Where are we with John Durham’s investigation into FBI, DOJ, and Obama administration abuses of power in relation to the Trump campaign? That’s a question we don’t have a lot of answers to. We’ve heard plenty of promises from plenty of figures, but very little hard facts have come out. Many of the loudest prognosticators who were telling us of a coming frog march for John Brennan have gone strangely silent in 2020.
One person who’s not only followed this from the beginning, but has actively used his organization’s resources to solicit documents and answers, is Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton. He appeared on Lou Dobbs’ show last night and shared a rather ominous prediction.
"You're going to be disappointed."@TomFitton predicts the Durham report on the Russia probe will be a zinger, but "the Obama gang largely will fade away in terms of getting held accountable."
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) July 21, 2020
Here’s his exact quote.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton predicted U.S. Attorney John Durham will serve up a “zinger of a report.”
He broke with Fox Business host Lou Dobbs, who took heart in White House chief of staff Mark Meadows saying over the weekend he expects indictments in the criminal inquiry of the Russia investigation.
“You’re going to be disappointed,” the conservative watchdog group leader said on Monday.
“I think [what] is going to happen is, he’s going to issue another zinger of a report that will get you nothing, and a few indictments of some lower-level people, and the Obama gang largely will fade away in terms of getting held accountable,” Fitton said.
I think he’s right on both fronts. The report will no doubt contain much damning information, just as the last IG report on the matter revealed rampant abuse of the FISA system. The information showing that the Obama administration engaged in corrupt behavior will likely be there. But what good is that information if the arbiters of it are completely dishonest? No matter what the report says, the media will downplay it or outright lie about it. I’m old enough to remember when they claimed the IG report didn’t show political bias. Of course it did, and Horowitz admitted it did, but only in so far as could be ascertained by common sense. In other words, he didn’t have an email that said “I’m currently engaging in political bias.”
Perhaps that’s a failure of the system itself, as the standards by which the IG has to work with in making such a conclusion are ridiculously high. Of course Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were operating via their own political biases. Of course James Comey, by his own admission, was making decisions based on concerns about political outcomes.
Back on track though, I expect the Durham report to be much the same. We’ll all read it and be disgusted at what went on, but grand proclamations of guilt will be largely missing because no one ever wants to ruffle anyone’s feathers in Washington unless the target is Donald Trump or his associates.
I also think Fitton is right about criminal indictments. We may get a low-level indictment or two, though I’m skeptical of even that. But the idea that Brennan or Comey, much less Obama, will actually be made to pay for what they did is probably a pipe dream. The corruption is blatant, but corruption is not always illegal, and it would likely be fairly tough to prove intent in many of these cases. Their defense would simply be that they were trying to protect the country from Russia, which is false given what we now know, but that would be the claim nonetheless. If your response is that the DOJ should at least try, I agree, but the standard laid forth when they let Andrew McCabe’s crimes go without prosecution seems to be pretty clear. They are not going to prosecute anything that isn’t an open and shut case.
In the end, I think we get a report that’s largely ignored and a bunch of bureaucratic recommendations that ultimately mean nothing. The fact that we are so close to the election now is likely evidence of that. I just can’t see Bill Barr dropping major indictments right before November.
The Durham investigation has now gone on longer than the Mueller investigation did. It’s long past time to get the results out there and let the American people see exactly what went on. But if you are waiting around hoping for heads to roll, I wouldn’t hold my breath.