Flashback: Democrats have long called the Durham inquiry a ‘politically motivated investigation’


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Democrats who once pushed to protect then-special counsel Robert Mueller to ensure his Russia investigation proceeded without interference sang a whole different tone when the Trump administration nominated John Durham. as special counsel to continue to investigate the origins of this same Russia investigation.

Durham has already charged three people as part of its investigation: Igor Danchenko on November 4, 2021, Kevin Clinesmith in August 2020 and Michael Sussmann in September 2021. Durham’s latest court filing on Friday alleges that presidential campaign lawyers for 2016 of Hillary Clinton, including Sussmann, paid to access servers belonging to Trump Tower and later the White House to establish “inference” and “narrative” to bring to federal government agencies linking President Trump to Russia.

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Photo of John Durham, left, and Michael Sussmann, right.
(Perkins Coie)

Durham was appointed Special Advocate by then Attorney General William Barr on October 19, 2020, giving Durham an extra degree of independence as he can only be removed by an Attorney General or someone acting in that capacity. title. Barr revealed the nomination on December 1, 2020, about a month after the presidential election.

Democrats like Rep. Adam Schiff of California and Jerry Nadler of New York criticized Barr’s nomination at the time, though they previously called for protecting the special counsel’s office as Mueller conducts his investigation. campaign, which concluded without finding any evidence to support allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., a key member of the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 attack, does a television interview after preparing for most of the day with d other members of the committee, at the Capitol in Washington, July 26, 2021.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., a key member of the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 attack, does a television interview after preparing for most of the day with d other members of the committee, at the Capitol in Washington, July 26, 2021.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

“Barr is using the Special Advocates Act for a purpose that was not intended: to pursue a politically motivated investigation long after Barr is gone,” Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said in December 2020.

But during Mueller’s earlier investigation, Schiff was keen to shield the special counsel’s office to ensure Mueller could continue the Russia investigation without interference. In 2018, he told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that Congress needed to “pass a bill to protect Mueller so we don’t invite a crisis.”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) attends a press conference April 9, 2019 in Washington, DC.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) attends a press conference April 9, 2019 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, also criticized Durham’s appointment at the time as “one more desperate attempt to fuel President Trump’s fixation on events that have been investigated over and over again. time”.

The statement came nearly a year after Nadler introduced legislation to protect Mueller’s earlier investigation from “inappropriate interference.”

Schiff and Nadler, along with House Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney, DN.Y., and House Administration Chair Zoe Lofgren, D-California, had also sent a letter in September 2020 requesting the Justice Department’s top watchdog to open an “emergency” review. in Barr’s handling of the Durham probe.

Fox News first reported on Saturday a Feb. 11 Durham file that claims Clinton campaign lawyers were working with a tech company and “gathering and forwarding” allegations about Trump’s ties to Russia to present them. to the FBI and a second federal government agency.

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The Feb. 11 motion addressed potential conflicts of interest related to representing former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann, who was charged with making a false statement to a federal agent. Sussmann pleaded not guilty.

The offices of Schiff and Nadler did not respond to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.

Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.


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