The Durham hypothesis 7

Is there such a thing in the making as “the Durham Report”?

It retreats perpetually from those who thirst for it, like a mirage in a desert.

Was ever document so eagerly awaited?

Expectation of its transformative powers so trusted?

Its publication so often postponed?

Does “John Durham” actually exist? 

It has been a year and a half since Attorney General William Barr announced that he had assigned a lawyer named John Durham to conduct an investigation into the FBI’s investigation into the Democrats’ allegation that Russia had interfered in the 2016 elections to help Donald Trump win the presidency.

Why this particular man? Seems he is an arch Investigator. One might say, an investigators’ Investigator.

He has done so much investigating that one cannot after all seriously doubt that he exists.

So what is the record of his investigations? Is it very impressive that he should be appointed to investigate again and again by succeeding Attorneys General?

Well, maybe not very encouraging to those who hope that he will be the nemesis of the fraudsters who forged scurrilous “evidence” against Donald Trump.

It was this very John Durham who was  appointed in 2008 by Attorney General Michael Mukasey to investigate whether the CIA had destroyed the videotapes of their interrogations of terrorist prisoners detained at Guantanamo. In 2010, Durham completed his investigations but did not recommend any criminal charges. His findings in that case have never been made public.

In August 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder appointed the same John Durham to investigate whether the CIA had used torture to elicit information from Guantanamo detainees. In particular he investigated the deaths of two detainees reportedly under torture in 2011. But the investigation was closed in 2012 without any charges being filed.

To come back to this John Durham’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election: his remit was “to broadly examine the government’s collection of intelligence involving the Trump campaign’s interactions with Russians”.

Seems to us there is an underlying assumption there that the Trump campaign actually did “interact” with Russians. But we know he didn’t. So that’s what Investigator John Durham will find out, right?

Oh, and our hopes were stoked up when in late October 2019 we got some exciting news of the Durham investigation. It had evolved from a  plain investigation into, we were told, a criminal investigation. How we all looked to John Durham to see that justice would be done, the forgers of “evidence” against Donald Trump exposed, their villainy laid bare for all to see in court, their due punishment pronounced. We could almost hear the sound of their cell doors being shut and locked.

And what we supposed was the first of these delights, the deep satisfaction of our need to see justice done, came with the news that an FBI attorney named Kevin Clinesmith was being charged with altering an email to make it seem that one member of Donald Trump’s campaign, Carter Page, was not a US intelligence “asset”, when he actually was. It all began to happen. Clinesmith was brought to court! He was found guilty! He was sentenced – wait. No, sorry, he wasn’t sentenced. But we are told he will be sentenced. Sure. Of course. Now for the next one.

There has not been a next one.

Oh, but the Report itself … wasn’t it about to appear? Hadn’t we been told it would be published before Labor Day? Ye-es, but the publication had been postponed. To October. Fine, fine – it will be out before the election. It will undeceive millions who have believed the “Trump interaction with Russia” lie. The truth will help the Trump campaign.

No. Sorry again. There is no plan to publish the Report before the election.

Aaaah!

So now? Nothing? A bit of news: one of those who we had reason to believe was a chief conspirator against Donald Trump, John Brennan, head of the CIA, was told by Investigator John Durham that he was not “a subject or target of a criminal investigation”.

What? If not John Brennan then who?

No one. No one did anything wrong. It was not wrong to compile a dossier full of false information extremely damaging to an elected president or to leak it to the press. It was not wrong to wiretap Trump tower in order to spy on Donald Trump himself. It was not wrong to set up an investigation to the same end, draw it out for years, let it spend tens of millions on what everyone involved knew was a wild goose chase, there never having been any interaction between Donald Trump and Russians. Nothing wrong, let alone criminal.

Only some allies and associates of Trump were found to have done terribly wicked things, like forget something they’d said under oath, so apparently contradicted themselves, so had been caught lying, and so deserved long imprisonment. To be specific, that’s what Durham’s little church of innocents did to Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, as everybody knows.

So a report won’t come from John Durham, eventually, which will reveal the truth? All the truth? Now that the election is over? All won’t be revealed, all put right, at last?

No.

 

Post script: John Durham was also entrusted with an investigation into the Clinton Foundation. We found plenty wrong with it. (See for instance here and here.) The great Investigator found nothing wrong with it at all. Not a thing.