Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Not The Onion: Durham Making 'Good Progress'

Spoken with no discernible sense of irony:


Source tells Fox News that Durham is now 'frequently' working out of Washington, DC

Special counsel John Durham is "making good progress" in his investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, Attorney General William Barr said this week.

A source familiar with the investigation told Fox News that Durham, who is the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, is now "frequently" working out of Washington, D.C. Durham and some members of his team had been doing their work out of New Haven, Conn., over the summer.


They're working in DC now! That must mean they're getting close to their targets!

... "They’re making good progress now and I expect they will be able to finish their work."

I'll take Barr at his word, just as I take him at his word that Joe Biden isn't being investigated. Barr "expects" Durham will be able to finish his work--but that's not a guarantee. 


  1. The DOJ is where justice goes to die and injustice is promoted

  2. Hey, it may only be a yard in the over all game but it's another first down for a day closer to the statue of limitations.

    That's all that really matters in the larger picture!!!

  3. What does "working out of" mean?

    Does it mean "working in"?

  4. whew, what a relief! that was close.

  5. Based on Barr’s actions the past few months this probably means Durham will finish out like Geraldo Rivera with Capone’s vault - ala Huber, or it means he’s completed the sarcophagus that Mueller started.

  6. Significance / translation - Barr is getting a lot of negative press on his actions.

  7. #SpecialCounselDurham New POTUS MEMO authorizing use classified info in criminal Durham probe, “In addition, the AG is authorized to use classified information as he deems necessary in connection with his review, including in a GRAND JURY or other PROCEEDING”@CBSNews

  8. If Durham isn't going somewhere with his investigation, why did Trump bother issuing the extension today on the AG's declassification authority such that Durham can use classified material with GJs until his SC investigation is over?

    There's no reason to issue that extension unless there's an expectation he's going to produce something tangible.

    1. OTH, why did he just pardon Papadopoulos? The abuse in that case should have had Durham all over Team Mueller. The pardon seems to me a clear signal that at least that is off the table.

      The extension is pro forma. It's up to Durham and Durham alone to take action. We know from Barr that Durham isn't pursuing the reality--the big picture conspiracy. He's looking to collect a handful ("a small group") of FBI scalps.

    2. >> <<

      "Durham probe 'is a very serious and active case."

      "The people will be satisfied by the juridice prudence, and the punishments, and the indictments - that are about to come," says John Solomon."

    3. But Solomon has also been downplaying what will come out of this all along. Indicting a few people at the FBI is a joke. This was much bigger.

    4. What he said tonight is a change from his previous gloomy outlook; that has to reflect new info he has gleened from his sources, and the inferences he is drawn from the POTUS declassification memo update.

    5. From the Solomon interview:

      “This is a very active serious case focused on some very senior FBI leaders who ran the Russia probe”

      Durham's is not after a few mid-level flunkies.

      I'd guess McCabe is in the cross-hairs. Will he go after Comey? Have to wit and see.

    6. 1. Very senior FBI leaders could have been indicted a good two years ago.

      2. Without connecting to the broader conspiracy outside the FBI--and Barr and Solomon assure us the focus is strictly on the FBI--this is a major failure.

      3. If this had been a GOP op against Hillary the complexion of what the SC was doing would be drastically different.

    7. The fact that Durham is focused on the FBI does not exclude the possibility he will be focused elsewhere after these indictments drop.

      AFAIK, no one ever said "all other leads have dried up" or something akin to it.

      For all we know, Durham may have decided focusing on the top FBI people for the first round of indictments after Clinesmith made strategic sense, and is continuing to develop other potential indictments that, if they come to fruition, will be later, such as after some of the targets in this round decide to plead out and cooperate against co-conspirators in exchange for reduced sentences.

      Circumstantial evidence in support of this is that Durham added additional prosecutors late last Spring, which indicates the investigation was expanding, and there has yet to be any significant leakage of those prosecutors reported recently, which would be the expectation if Durham is only indicting a few FBI people, and folding his tent. Prosecutors would be fleeing in droves looking for more fruitful assignments to burnish their careers.

      But that curiously does not seem to be happening.

      Ergo, something is still interesting enough in Durham's investigation such that most of Durham's prosecutors have not bailed out.

      That's why, on balance, I think Durham's FBI focus is not exclusive of other areas of potential prosecution later.

      IF there are plea deals announced along with indictments before the Inauguration, and one or more pleas deals include someone allocuting to a conspiracy with unindicted co-conspirators, the game is afoot.

      Such a plea would be proof that there really was a criminal conspiracy behind the Russia Collusion investigation, and would make it far more difficult for a new administration (if there is one) to shut Durham down once that revelation is made public.

      That's why I remain optimistic.

    8. My advice is to not hold your breath on some bust out.

    9. Mark, Can you make a connection between Barr's resignation on the 18th and President Trump's signing of the EO that gave Durham the ability to bypass agencies and present material to the Grand Jury also happening on the 18th? Thanks. BH

    10. I really don't think there's a connection. The EO was needed in order for Durham to present CLASSIFIED docs to the GJ. He's been obtaining and examining classified docs for investigative purposes. That's all covered by the usual government regulations--need to know and so forth. Declassification is not needed for that since all the government lawyers and investigators have clearances. Now, however, it's a question of presenting those classified materials to the grand jurors who don't have clearances and, ultimately, to the public.

      The reason this EO was necessary was, IMO, because one or more agencies--whose property these docs were--were refusing to agree to this use. That meant, in effect, they were blocking indictments, since that's the reason Durham would want to use them in front of the GJ. Thus, Trump's EO gives Durham the authority to bypass the usual agency authorization processes and roadblocks.

      My assumption is that the FBI has been refusing to play ball with Durham, probably claiming the material in the docs is too sensitive, reveals 'sources and methods', and so forth. There may be other agencies involved, such as the CIA (I've heard Haspel has blocked declassification in the past), but since Barr assures us that Durham is narrowly focused on a 'small group' in the FBI, the assumption that the FBI has been involved in stonewalling Durham re the GJ is pretty safe.

      I have no reason to believe that Barr was siding with the FBI and that this had anything to do with his resignation. I believe bigger issues were probably involved in that.

    11. @Mark

      "OTH, why did he just pardon Papadopoulos? The abuse in that case should have had Durham all over Team Mueller. The pardon seems to me a clear signal that at least that is off the table."

      Do you think pardoning Papadopoulos makes it impossible for Durham to prosecute Mueller lawyers for wrongdoing in connection with the prosecution of Papadopoulos?

    12. Not at all. I just think the pardon is a clear signal that Trump understands at this point that Durham has no intention of going after Team Mueller--no exoneration was going to come through DoJ. Durham's target is, as Barr said, narrowly focused on a 'small group' at the FBI. He may say some mean things about a 'small group' on Team Durham, but that it seems will be that.

      I would welcome being wrong about this, as I've been wrong about other things. However, this is how I see it now, and I see nothing that would lead me to change my mind.

  9. "Not the Onion"... LOL. and no discernable irony. For those unfamiliar with "The Onion". There is a great deal of irony. Hope is faint at this point.

  10. >why did he just pardon Papadopoulos

    Probably another reason for Barr’s statement of “making good progress”, since Trump just indicated he does not trust in Durham’s “good progress”, as indicated by the pardon.

    Trumps other pardons also send a signal of his lack of trust in the system / justice in the US.

  11. My eyes just rolled out of my head. NOW a grand jury? NOW!!!!

    1. Why now?

      Who is behind this?

      What is Barr’s position in this?

      My suspicion is the classification issue was being used as an excuse to allow the CIA and other agencies to escape prosecution. And Trump just destroyed that excuse.

    2. "Trump just destroyed that excuse."
      Please specify how he did that.

  12. These hacks know how to play 3-card monty. Follow the yellow brick road!

  13. @aNany,

    "Trump just destroyed that excuse."
    Please specify how he did that.

    I think Tom means destroyed the FBI/CIA ability to hide behind classification.

    Which... makes no sense to me at this late stage in the game and the NUMEROUS declassification renditions we've seen put out on this subject. If leadership was stalling they could have been fired long ago or indicted for probably obstruction.

    I'm of the mind any subject outside of design or sources should have a mandatory classification expiration date of 2-4 years max with mandatory prison sentences of 10 years plus for all involved in playing with it.

    Sensitive materials claims are one of the most overly abused processes over the last 60 years and needs to change.

  14. Thanx for the thoughts, devil.
    I guess I'm nonplussed, that such BS wasn't ended long ago (say, once the IG rept. exposed so many shenanigans).