Thursday, August 1, 2019

John Solomon On Comey And Durham's Investigation

John Solomon spoke with Sean Hannity tonight. The first topic that came up was the reported decision not to prosecute James Comey for mishandling classified documents. Solomon, of course, broke this story yesterday evening. His story at The Hill, unfortunately, gave a somewhat wrong impression of the significance of this decision, which Solomon almost immediately sought to clarify--this did not in any way mean that Comey was somehow out of the woods. With Hannity, Solomon again stresses that angle--that Comey is still being investigated in much more serious matters, that declining prosecution on this matter doesn't mean Comey is home free. It's simply a matter of Barr and Durham deciding to focus on the central issues:

Hannity: I understand that there's a real deeper reason to decline prosecution.
Solomon: There are two reasons. One, this isn't a real strong case if you're taking it in front of a NY or DC jury. There are complexities to it that don't make it easy for a jury to understand. But the bigger question is, Is the FBI Director's testimony about the FISA process and the Russia investigation accurate? Did he do his job when he signed the FISA warrant? Is that FISA warrant false? Was there a fraud perpetrated on the court and the American public to get access to the Donald Trump campaign and target it for surveillance? Those are the bigger, weightier, way more important questions that Attorney General Barr and John Durham and Inspector General Michael Horowitz are weighing and we should look for it. Here's the thing for everyone to watch. If this is going to get serious at some point John Durham is going to have to empanel a grand jury. The thing we should all be watching for, does a grand jury get empaneled, do subpoenas go out? That'll be a signt that the Justice Department is looking at criminal activity. Right now there's no sign of that. That's the thing I'm gonna be watching for in the next few weeks. 
Hannity: But usually they try to hide the fact that they have in fact empaneled a grand jury.

Of course, Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing were saying last night that Durham has, in fact, empaneled a grand jury. I believe they're correct about that. I don't believe that Durham would be taking the investigative steps we know he is taking without having empaneled a grand jury by now.

The two then moved on to other steps Durham is taking. This is the portion that I found most significant:

Solomon: I can report absolutely that the Durham investigators have now obtained an audio-taped deposition of Joseph Mifsud where he describes his work, why he targeted Papadopoulos, who directed him to do that, what directions he was given and why he set that entire process of introducing George Papadopoulos to Russia in motion in March of 2016. Which is really the flashpoint the starting point of this whole Russia collusion narrative. I can also confirm that the Senate Judiciary Committee has obtained the same deposition. 
[Re tapes of Papadopoulos]: We know that there are these transcripts. ... We're gonna eventually see the actual words that George Papadopoulos used and whether the FBI properly disclosed his evidence of innocence to the FISA court. My sources tell me there's a big problem for the FBI there. That happened on James Comey's watch.

We've seen in the past that Mifsud's lawyer had made it clear that Mifsud was eager to cooperate, and this information confirms that. Here's Solomon and Hannity:


  1. There are two reasons. One ...

    I'm pleased that, in this case, Hannity's guest was allowed to tell both reasons.

    It's common in Hannity's interviews that his guest will say there are two reasons -- and then Hannity will interrupt during the first reason. Then Hannity will launch one of his gratuitous monologues, and so the audience never will hear the guest's second reason.

    1. Hannity is a great radio guy - he maintains an entertaining tone of voice 100% of the time; if you, as a guest can't do the same, then prepare to be spoken over. Good for radio, but bad for TV.