not have started Crossfire Hurricane. If anything should never have begun, it was Durham’s waste of millions of taxpayer dollars. But we know why this was done, and it was because of one person, and that one person wanted revenge against a law enforcement agency that was “disloyal” for investigating Putin and Trump’s campaign and Trump himself. Fortunately for Trump, he appointed a compliant AG who was already on record as opposed to what Mueller was doing, and this was the result.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  4. So is there an agreement that the Russian piss event never happened?

    Joe (2c82c2)

  5. I don’t intend to read the report, as it seems like a real time-suck. But it is not hard to believe that an FBI which found nothing of interest in Hillary’s “carelessness” with TS documents was at the same time politicized with respect to Trump. Even assh0les have due process rights and should not be smeared under cover of authority.

    As for Durham and his judgement as a prosecutor, well, I bring much the same skepticism to Bragg in New York, beginning with his overcharging in the Trump case.

    Kevin M (213cd6)

  6. The pee tape is the friends we made along the way.

    Davethulhu (fec3f0)

  7. Is it any wonder that extraterrestrials don’t visit our planet? We are all nuttier than a Payday bar. Our shared psychosis might be communicable. Hence the galactic quarantine.

    Simon Jester (ca4340)

  8. I am the Walrus.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  9. Andrew C. McCarthy: Hmmm, Maybe There Could Be Something to This Russia Investigation After All

    https://redstate.com/patterico/2017/10/08/andrew-c-mccarthy-hmmm-maybe-something-russia-investigation-n77955

    DCSCA (26c278)

  10. I think the FBI’s response boils down to: Most of those people don’t work here anymore and of those who have left, all were ushered out with pensions except the FNG Clinesmith.

    I see this as sins of omission, rather than sins of commission…. I get that from the people in the report who said; “No one told me that or I would have done differently…” and the allegations are the FBI put pinkie ring on the scales of justice because people there didn’t like Trump; for a variety of reasons political and personal.
    This report seems tailored to just tarnish the FBI enough that they privately handle business. This habit of manipulating things up to the line of illegality, “not convictable” for themselves at the Presidential political level is not a real confidence booster for the people lower down the food chain.

    steveg (eec25c)

  11. I remember getting a bit of pushback here when I mentioned that anything Andrew Weismann touched would smell of taint, and the taintedness only got worse when we found Mueller was in steep mental decline. Whattaboutitisms? They function as consistency checks so by all means lets ban them

    steveg (eec25c)

  12. @11. Thing is, the FBI’s been a politicized outfit for a long, long time:

    A politically weaponized FBI is nothing new, but plenty dangerous

    https://thehill.com/opinion/civil-rights/392084-a-politically-weaponized-fbi-is-nothing-new-but-plenty-dangerous/

    DCSCA (26c278)

  13. Some of us would like to see DeSantis, Haley or Ramaswamy as a candidate. Not Trump.

    However, some of us are not okay with, do not accept, are exceedingly angry about what has been perpetrated by our nation’s premier law enforcement agencies over the last several years. Some of us abhor this collusion of the federal government, big corporations and the legacy media.

    Some of us don’t/won’t/can’t accept being treated as mushrooms eager to scarf down the daily bullschitt emanating from these Journolist Jokers.

    Those that willingly promote this hi-tech fascism deserve what will be coming.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  14. So everything was made up, right?

    Stephen Halper, all the spy stuff with George Papadopoulos and Joseph Mifsud, all generated? Coming from the FBI dirty tricks team or what have you?

    Ingot9455 (b298af)

  15. Maybe Durham should be appointed to find Comer’s “missing informant.”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  16. I’d be more inclined to pay attention to Durham’s opinion if he did not have this habit of bringing high-profile cases and then losing them at trial. That’s not a recipe for trusting a prosecutor’s judgment.

    some of us were saying similar about Weissmann

    the criteria must’ve changed since then

    JF (d3fe07)

  17. Whenever a Trump fan gets bored with talking about 2020, the fan can talk about the 2017 Russian follies. The thing about Trump II is it’s all about the past and retribution for the past. I mean, I’m a history buff and enjoy delving into the depths. But it’s no way to run a Presidential campaign, unless you figure that there is no future — except retribution for past grievances and invocations of a glorious past that wasn’t all that great.

    Appalled (836a75)

  18. @13. My vote remains w/Nikki. But issues and trends beyond her control- or anybody else’s- are shaping the battlefield. In this transitional cycle, the VP choice is quite significant- which is rare; [revisit the backstory of the Truman/FDR pairing in ’44.] Given the term limitations on Trump and the frail, failing mental acuity of Joe, whoever is selected as number two in 2024 will almost certainly be number one on the runway in 2028. A President Harris is a real possibility even sooner.

    DCSCA (26c278)

  19. Haiku —

    A matter of curiosity, why the other candidates and not Trump.

    Appalled (836a75)

  20. 19… IMO, Trump doesn’t have the discipline required, he’s damaged goods. He allowed himself to be gamed and fu*ked out of re-election and he’s allowing himself to take it personally.

    But if he ends up being the candidate who wins the nomination, he’ll get my vote. I can’t stomach Biden or any other of these dishonest Democrats. They will be the death of America. Again, IMO.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  21. @13. However, some of us are not okay with, do not accept, are exceedingly angry about what has been perpetrated by our nation’s premier law enforcement agencies over the last several years. Some of us abhor this collusion of the federal government, big corporations and the legacy media. Some of us don’t/won’t/can’t accept being treated as mushrooms eager to scarf down the daily bullschitt emanating from these Journolist Jokers. Those that willingly promote this hi-tech fascism deserve what will be coming.

    You’re expressing populism, Haiku.

    DCSCA (26c278)

  22. @20. If your world, your life, your immeiate universe was better w/Trump as POTUS, you’ll vote for Trump. If it is better w/Joey as POTUS, you’ll go w/Joe. The best polling venues: the grocery store, the gas station and the interest rates, the inflation numbers, etc., etc.,

    DCSCA (26c278)

  23. @16

    some of us were saying similar about Weissmann

    the criteria must’ve changed since then

    JF (d3fe07) — 5/16/2023 @ 12:13 pm

    Weissmann is absolutely scum of the earth, and embodies every bad characteristics that gives lawyers a bad name.

    I’m the son of a woman who had just joined Author Anderson executive team to handle international cases, and this jackbooted pond scum destroyed that company based on outright obscure legal theory that was unanimously overturned by the Supreme Court in a case called Arthur Andersen LLP v. United States.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Andersen_LLP_v._United_States#:~:text=United%20States%2C%20544%20U.S.%20696,and%20subsequent%20collapse%20of%20Enron.

    Until that case was overturned, my mother was fighting civil cases seeking to financially destroy my parent’s financial well being, all because Weissmann pushed a novel obstruction of justice theory.

    The same guy, who effectively ran the Mueller Special Counsel…and ya’ll wondered why I made hateful comments about the guy.

    Now you know why I despise that man, and you will have to forgive me for not buying any novel “obstruction of justice” theory presented by the Mueller Special Counsel.

    whembly (d116f3)

  24. Ok. That’s a fair answer.

    My own thought is the more issues involve the past (2020, Russia, stupid Stormy Daniels prosecution), the better Trump does in the primary. The populists really need to talk about the future they see and how they get there. That is what a Presidential race is supposed to be.

    Appalled (836a75)

  25. @23. whembly, hear you loud and clear; you crave justice, but the rule of law is dead at street level. Just finished dealing w/four CA lawyers and two judges, after THREE YEARS trying to close out my mother’s small estate through the probate. Three fvcking years. THe legal system is broken at so many levels. And worse, the damn judges would not read the paperwork and deliberately avoided their responsibility to make decisions on the documents submitted by the attorneys– and finally, literally gleefully – signed the final stipulation crowing, ‘Well, glad to see you finally worked it out yourselves’ because the bureaucratic bastard didn’t have to read the documents or make any decisions or rulings. Month after month, year after year of waiting for multiple, half-assed hearings that lasted less than 5 minutes each… not only did it cost me $… more importantly, it cost me something irreplaceable: TIME. My faith in in the American legal system as a route to justice is zilch.

    DCSCA (26c278)

  26. God bless your parents Whembly. I’m sorry they had to suffer to support a narcissist’s dream of career advamcement through the suffering of others.

    NJRob (1253ee)

  27. US assessing potential damage of Patriot missile defense system following Russian attack near Kyiv

    A US-made Patriot air defense system was likely damaged, but not destroyed, as the result of a Russian missile barrage in and around Kyiv early Tuesday morning local time, a US official tells CNN. – CNN.com

    DCSCA (808e58)

  28. Durham never did get to the bottom of why the FBI did what it did.

    His problem with prosecutions is that he maybe had a partially wrong theory that assumed most people talking to him were being honest.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  29. whembly I say this tongue in cheek. You are the problem. not Weismann. Weisman may have been wrong in the past but he was clever enough to be fake but accurate about Trump so all sins of omission are cleared. Sins of commission are also denied/forgiven because of the “fake but accurate representation” of a loathsome individual

    steveg (de1a4f)

  30. Loathsome individuals deserve honesty too, otherwise the “leadership” simply defines a person as loathsome, racist etc and then every protection under the law dissolves

    steveg (de1a4f)

  31. i do not think that we should criticize mr. special prosecutor john durham until we have tried to put lipstick on a pig our own selves

    it can’t possibly be easy

    in the first place, what shade would you pick?

    nk (bb1548)

  32. “The FBI lacked ‘any actual evidence of collusion’ between the Trump campaign and Russia when it violated its standards and jumped over several steps… to initiate a full investigation, including probes into four members of the Trump campaign. The pretext for the probe — a random conversation between unpaid Trump adviser George Papadopoulos and an Australian diplomat — was so flimsy that FBI agents complained it was ‘thin’ and British intelligence was incredulous. The FBI opened the probe without doing interviews, using any ‘standard analytical tools,’ or conducting intelligence reviews — which would have shown that not a single U.S. agency had evidence of collusion….”

    “The report lays out several instances in which the FBI was concerned that agents of foreign governments were seeking influence by donating to the Clinton campaign or the Clinton Foundation. Yet in one case in 2014 the FBI dawdled over obtaining a warrant from the secret FISA court because — according to an agent — ‘[T]hey were pretty “tippy-toeing” around HRC because there was a chance she would be the next President” and the FBI was concerned about interfering with a coming presidential campaign.’…The report lays out numerous examples of the FBI ignoring evidence that it was being used by the Clinton campaign to execute a political dirty trick. This included intelligence the government received in July 2016 alleging that Mrs. Clinton had approved “a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisors to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security services.” Former CIA director John Brennan briefed this material to President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Mr. Comey, yet the FBI ignored it. It did the same when it learned that collusion dossier author Christopher Steele was working for the Clinton campaign and that Mr. Steele and oppo-research team Fusion GPS were spreading disinformation to the press.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/john-durham-report-special-counsel-fbi-donald-trump-hillary-clinton-russia-peter-strzok-christopher-steele-d4a01d4e

    Colonel Haiku (ad63c2)

  33. “The real collusion to rig the 2016 election was between the Clinton campaign, the Obama White House, and the FBI.”

    —- Stephen “Vodka Pundit” Green

    Colonel Haiku (ad63c2)

  34. “……the demonstrated ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign.” …”concerns that he was acquiescing to political pressure”……..these two things are inconsistent…….simply no acquiescence to political pressure was required in the Mueller report, the parties involved were more than willing. Witness the staff……..PP is jumping the DJT derangement shark……..He’s got issues, but that line is being drawn here in a specious location.

    Richard Wetmore (ddc02c)

  35. “Durham has no place to declare that the FBI should not have started Crossfire Hurricane”

    The FBI itself put into place ten or so reforms to prevent that from happening again. Is that not enough confessing by the FBI that it should not have been stated!

    Richard Wetmore (ddc02c)

  36. The FBI itself put into place ten or so reforms to prevent that from happening again. Is that not enough confessing by the FBI that it should not have been stated!

    Even Durham didn’t agree with that. He said the investigation should’ve started as preliminary in scope, not full-scale, but there’s not a lot of difference between the two levels.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  37. [T]hey were pretty “tippy-toeing” around HRC because there was a chance she would be the next President” and the FBI was concerned about interfering with a coming presidential campaign.’

    Same thing with Trump.

    The FBI never spied on an active member of the 2016 Trump campaign.

    They tried to satisfy the Democrats with abasically fake investigation. (Andrew McCabe only started a criminal investigation of Trump after James Comey was fired)

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  38. 25. Didn’t Charles Dickens write a story about lawyers? (In England)

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  39. i do not think that we should criticize mr. special prosecutor john durham until we have tried to put lipstick on a pig our own selves

    it can’t possibly be easy

    in the first place, what shade would you pick?

    nk (bb1548) — 5/17/2023 @ 4:21 am

    Too funny, nk.

    If happyfeet consistently put out stuff that comedic, I regret not paying more attention to the blog back then.

    norcal (15fce4)

  40. Ah yes, let’s ignore a brutal truth because it’s much easier to stick to a comforting lie. Believing there’s any truth to the Russian collusion narrative is exactly the same as believing the 2020 election was stolen.

    edoc118 (0150e1)

  41. #40: Have you read the Senate Intel Committee Report?

    lurker (cd7cd4)


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