Special Counsel Durham's Russia Report Will Not Be The LOCK HER UP Finale Of Wingnut Fantasy
Durham is coming!
But so is Christmas, and it's not clear which of the two will get here first.
Congressman Cowpoke is getting a tingle in his pink bits this morning (allegedly!) over news from the Wall Street Journal that Special Counsel John Durham is winding down his inquiry into the origins of the Russia investigation. Look out, Gem!
All the wingers in Wingnutistan have been waiting with bated breath for what they're sure will be a wave of mass arrests, revealing massive corruption at the Deep State Department of Justice.
"I'm still positive, and I guess I have to be, that people are going to go to jail, and they are going to be prosecuted for the Russia grand fiasco and the Russia hoax," Rep. Devin Nunes told Fox "journalist" Sara Carter last month.
"Maybe I'm a little Pollyanna, but I just have to have faith ultimately that there was a special counsel created, Durham does have the power, we are fully expecting him—it may not be as broad as we want it to be."
It's an optimism shared by his former aide Kash Patel, late of the Directorate of National Intelligence, currently of Epoch Times TV. Check out this absolutely fuckbonkers interview where he claims the House Intelligence Committee was bigly successful because Trump fired James Comey, Andy McCabe, and 15 other Justice Department officials, before launching into an extended fantasy dream sequence of all the people he would do LOCK HER UPS to if he were John Durham.
"Every one of those people in that chain of command with that knowledge is liable, as liable, if not more liable than Kevin Clinesmith. I would prosecute those individuals for lying to a federal court, like they did with Kevin Clinesmith," Patel said, referring to the line attorney who falsified an email in one of the Carter Page FISA warrant applications and was sentenced to a year's probation in January. If Kash were Durham, he'd throw James Comey in jail for Clinesmith's fuckup, because "there's no way in the world that one medium level attorney at the FBI, Kevin Clinesmith, was the only person who orchestrated the greatest political fraud in American history. There had to be others involved."
But Kash Patel is not John Durham. And according to the Journal, Durham is not about to descend on the DOJ like an avenging angel. If the Special Counsel brings charges against anyone, it's likely to be "lower-level FBI employees, and people who aren't in government."
For example, some of these people said, Mr. Durham has asked questions about evidence related to allegations that a Trump Organization server was secretly communicating with Russian bank Alfa Bank. The FBI investigated those claims in 2016 and concluded by February 2017 there were no such links.
Prosecutors appear to be pursuing a theory that if people passed along information they knew to be false to the FBI directly, or if they passed it on to others who later shared it with the FBI, it could be considered lying to the federal government, the people said.
So he's prosecuting sources for giving bullshit info to the feds? Hardly sounds like a Deep State conspiracy to get Trump, does it?
Also, lying to the FBI is bad now? We thought Michael Flynn was just exercising his God-given right to misremember when interviewed by law enforcement. It doesn't count if they don't Mirandize you, right? So confusing!
But Nunes is already moving the goal posts in preparation for the next partisan battle. Seeking to make it harder for President Joe Biden to get rid of Durham, Bill Barr elevated him to the position of Special Counsel in October in an order which mandated that the attorney general release Durham's report to the public as fully as possible. But the Justice Department has what amounts to a fetish for classification under the best of circumstances, and Durham's report will likely contain information about sources and methods that legitimately should not be disclosed.
Nunes, who threatened to hold Republican Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein in contempt of Congress for failing to hand over some of the same material, is champing at the bit to run the same play on Merrick Garland.
"That would be a big issue, especially if Republicans get control back of the Congress because we have subpoena power," Nunes said, seemingly oblivious of the fact that Democrats had subpoena power during all of 2019 and 2020, and the Trump administration told them to fuck off without consequence.
In short, it's a nothingburger. As with the IG Report, which found that the Russia investigation was appropriately predicated despite errors in the FISA applications, and the congressional investigation which turned up exactly zero evidence of a DOJ plot to get Donald Trump.
And although Durham was supposed to hand in his homework this month, "that target is likely to be pushed back," according to the Journal.
Ah, well, better luck next time, Devin. At least Gem still loves you. Allegedly.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.