This is not the kind of big news you want to get on an otherwise slow Sunday morning, but here it is. Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo is reporting this morning that there will be no Durham interim report or indictments coming before the election. By the wording, she may actually be saying there’s no report coming at all.
If true, this is a travesty of justice of the highest order given what has transpired the last five years.
— Maria Bartiromo (@MariaBartiromo) September 27, 2020
This isn’t someone leaking to the Times to cover their backside. Bartiromo is typically solid and is not anti-Trump in the least.
Whether or not you believe this news will probably depend on the level of cynicism you normally operate with in regards to this topic. I’ve been far more skeptical of the Durham investigation than even I’d like to admit at times. While I want people to be brought to justice, it’s the kind of thing that never seems to happen when the targets are of a Democrat nature (yeah, I know Comey is a “Republican”).
There are other reasons to think this is true though. With only five weeks before the election, was the DOJ really going to throw an “election interference” bomb into the mix by indicting high-level anti-Trump figures right before the vote? That’s always been a fear of mine for a while, i.e. that those involved in this investigation and Lindsey Graham’s Senate investigation would successfully run out the clock and try to wait until the transition period. It appears both those things have happened, as we are now so close to the election that no one that lacks Trump’s will and demeanor, which is necessary to do what’s right in this case, is going to want to be seen as influencing the election. Trump wouldn’t care, nor should he, but Bill Barr might. Lindsey Graham would.
All of this should have ended months ago. The Durham investigation has now had nearly as much time as the Mueller investigation had. Graham’s Senate committee quite literally had years to get their interviews and report done. Now, even if they move before the election, they will be playing right into Democrat hands.
This is a strategic blunder, but it’s also a moral blunder. The American people need to know they have a justice system that treats all people fairly, regardless of political persuasion. Right now, that trust has been shattered, and for very good reason. The DOJ had a chance to pick up the pieces and make this right. Instead, they’ve delayed and stonewalled just like the FBI has. Is this a move being made to protect people because they think Trump will lose? I don’t know what the motivation is, but it’s unacceptable.
Of course, again, maybe this isn’t true? But it would be par for the course. We’ll see where this leads, but I’m not hopeful at this point.
(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)