Saturday, October 26, 2019

Fascinating: How Long Has John Durham Been On The Case?

Back in May, 2019, we learned that John Durham, US Attorney for Connecticut, had been picked by the relatively recently appointed Attorney General, Bill Barr, "to examine the origins of the Russia Hoax." I wrote about that event here: US Attorney John Durham To Examine Origins Of Russia Hoax. We were told something vague about this. Durham was "examining" things, or "reviewing" them. Whatever that means. Not the type of thing that prosecutors do.

At that time I pointed out the significance of Barr's pick, and then added some additional details. In this excerpt from the linked post please note, among other things, the word "predication." Barr suspected "something criminal" in the very origin of the investigation, which means in the "predication," which distills that origin. And that criminal taint flows from Crossfire Hurricane to the Team Mueller Witchhunt. Barr has always understood that (as have readers here):


ADDENDUM: Will Chamberlain says the appointment of Durham--who has a history of having jailed a dirty FBI agent--may have spoiled the day for Comey, McCabe, Strzok. He calls this a "serious escalation" on Barr's part.


UPDATE 1: John Yoo, speaking to Laura Ingraham:

If I were the Democrats I would be quite worried. And the reason why is by appointing a US attorney Attorney General Barr is essentially signaling that he thinks it’s possible that criminal violations occurred in the start of the whole investigation into any kind of Trump-Russia collusion. As Judge Starr said there is already an inspector general investigation that’s been going on that’s going to come to a conclusion. [An inspector general investigation is] what you’d do if you were just interested in reforming… But you wouldn’t go with a US attorney like Durham or someone of his stature unless the Attorney General thinks actually something criminal might have happened.

In other words, Barr suspects criminality in the predication--the very foundation of the Russia Hoax on which everything else rests.

UPDATE 2: For those wondering "when's Barr gonna do something," it turns out that, according to Fox News, Durham has been at work on the origins of the Russia Hoax "for weeks." So Barr hit the ground running. Or to put it slightly differently, he's operating on the principle that a rolling stone gathers no moss. Question: What happens to someone who finds himself in front of that rolling stone?


The next thing to note is that, in the UPDATE, we learn that, although this news is coming in May, Durham has been at work on the origins of the Russia Hoax "for weeks." So, Barr became AG on February 14, 2019, and we learn in mid-May that Durham has been on the job "for weeks." Note that: not "for a few weeks," just "for weeks." How many weeks is that, exactly?

The other day we learned that Durham's "review" (or whatever) had morphed into a criminal investigation, with Grand Jury powers. At that time I expressed the view that I would be surprised if Durham's investigation hadn't been a criminal investigation for some time, whether or not a Grand Jury had been empanelled. That was speculation. Today I've come across a twitter thread by Greg Rubini dating back to mid-August which provides fascinating evidence that John Durham may have been on the case not just "for weeks" but "for months." As in, since September of 2018 at the latest!

We're talking about actual documentary evidence here, not speculation. So that puts a rather different light on a lot of things, and hints at the complexity of the Deep State attack on our Constitution and the complementary complexity of Trump's defense. It also puts a different light on Rod Rosenstein's role in all this. That's something we've discussed here before. I'll stipulate that I agree with the various commenters who have maintained, in essence, that Rosenstein may have been snookered into starting up the Mueller Witchhunt but that at some point someone got to him and enlightened (or "woke") him as to what was really going on.

At that point plans would have been laid for Trump's counterattack, including the replacement of Sessions and Rosenstein by Barr and his team at DoJ. In the meantime, Rosenstein began preparations for that counterattack--as by appointing John Durham to begin work, very much behind the scenes. All this suggests that Barr stepped into a counteroffensive that he had been planning well before confirmation as AG and which was already underway. The implications are fascinating, and further suggest that the Deep State is already under a great deal of pressure that will only increase. We, and they, may be in for more surprises.

I'm going to paste in Rubini's fascinating thread, but for a bit of additional perspective or context I'll point out that Bill Barr's famous letter to Rod Rosenstein--in which Barr disputed the obstruction theories that animated the Mueller Witchhunt--was dated June 8, 2018. As you'll see, the key for understanding when Durham began his work is that, already during James Baker's (Comey's FBI lawyer) testimony in October, 2018, we learn that US Attorney John Durham is on the case. I've slightly edited Rubini's thread, but only for readablity--capitalization and so forth:

1. I know (from my own sources) that Prosecutor John Durham has been in charge of "Investigating the Investigators" and the Spy Operations against Trump since Sept 2018.
Sept 2018.
That is ONE YEAR ago.
(And I can provide OFFICIAL proof)
What does this mean?

2. Remember that William Barr officially announced only on May 13, 2019 that he had put in charge US Attorney John Durham in charge of "investigating the Spy Ops against Trump" and "the origins of the Russia-Trump probe".
"May 13, 2019.
"Barr assigns US attorney in Connecticut to look into government surveillance involving Trump campaign: source.
"Attorney General William Barr has appointed a U.S. attorney to examine the origins of the Russia investigation and determine if intelligence collection efforts targeting the Trump campaign were "lawf…
3. Before May 13, 2019 nobody had even heard the name "John Durham",
4. but John Durham had been investigating since Sept 2018.
This means that John Durham had been [quietly] investigating all of this for many more months ...
[Stealth] - under the radar...
for 12 months, now... 
5. Imagine what the John Durham Team has uncovered, in 12 months ... and what else does it mean?
[Comment: There is no #6]
7. That means also that it was NOT William Barr who put John Durham in charge ...
William Barr was not Attorney General in Sept 2018 ... 
Who was AG in Sept 2018? 
8. Yes, AG was Jeff Sessions, but Jeff Sessions was recused from ALL THINGS Russia-Trump related ... 
9. Oh yeah, it was Rod Rosenstein!! 
It was Rod Rosenstein - Deputy Attorney General - who put prosecutor John Durham in charge "of investigating the Spy Operations against Trump" and "the origins of the Russia-Trump probe".

See the pattern? 
11. In case you doubt that John Durham was investigating the Fake Steele Dossier, SpyOps and related matters in Sept 2018, read on:  
12. James Baker closed doors hearing, of October 3, 2018 (DECLASSIFIED on April 8, 2019). 
James Baker was the General Counsel for the FBI. General Counsel of James Comey. 
Mr. Jordan: How about leading up to just prior to the Presidential election of 2016, how many times did you talk with David Corn in the weeks and months prior to election day? [Comment: The questioning is leading into FBI interactions with the media, which was targeting Trump with the Steele dossier. The obvious focus is--did the FBI, specifically Baker, collude with the media against Trump?]
Mr. Baker: I don't remember. 
Mr. Jordan: Is it fair to say you did? 
Mr. Baker: Yes, I did, but I just don't remember how many. 
Mr. Jordan: So did you talk to Mr. Corn about anything that the FBI was working on, specifically the now infamous Steele dossier?
Mr. Levin: I'm sorry, I'm going to cut - not let him answer these questions right now.
Mr. Jordan: Just to clarify for us, you're advising Mr. Baker not to answer that question not because of it's classified, not because of any classification concerns, but because there is an ongoing investigation by whom?
Mr. Levin: By the Justice Department. 
Mr. Jordan: I mean, is the Inspector General looking at this or is this ...
Mr. Levin: No, it's Mr. John Durham, a prosecutor. [Comment: Note that Levin specifies that this is not some sort of OIG review--Durham, he says, is a prosecutor. Also note that this is news to Jim Jordan.]
Mr. Jordan: Mr. Huber?
Mr. Levin: Durham, Durham.
Mr. Jordan: Oh. Say it again ... 
Mr. Levin: John Durham
Mr. Jordan: All right.  
19. Source: James Baker closed doors hearing - transcript, October 3, 2018, pages 36-37. 
Is it correct, @Jim_Jordan ? 
21. Is that enough as OFFICIAL PROOF that Prosecutor John Durham was investigating already in Sept 2018:
- the Spy Operations against Trump
- and the origins of the Russia-Trump probe ? 
Is the word of a DOJ lawyer (Mr. Levin) official enough?

22. The James Baker closed doors hearing, of October 3, 2018 was DECLASSIFIED on April 8, 2019. 
Everyone could read it - it was publicly available on the web. 
23. Prosecutor John Durham was investigating all this already in Sept 2018.
I didn't see the New York Times @nytimes reporting about this. 
I didn't see Fox News, nor Hannity, nor Sara Carter, nor John Solomon talk about this. 

Of course, the Deep State understood all this.

Now, consider all this in light of the questions that William Jacobson poses at Legal Insurrection regarding John Durham (h/t commenter Bebe)--

Who will be the first to flip in spygate criminal investigation? 
Posted by William A. Jacobson    Friday, October 25, 2019 at 9:20pm 
Wait. With John Durham leading the investigation, maybe the question should be: Who was the first to flip? Because it may already have happened.

But now that we understand how long Durham has been examining the coup attempt, we have to ask another question--if someone has already flipped, then how long ago? In investigations like this, time is of the essence. If someone like Baker actually flipped months before Barr became AG, imagine the recorded conversations he may have had! And we're not talking just pre-election history. Has someone flipped who knows a lot about Team Mueller? In addition to Rosenstein?

Well, we'll find out.


  1. Reposting the comment below at Mark's invitation:

    Ruminating about Rosey and some more...

    Its hard to figure out what Rosey was up to and why he got a high five sendoff from Barr and, implicitly at least, from Trump.

    FWIW, my best guess is that Rosey has been playing both sides against the middle for a long time...for the whole time he was DAG.

    On the one hand, he worked with the Deep State to get Mueller appointed and to consider invoking the 25th amendment. He signed one of the Carter Page FISA applications. He authored the memos expanding Mueller's jurisdiction and, as you say, Mark, authorized Mueller to go after Flynn's son. (That was despicable.)

    OTOH, he worked with Trump to fire Comey and, it seems, to release the Strzok-Page texts. And, at the end of the day, the Mueller Report was (believe it or not) a Trump win and Rosey did team up with Barr (under duress?) to squash the Weissmann obstruction gambit.

    It will be most interesting to learn the whole Rosey story.

    Which puts me in mind to mention one more interesting consequence of the Russia Hoax fiasco. Not only has the Resistance spent tens of millions of taxpayer and Soros dollars to destroy Trump, which may or may not turn out to be money well spent from their perspective, but they have literally destroyed dozens of their own in the process.

    Nearly all the 'conspirators' have lost their jobs and those that haven't (Bruce Ohr?) soon will. Unemployment is no fun and some book deals and CNN gigs notwithstanding these deals expire and then you've got to get a job. Which for these guys won't be easy.

    When Durham is finished with these guys one way or the other its hard to imagine they'll ever find meaningful work again outside some Soros-funded not-for-profit. They certainly won't be headed to million dollar partnerships at big law firms as they might have planned.

    And paying for criminal defense is outrageously expensive. These DC hotshot criminal defense lawyers don't work for free (regardless of ideological affinity) and the top guys have hourly rates in the thousands. Covington & Burling apparently charged Flynn $5 million to engineer his guilty plea. Brennan and Comey's fees may make Flynn's fee look like chicken feed.

    Plus the stress of being under criminal investigation and criminal indictment for a period of years is life-changing. Acquitted or convicted, not many emerge from the process intact.

    Which leads me to one last thought...Trump's resilience through this situation astounds me. He has been weathering body blows now for over four years and the guy is not only still standing, he is still working, and he is seemingly thriving. Although you have to wonder...However you feel about him he is an extraordinary human being.

  2. Mark's post this morning is a bombshell answer to my earlier 'musings'.

    Among the many implications I would suggest that this puts Robert Mueller's actions in a whole new light.

    I have 'wondered' here before how to explain Mueller's baffling performance before two Congressional committees on July 24, 2019.

    His appearances were extraordinary. Many of us wanted to think that Mueller --now in his seventies -- had simply developed dementia. He 'testified' and then he disappeared. He was obviously physically ill.

    Perhaps not.

    What could he say? By July 2019 he was utterly compromised and he knew it. There was nothing to say. And so he said nothing.

    I am sure there is much more to come.

    1. Yes. to spin an aphorism, "Better to mumble random banalities and be thought in early Dementia than speak clearly and be forced to take the 5th."

  3. What is your explanation of John Huber?

    1. I'm just not sure, Mike. What we were told very early was that he was doing some very limited "review". That apparently hasn't changed. Since Barr came on as AG there have been a few mentions that he'll be doing a report of some sort, but nothing more substantive. How does that play into the big picture. Again, hard to say. However, if he did a lot of review of documentation, that could be provided to Durham--if so, probably already has been provided--and that could prove extremely useful and time saving. Just my thoughts. I've seen nothing recent.

    2. I highly recommend that everybody read Greg Rubini's entire two-part Twitter thread. Here's a link to Part 1:

      Responding to Mike's good question about Huber, Rubini has some tantalizing supposition that not only was Rosenstein a Trump agent imbedded in the Deep State, but also that Sessions and Whitaker were in on the deal. If so, I would say Sessions played his part to perfection. For example, allowing Trump to tweet about his whereabouts and state of consciousness... And if so, Huber could have just been an intentional Sessions head fake to throw the 'conspirators' off the scent. They were led to believe that Huber (an Obama carryover) was fumbling around in Salt Lake City when Durham was actually the guy on the case.

      Just guessing. I'm sure we'll find out.

    3. FWIW--Wikipedia:

      Huber was appointed by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate the FBI's surveillance of Carter Page and connections between the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One, starting in November 2017.

    4. I think he was working on the spy case in Utah. Guy was spying for China.

      Rob S

  4. Interesting. Not sure how I missed that bit about Durham when I read Collin's release of it.

    It could explain McCabe's sudden turning on Rosenstein in September of 2018.

    1. Yes, I had that in mind while writing but was a bit too buzzed to look it up again. The search function on Blogger doesn't search comments, which is a shame.

  5. I suspect that the reason for letting the CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION news out sans any apparent objection from the OAG was in response to Durham encountering some initial resistance at CIA.

    Next, FBI resistance folded like a cheap suit. Sounds like any and all participating agencies got the message Lima Charlie.

    1. They didn't need to go public to send that message, so I have to assume that the message was intentionally aimed at a wider public than agency heads.

  6. Eric Felton of RealClear Investigations did this article which included mention of Durham’s earlier involvement with Baker

    John Durham, the prosecutor tapped by Attorney General William Barr to investigate how Trump-Russia allegations emerged and spread within federal law enforcement, has already been looking into whether the FBI’s former top lawyer, James Baker, illegally leaked to reporters.

    In fact, the U.S. attorney from Connecticut appears to have begun that work more than seven months ago, to judge from an underreported transcript of an October congressional interview with Baker. The Baker interview, at which Durham was not present, suggests that the prosecutor nevertheless has some people very worried.

    However, at the end of this article the scrambling by Baker’s lawyers and a friend/associate Litt dispute that Durham was questioning Baker about the dossier, etc.:

    That Baker’s lawyer advised him not to talk about leaks is, of course, not proof that Baker leaked. "Baker's lawyer was obviously being prudent and saying his client could not talk about anything related to any leaks of any kind," David Corn tells RealClearInvestigations. Corn emphasizes that the "Durham inquiry did not involve Russia or the Steele memos; it had nothing to do with me or my limited interaction with Baker."

    And one former federal official who said he has been interviewed by Durham in connection with the Baker probe, Robert Litt, has written that the inquiry has nothing to do with the Steele dossier.

    Contacted by RealClearInvestigations, [Baker lawyer] Levin said, “Mr. Baker did not make an unauthorized disclosure of classified information and we are confident the investigation will conclude that.”

    Baker is now said to have flipped. We’re about to find out a lot more.

    1. Nice find, Bebe. Two additional points:

      1) In context, it does appear that Durham's investigation did concern the dossier and so forth--Levin doesn't object to the line of questioning re Corn until the topic of the dossier is raised. Corn, of course, is a notorious liar.

      2) The James Baker to whom Powell refers in connection with the leak through David Ignatius is "Col. James Baker" and not Comey's lawyer.

    2. Two James Bakers…. just noticed that Elizabeth Vaughn at RedState had written about that today.

      “ Former FBI Top Lawyer James Baker Is Now Cooperating With Durham; The Problem? There Are Two James Bakers In This Movie”

      Next, Posobiec speaks of James A. Baker, the former FBI General Counsel as the man who leaked the transcripts of General Flynn’s phone calls with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

      Posobiec says, “In this filing, Sidney Powell is stating that it was James Baker, the General Counsel of the FBI, and that the Washington Post ran it at the urging of James Clapper.”

      That is not true. He is confusing the two men. The filing clearly states that the man who allegedly leaked the transcript of Flynn’s calls is Director Col. James H. Baker at ONA (Office of Net Assessment in the Pentagon). He is the one who regularly has lunch with Washington Post reporter David Ignatius who published the story

    3. Right. I've always seen the FBI's Baker identified as "James A. Baker"--there are a lot of James Bakers out there. You can be sure that Powell was careful to be very accurate on that matter, and she specified "Col. James Baker." Office of Net Assessment, as we know, was where Halper sometimes hung out, and which paid him huge amounts of money.

  7. Lisa Page, James A Baker, Bruce Ohr. Those are three of my guesses as to might flip, assuming they haven't already. Maybe even Lynch.

    One of your best entries, I add.