Barr’s Last Dirty Trick – Don’t Let It Work! Fire Durham.

In October the Atttorney General Barr secretly appointed Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham to the position of special counsel. Durham was first appointed in May 2019 to investigate “certain intelligence and law-enforcement activities surrounding the 2016 presidential election” according a letter Barr sent Lindsey Graham and others on December 1, 2020..

Durham during that time has indicted a lawyer connected with the FBI of altering a document. In his new appointment Durham is given a sweeping mandate to examine “ whether any federal official, employee, or any other person or entity violated the law in connection with the intelligence, counter-intelligent, or law-enforcement activities directed at the 2016 presidential campaigns, individuals associated with those campaigns and individuals associated with the administration of President Donald J Trump including but not limited to Crossfire  Hurricane and the investigation of special counsel Robert S. Mueller, III.”

AG Barr in doing this has expanded Durham’s  original mandate to authorize him to investigate the  people involved with the Mueller Report. In other words Durham is authorized to investigate whether any person connected with that investigation violated “any” law. The Mueller investigation did not end until 2019.

This means Durham, whose appointment seems  to have violated 28CFR section 600.3 which states “the special counsel shall be selected from outside the United States government”,  will be able to cause a little bit of havoc during the Biden administration by intruding on its operations by possibly investigating Biden appointments who may have had nothing to do with the 2016 presidential election.

The big problem with the appointment is it establishes precedence for one administration attempting to maintain prosecutorial powers into and through a new administration. First no one has any idea what violations of the law Durham is now investigating.  There seems to be no limit on his investigatory powers.  Traditionally a president appoints all prosecutors in his new administration but here Barr is deciding he will appoint his own investigating prosecutor with a mandate almost coextensive with the newly installed attorney general. Where will that lead us?

If Barr can do such an open ended appointment in secret what is to prevent him from doing others? What would stop him from appointing Rudy Giuliani, or Sidney Powell, or Jenna Ellis the lawyers on Trump’s team, now running around the country alleging fraud by the Democrats, special counsel to investigate the circumstances surrounding the election of president in the 2020 election?

What if Barr appointed himself, or had his deputy appoint him, or if not him another Trump ally to investigate any crimes committed by any person in connection with the Trump administration? Would this block the new attorney general from doing it? Would this special counsel be able to immunize from prosecution those involved in criminal activity?

The chances for mischief are endless. The new administration will spend its days looking over its shoulder as shadow unaccountable special counsels wreak confusion and turmoil. It’s a recipe for endless strife now and for future presidents.

Durham is a life long Republican and Barr loyalist, he traveled outside the US with Barr looking for dirt on Biden and his son. Rudy Giuliani in an interview and Fox News said that Durham was spending a lot of time in Europe because he was investigating Ukraine. How unseemly would it be if Durham seeks to depose Biden or indict his son?

The only way to deal with it is to nip it in the bud. The new AG must bring Durham in and have him layout where he’s been and where he’s going, he must limit his access to the intelligence files, he must prohibit him from making public statements  (Durham has already done so criticizing the inspector general), he must pre-approve any grand jury witness or interview of any government official without written probable cause, and he must set an end date – no later than 5 years after November 2016- when the statute of limitations expires, and to ensure Durham pulls no hanky-panky  he should appoint his own assistant to have the power to oversee Durham’s every move.

Even that’s not the best move, he really should be fired right away based on my earlier suggestions about the pernicious effects it will have on any Department of Justice.p having two attorney generals. As for people getting upset, those that do will always be Biden and Democrat enemies so you lose nothing.










2 thoughts on “Barr’s Last Dirty Trick – Don’t Let It Work! Fire Durham.

  1. You posit a list of ridiculous Special Counsel appointments Barr could make as a “straw man” argument for why Barr shouldn’t have made the Durham appointment. Of course, he didn’t make them and won’t. The other argument – Durham is taking too long, he hasn’t made many actual prosecutions, he’s a second Attorney General – were made about the long Mueller Investigation. You even complain the appointment was made “secretly” although you would have howled if it had been done publicly during the election season. I don’t like special prosecutors generally for reasons stated by Justice Scalia in his dissent in Morrison v. Olsen. After getting a taste of it themselves in the Clinton administration, Democratic legislators let the old law expire. You seem to approve of them only when they are investigating Republicans. Show a little principle.

    1. Brian:

      First, perhaps I would have yelled if Barr made the appointment public before the election however I see no reason why he did not make it after the election. There was no need for it to be done at that point which brings me to the point that we do not know what Barr has done. He very well may have made other secret appointments so your claim he has not done so is speculative.

      Next, it is obvious Barr made this appointment to intrude upon the Biden AG’s prerogatives. He even made it in contravention of the statue which requires the person appointed not be a government employee point which you fail to address. Nor do you address the precedent Barr has established where an AG can intrude upon the decisions of a subsequent AG by appointing special prosecutors to consider matters long into the next administration.

      You also suggest that I approve of them when they are investigating Republicans. Where do you get that from? Talk about showing a little principle. (If you are referring to my support of the Mueller investigation let me remind you he was appointed by the DOJ of the administration that he was investigating.) It would be best if you discuss the issue of one administration appointing a special counsel on the eve of an new administration for the purpose of causing havoc for the new attorney general which is the point of my post.

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