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FILE – In this March 22, 2019 file photo, an American flag flies outside the Department of Justice in Washington. The Justice Department has seized millions of dollars from cryptocurrency accounts that militant organization abroad, including al-Qaida and the Islamic State group, relied on to raise money for their operations, officials announced Thursday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)InternationalIndiaAfricaDemocratic lawmakers and US corporate media recently slammed Special Counsel John Durham over his “fruitless” four-year probe into the DoJ and FBI’s handling of the Trump-Russia investigation and potential violation of governing law. The special counsel is due to produce a report summarizing his findings.Special Counsel John Durham’s probe has prompted a heated debate over the past two weeks. In 2019, then-Attorney General William Barr tapped Durham to look into the origins of the Trump-Russia inquiry. The New York Times broke a critical report in late January 2023 claiming that Durham’s investigation of the investigators had been opened “without any solid basis, went on too long and found no proof of collusion.”The media claimed that a dozen current and former officials revealed that Durham’s probe was mired in internal dissent, ethical disputes, alleged prosecutorial misconduct, and abuse of power.On January 31, two House Democrats, Ted W. Lieu and Daniel S. Goldman, wrote a letter to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz expressing their concerns prompted by the aforementioned report.”In 2019, Mr. Barr weaponized the Department of Justice to pursue the false conspiracy theory that the deep state or Hillary Clinton caused the FBI to open an inquiry into ties between Trump and Russia. Your office conducted an independent review of the Russia inquiry and concluded that the FBI’s actions were not politically motivated, that the Steele dossier had nothing to do with the origination of the investigation, and that the FBI had a sufficient basis to open the Russia case,” the two Democrats wrote.WorldDurham Probe: Data Alleging Trump-Russia Plot ‘Fabricated’ & Part of ‘Conspiracy’, Scholars Say20 April 2022, 14:09 GMTIn response to a series of articles in the US corporate media which popped up as Durham is about to wrap up his probe, Former Attorney General William Barr gave an interview in early February in defense of the investigation. According to Barr, the US media “ignored some fundamental facts as to why some of the information that Durham was seeking was very important information.””You review something, you get the facts,” Barr told the US media. “Yes, we wanted to hold people accountable if something came up that indicated criminality, or you could prove criminality. But it wasn’t a criminal investigation, it was a review to get the story. And he got the story.”During his probe Durham charged and convicted FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who admitted to doctoring an email to state that Trump aide Carter Page had never been a CIA asset (which was not true). Spying on Carter Page allowed the FBI to get extensive information about the Trump campaign.Durham also brought charges against Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann and Brookings Institution scholar Igor Danchenko, the primary subsource for ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele (the author of the “dirty dossier” on Trump compiled on behalf of Clinton and other Democrats). Durham lost the latter two cases, but managed to shed light on the Clinton campaign’s role in peddling the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, something that was proven to be a big nothingburger by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team.AnalysisBans, Bucks & Bureaucracy: Twitter Files Co-Author Taibbi on Big Tech’s Collusion With Feds7 February, 15:13 GMT
Durham Probe: Disappointment and Potential Cover-Up
While the Democrats have been ramping up criticism against the Barr-Durham “weaponization” of the DoJ – which coincided with a GOP committee’s investigation of Joe Biden’s weaponization of the same institution – some American conservatives and independents appear to be disenchanted with the Durham investigation as well.They expected that Durham would expose a conspiracy between the Dems and the Intelligence Community to derail Donald Trump’s presidency, and alleged that some top level Democrats could end up behind bars. However, the special counsel probe appears to have disappointed them.
"I have had zero expectations for the Durham investigation since the moment it was announced," Jason Goodman, US investigative journalist and founder of CrowdSource the Truth, told Sputnik. "If you closely review former Attorney General William Barr’s history, it is hard to imagine how he would appoint anyone who would be anything but a swamp gatekeeper. Barr played a major role in Iran-Contra and other horrendous scandals. For many Trump voters and perhaps Trump himself, Barr showed his true colors in the final days of the administration. I consider appointing him attorney general one of Trump’s gravest errors."
According to Goodman, independent US journalists have revealed more about Danchenko, the Brookings Institution, Sussmann, Baker, Clinton, the FBI, and others involved in the origins of Russiagate than anything Durham has done.”It’s interesting that the Sussmann prosecution involved former FBI/Twitter General Counsel Jim Baker but revealed none of the FBI infiltration at Twitter,” Goodman said. “Perhaps Elon Musk would’ve been a more effective special counsel.”Moreover, the latest exposes by Matt Taibbi, Jeff Gerth, and Seymour Hersh have said much more about the political bias, abuse of power, and illicit collusion in Washington than all US special counsels combined, per Goodman.But that is not all: according to the investigative journalist, “there remains a strong possibility that the Durham investigation has actually covered up more than it revealed.”“During the Sussmann trial, New York Times journalist Eric Lichtblau was represented by Ballard Spahr. Although not a defendant in the case, Lichtblau’s attorneys sought to keep certain sources and information under seal and succeeded,” he observed. “Could the whole case have been a strategic lawfare play designed to cover up key material while simultaneously fooling the public into thinking justice was coming? I find that a likely possibility.”AnalysisWhy Hersh’s Nord Stream Bombshell May Become Legal Nightmare for Team Biden & Its Nordic Allies11 February, 15:39 GMT
Failed Investigations of Powerful Political Families
“Too many lawyers are constrained by many factors when it comes time to unravel and expose complex crimes involving dynastic political families,” Charles Ortel, a Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist, told Sputnik. “On the carrot side of the equation, items of great financial value and prestige are frequently dangled (juicy law partnerships, book deals or appointments). On the stick side, lawyers are attuned to politics and can be told to back off or suffer consequences when they sniff around schemes, perpetrated by Democrats and Republicans alike that ostensibly enhance national security, but in fact are brazen ‘pay-to-play’ corruption.”Ortel suggested that “if Durham performs a real investigation, he must examine why previous investigations failed to find and then prosecute obvious crimes including charity fraud, illegal campaign contributions by foreign interests, and bribes.”To illustrate his point, the Wall Street analyst referred to failures by former FBI Director James Comey and his predecessor Robert Mueller to discipline many actors “for rampant charity fraud involving the Clinton Foundation from 1997 through 2005.”Ortel, who has been conducting a private investigation into the Clinton Foundation’s alleged misdeeds, wonders as to why the FBI, DoJ, and IRS have failed to see obvious discrepancies in the charity’s operations and financial activities. The Wall Street analyst is an old hand in exposing potential financial fraud: it was Ortel who raised the red flag about General Electric shortly before its stock crashed in 2008.WorldClinton Foundation: ‘Vehicle to Transform Once Broke Family Into Mega-Multi-Millionaires’ – Analyst26 November 2019, 17:02 GMTComey and Mueller’s failures “likely constrained the ability of the FBI and DOJ to pick up investigations into the Clinton Foundation starting by 2016, as partially documented in a number of reports by IG Horowitz,” according to Ortel. Later, US Attorney John Huber was tasked with reviewing the FBI’s work on the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One, but also failed to produce anything tangible.”They also may explain why Huber’s probe failed to go to the heart of Clinton Foundation crimes, whose exposure likely will embarrass many others in the Bush, Obama, Trump and Biden administrations,” Ortel suggested.Likewise, the FBI and DoJ treated Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of highly classified material with kid gloves, even though numerous whistleblowers came forward warning about the messy conduct of her Cabinet while dealing with state secrets.Sputnik ExplainsWho’s Jake Sullivan, the Man Who Reportedly Assembled ‘Dream Team’ to Destroy Nord Stream?9 February, 16:11 GMT
"If the FBI had done its proper job investigating Hillary Clinton's missing emails and followed threads all the way home, Donald Trump likely would now be starting the third year of his second term," Ortel assumed. "Instead, furious Clinton and Obama allies have been torturing Trump and his chief supporters ever since November 2016. It is their actions and now those of a plainly dangerous and incompetent Biden administration that leave America and the wider world on the brink of catastrophe."
According to Ortel, it will soon become clear how complete a job Durham and his team have done laying out the motivations of key actors in the ongoing plot to destroy Trump, freedom, and capitalism. However, the Wall Street analyst remarked that he is “also prepared to be disappointed.”While the US justice machine appears to cover up the misdeeds of those in power and their associates, the role of connecting important dots will likely fall to truly independent voices from around the world, Ortel believes.“Let us hope they have an opportunity to counter propaganda and conspiracy theories pushed out by entrenched governments and their allies,” he concluded.