A very good backgrounder on the Durham and related investigations. Long. Thanks to Rosa.
Nobody Stopped John Durham and He’s Still Coming
Brian Cates, Epoch Times, August 30, 2021 Updated: August 30, 2021
A lot of people don’t seem to grasp how problematic it would be for a president or an attorney general to be caught red-handed interfering with a special counsel’s office investigating what were widely alleged to be serious and historical abuses of federal law enforcement and surveillance powers in the targeting of a political campaign during a presidential election.
The fact is—and it appears many have kind of forgotten about it at this point and need to be reminded—the Department of Justice’s own Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a damning report back in December 2019 (pdf) that overwhelmingly demonstrated that a federal surveillance warrant of a former Trump campaign adviser was granted through deliberate fraud committed against the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) by the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane team and the private political operatives they were using as informants.
Not only that, it subsequently turned out these political operatives working as FBI informants were actually paid employees of the other campaign in the 2016 election—that of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Now, if that sounds like something that should never have been allowed to happen—one campaign feeding the FBI fake allegations against the other to get a federal agency to employ its considerable surveillance and law enforcement powers to target and politically damage its rival candidate before an American presidential election—you’d be exactly right.
Supposedly, we didn’t have a federal government where this kind of thing could even be attempted, much less successfully accomplished. Paid operatives should not have been able to become key informants for the FBI in a probe aimed at the Trump campaign. Before it was fully exposed, many people were confidently asserting that what happened in the Spygate scandal was impossible.
And yet it did happen.
Every single carefully placed safeguard, federal regulation, and policy that should have prevented this scandal from occurring was somehow bypassed or subverted.
Prosecutor John Durham’s assigned task was to go in and break down the nuts-and-bolts activity of how exactly this entire federal government fiasco came about, to determine who did what and who should be held accountable for any criminal conduct.
Leak Campaigns Are Springing Up From Witnesses
Recently, multiple leaks indicating that both the Hunter Biden and the Spygate investigations are alive and well have appeared in the mainstream media.
Back in April anonymous sources went to The New York Times to reveal how Washington D.C.-based think tank the Brookings Institution had been forced to turn over subpoenaed documents to Durham’s special counsel’s office related to Igor Danchenko.
If you recall, Clinton political operative Christopher Steele had named Danchenko to the FBI as his primary source for the fantastic Trump-Russia collusion rumors that appeared in his now-infamous “Steele Dossier.” Upon being questioned by the FBI about that after a surveillance warrant had already been granted by the FISA Court based on the dossier’s fake claims, Danchenko had rigorously denied to the interviewing agents that he was Steele’s source for those allegations. (Despite Danchenko’s denial of being the source, the spy warrant was subsequently renewed two more times.)
What this leak made clear is that Durham is indeed deeply digging into exactly how the unverified and fake allegations in the Steele dossier ended up being used to target former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page for a surveillance warrant.
One of the key things for Durham is going to be answering this question: If Danchenko wasn’t the source of the dossier’s false allegations that ended up being the basis for a fraudulent spy warrant on a U.S. citizen, then who was?
Then in quick succession over the past two weeks, three leaks appeared in other media outlets. Stories in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and the Washington Examiner demonstrate not only that Durham’s Spygate investigation is still going, but that it’s also beginning to create a backlash among its targets.
It appears that people subpoenaed to come to testify under oath to Durham’s federal grand jury have begun loudly complaining that Attorney General Merrick Garland had better do something soon to get that Durham fellow under control.
All You Get From Silence Is Silence; It Isn’t Evidence of Anything
It’s easy to speculate that Joe Biden or Garland immediately moved to close down the Hunter laptop and Spygate cases. What’s harder to do is to verify that.
Because both these investigations have proceeded under complete radio silence since their inceptions, this allowed people to “read” the silence in a way that always ended up confirming their own biases. The silence was taken to mean that “nothing is happening.”
Because the Mueller special counsel was the subject of frequent leaks—many of which were fake—it was assumed a lot of furious activity proving the alleged Trump-Russia collusion was occurring. Only at the conclusion of Mueller’s probe when he had to announce his actual findings was the truth exposed. As far as proving actual collusion, absolutely nothing had been going on for almost two years despite all the stories that had been appearing in the press.
We have a diametrically opposite situation now in the Hunter Biden and Spygate probes.
After years of deafening silence, we’re beginning to have leaks related to the Biden and Spygate investigations that are starting to crop up with increasing frequency months after Biden and Garland assumed their offices.
While it was easy to assume that both investigations had been ended when there was silence, it’s becoming harder to maintain that narrative in the face of the recent leaking campaigns that are springing up.
And it’s increasingly clear that it’s a furious round of recent new activity by federal grand juries seated in the Biden and the Spygate investigations that’s prompting these anonymous leaks.
So Who’s Doing All This Sudden Leaking?
The leakers are never really who the mainstream media wants you to imagine they are. When these news organizations publish a story about a federal criminal investigation coming from an anonymous source, they try to give the impression the leaker is inside the investigation. But that’s oftentimes not the case.
And when it comes to Durham’s investigation, he’s been on the trail of the Spygate leakers since April 2017. After more than four years of silence, people inside his office are suddenly reaching out to leak to the news media? I doubt that.
It looks to me that the people who have been receiving the search warrants for documents and the subpoenas for their testimony from Durham’s federal grand jury are the ones who are going to these news outlets in order to anonymously leak to the press.
As with the leaker in the Brookings Institution story from April, the more recent leakers are also trying to get out a defensive spin and shape a narrative in the press of an out-of-control special counsel’s office engaged in a partisan witch-hunt.
The Washington Examiner story noted above makes it clear some people are really hoping Attorney General Garland acts soon to shut Durham down.
Which brings up the question everyone should be asking right now: If he was going to call Durham in and shut him down or curb his investigation, why didn’t Garland do this months ago?
Brian Cates is a writer based in South Texas and author of “Nobody Asked For My Opinion … But Here It Is Anyway!” He can be reached on Telegram at t.me/drawandstrikechannel.