It Sure Looks Like John Durham Has Made a Decision on Trump Dossier Author Christopher Steele

There’s been a lot of big news over the last several months regarding John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia collusion hoax. The trial of Michael Sussman, who recently lost a bid to dismiss the case, is coming up shortly, and the most recent filing points to a wide range of targets for Durham.

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Yet, there’s also something else buried in those revelations: It looks like Christopher Steele, the author of the infamous Trump Dossier, is going to get off scot-free.

For the evidence of that, I’ll turn to someone far smarter and more experienced than me on such legal issues, my RedState colleague, Leslie McAdoo Gordon.

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In the filing, Durham has Steele listed as a witness. There is no indication Steele has taken the 5th Amendment nor that he has gotten an immunity deal. That would likely mean he’s a cooperating witness. Given Steele’s exposure, he wouldn’t agree to such an arrangement if the special counsel hadn’t told him that he will not be prosecuted.

And as McAdoo Gordon points out in her subsequent commentary, the government can’t just falsely promise not to prosecute someone, garner testimony, and then change its mind. That’s how the Bill Cosby conviction got thrown out.

There is another possible explanation, but it doesn’t appear to fully add up. That is that Durham is looking to use old testimony from a lawsuit involving Steele in his current case. Yet, a prosecutor can’t just take testimony from another case and use it because they feel like it. Durham would need to show that Steele is unavailable now to testify on the specific matter, and there’s been no filing to that effect. In short, it’s possible (perhaps even probable) that Steele himself isn’t going to be called in the Sussmann case. But it’s unlikely even past testimony is used without Steele being assured he’s in the clear.

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Moving on to the implications of this, I’m not sure a decision to not prosecute Steele is a bad one. Think about it. What would he be charged with? He was hired to do a job, as slimy of a character as he is, that is not illegal to do. He was also contracted by the government. Rather, it continues to be Hillary Clinton and those around her who have actual legal exposure for their payments and actions. As much as I think Steele is a lying scumbag, Durham isn’t going to charge someone with something that isn’t airtight.

So while it’s frustrating to see that Steele likely walks, it’s not necessarily the wrong decision. It just is what it is. Hopefully, Durham produces results on those truly behind the whole scheme.

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