Thursday, September 24, 2020

UPDATED: How Broad Is 'Sprawling'?

Could a 'sprawling' investigation into the Russia Hoax include an examination of how the FBI handled the Hillary Clinton investigations--The Clinton Foundation, the Uranium One deal, etc.?

Based on reporting by the NYT the answer may be, Yes:

In Politically Charged Inquiry, Durham Sought Details About Scrutiny of Clintons

John Durham’s team has sought information about the F.B.I.’s handling of the Clinton Foundation investigation, raising questions about the scope of the prosecutor’s review.


Mr. Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut assigned by Mr. Barr to review the Russia inquiry, has sought documents and interviews about how federal law enforcement officials handled an investigation around the same time into allegations of political corruption at the Clinton Foundation, according to people familiar with the matter. 

Mr. Durham’s team members have suggested to others that they are comparing the two investigations as well as examining whether investigators in the Russia inquiry flouted laws or policies. It was not clear whether Mr. Durham’s investigators were similarly looking for violations in the Clinton Foundation investigation, nor whether the comparison would be included or play a major role in the outcome of Mr. Durham’s inquiry.

..., Mr. Durham’s efforts suggest the scope of his review is broader than previously known.

Most of the NYT article reads like an extended and quite tendentious defense of Hillary, as well as a continuation of Russia Hoax conspiracy theories. 

Fox News, however, adds some fascinating details. It seems the conservative blogosphere isn't the only sector that has been asking, What has John Huber been up to? Apparently the White House and DoJ have also been asking that. The result, it seems, is that John Durham has taken over aspects of the John Huber investigation--aspects that involved Hillary and the Clinton Foundation:

Aspects of U.S. Attorney John Huber’s investigation into the Clinton Foundation have been assumed by U.S. Attorney John Durham as part of his review into the origins of the Russia probe, Fox News has learned.


In November 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions directed Huber, the U.S. attorney for Utah, and other senior prosecutors to evaluate “certain issues” involving the sale of Uranium One, and other dealings related to the Clinton Foundation. Sessions tapped Huber after requests by congressional Republicans, who had been calling for the appointment of a special counsel to review the matters.

Huber was also tasked with reviewing the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email probe, including allegations that the Justice Department and FBI “policies or procedures” were not followed.

It has been unclear, for years, the status of Huber's investigation, but another source told Fox News Thursday that Huber has faced mounting criticism from the Justice Department and White House over his progress.

"There are folks that are aware of the fact that Huber has not done much, and there has been criticism at the Justice Department and the White House," the source said. "Folks that have been concerned about what he did or didn't do, and many of them feel that Huber did not dig deep enough or work hard enough."

The source added that many are "very concerned about why there hadn't been more done."

Again, reasons why Durham's investigation may have be far from complete.

UPDATE: Oh my! Hat tip to sundance. He points out that it's very likely that the DoJ section handling the Clinton Foundation investigations during the 2015 to 2016 time frame would have been the Fraud Section--the head of which was none other than Andrew Weissmann. None of the articles I've looked at name Weissmann or identify the DoJ's Fraud Section as handling the Clinton investigation, but it certainly seems plausible--and would explain why Andrew Weissmann has been squealing so loudly lately. Here is a passage from the Washington Examiner article that explains what was going on in 2016:

Peter Schweizer, the president of the Government Accountability Institute, examined the Clinton Foundation matter for his 2015 book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.

“The Clintons … often take money from foreign entities. And that money, donated to the Clinton Foundation or paid in speaking fees, comes in amounts much larger than any campaign contribution,” Schweizer wrote, adding, “As a result, the Clintons have become exceedingly wealthy. The big question is whether taking such money constitutes a transaction. The Clintons would undoubtedly argue that it does not. The evidence in this book suggests otherwise.”

The New York Times report Thursday said that Clinton Cash “caught the attention of FBI agents, who viewed some of its contents as additional justification to obtain a subpoena for foundation records,” but former officials said that “top Justice Department officials denied a request in 2016 from senior FBI managers in Washington to secure a subpoena.” The outlet said that “the decision frustrated some agents who believed they had enough evidence beyond the book, including a discussion that touched on the foundation and was captured on a wiretap in an unrelated investigation.”

Fired FBI agent Peter Strzok testified to Congress in June 2018 that the FBI "did not have access" to Clinton Foundation emails that were on Clinton's private server because of a consent agreement "negotiated between the Department of Justice attorneys and counsel for Clinton."

Note the use of the word 'wiretap.' If that word is being used correctly, it's an infallible indication that the investigation was a criminal investigation from its inception. The use of the word 'subpoena' is also an indicator, but the use of subpoenas could have followed conversion of a CI investigation to a criminal one. The importance of this is that if the investigation was criminal and had been from inception, then it would be handled by a criminal section at DoJ--like, the Fraud Section.

The point, one which sundance makes, is that if DoJ's Fraud Section was handling the Clinton Foundation investigation, then it would have been Weissmann who quashed the FBI's request for a subpoena--at about the same time that Weissmann was busying himself with CI matters involving Chris Steele in which IG Horowitz says he (Weissmann) had no business getting involved.

John Huber was appointed by Sessions to get to the bottom of this, but apparently did little or nothing with this lead. But now, if the nameless "former career law enforcement officials" cited by the NYT are right, John Durham just may be following it out. That certainly puts an interesting light on current developments.


  1. Speculation: one reason Durham might be interested in how FBI handled the Clinton Foundation investigation is if some of the same people from CH were involved, and broke laws. That would give Durham leverage to flip them on CH related matters, even if he can't prove they committed crimes during CH.

  2. According to CTH, TechnoFog claims that “The DOJ Criminal Division Fraud Section (FSCD) would have overseen prosecutions relating to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (ie. bribery that crosses borders).”
    And, that Weissmann headed that dept. in 2016.
    If so, that's a gem for Durham.

    1. Super--I was slightly unsure because of the foreign part.

      Now go read the new post. Total bombshell.

  3. Isn't it likely the statute of limitations have expired regarding Clinton shenanigans? Five years is the usual federal limit, yes?

    1. Durham won't give a sh*t about that, because he'll be investigating what Weissmann was up to in 2016--four years ago.

    2. That'll do.
      Let Hillary walk, as long as you fry Weissmann, St. Robt., etc.!

    3. But...if one of the purposes of jamming up Trump was to obstruct inquiry into nefarious behavior, isn't that just a continuation of the crime? Not a lawyer here, but isn't there some legal clawback for obstructing justice to prevent discovery of your crime? Or is the only prosecutable crime the obstruction?

  4. I recall that two attorneys testified before a Senate of House committee regarding the Clinton Foundation. They were interested in the compensation they would get for investigating and proving the Clinton Foundation fraud.

    As part of their testimony, they said they sent the evidence to Huber on 1-2 occasions. Somehow, Huber lost the documentations and had to request the attorneys resend it.

    1. If I recall correctly, the attorneys would be in line for a payout exceeding $200 million.