Senate Prepares For Bloody Brawl Over Attorney General Barr’s New Special Counsel

AP Photo/Bob Child, File

 

As if we don’t already have enough political battles going on at the moment, the nation can expect to see yet another raucous debate coming in the Senate early next year. To give you a sneak preview, the Senate is gearing up for a battle over the appointment of U.S. Attorney John Durham as special counsel investigating the origins of the Russia collusion investigation. 

A few weeks ago, Attorney General William Barr quietly appointed Durham as special counsel so that he can continue to conduct the investigation even if former Vice President Joe Biden is declared the winner of the election. Under a potential Biden administration, this will be a sticking point, especially when it comes to the Senate confirming his choice to replace Barr. 

The Hill reported, “Senate Republicans say Biden’s nominee to lead the Justice Department should promise not to terminate Durham, who has been investigating whether the Obama administration improperly targeted the Trump campaign in 2016 when the FBI looked into allegations of collusion between the campaign and Russian officials.”

Republicans serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold hearings for Biden’s pick for attorney general. Some members of the committee indicated that they want a pledge that the nominee will not hinder or stop Durham’s investigation. 

“I think John Durham’s investigation is very important, and any attorney general who would impede that investigation or who would obstruct justice shouldn’t be confirmed,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) asserted that the special counsel should be allowed to continue his work even after Biden takes office. 

“The public deserves to know what is going on here and they deserve to get all of the facts and information,” he argued. “The investigation needs to conclude but it needs to be allowed to conclude in a timely fashion.”

Naturally, Democrats are concerned that Durham’s probe will “become a persistent distraction by stretching out what they view as a politically motivated investigation without sound basis.”

Well, if anyone knows about politically motivated investigations based on scant evidence, it would be the Democrats, wouldn’t it? They were quite content with dragging the country through a years-long hoax to convince the nation that President Donald Trump was in league with the Kremlin. 

Democrats argue that Biden’s nominee should be willing to fire Durham because he has not yet revealed any substantial examples of wrongdoing at the F.B.I. 

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) trashed Durham’s investigation. “I think that is something that Barr was pursuing that has no basis. There’s no factual reason for that. And so why should the resources of the next attorney general go to something like that?” she asked.

Hirono also took issue with Barr’s secrecy in appointing Durham. “There are a lot of things this administration has done that when it comes to light you just go, ‘Oh my gosh, more of this kind of behavior,’” she whined.

Sen. Chris Murphy (CT) chimed in on Durham’s appointment. “The new attorney general should unwind all the bat-shit crazy moves that Trump has made, this included.” He added, “This shouldn’t survive one day into the Biden administration.” 

A special counsel can only be terminated by the attorney general. The individual would have to give a reason such as dereliction of duty, incapacity, misconduct, conflict of interest, or violating department policies. 

It is not hard to see that this will be a significant battle in the first few weeks of Biden’s presidency if he is declared the winner by the electoral college. The last thing Democrats want is an investigation that could expose malfeasance in the F.B.I. under the Obama administration. 

However, if the Democrats think they will win this fight by crying about politically-motivated investigations, they deserve to lose. They had no problem spending over $30 million in taxpayer funds to push Robert Mueller’s farce of an investigation for nearly a year. 

Hopefully, Republicans in the judiciary committee will hold the line and insist on refusing to confirm a nominee who won’t pledge to leave Durham’s investigation in place. Otherwise, we might never know the full story of how the F.B.I. was complicit in perpetuating a hoax that distracted the public for years. 

 

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