Special counsel John Durham abruptly stepped down from his role as U.S attorney as he reviews the origin of the Russia investigation. He had been appointed to a special counsel role by Attorney General William Barr in October last year. Another exception is Delaware U.S Attorney David Weiss, who was asked to stay on as he investigates the president’s son, Hunter Biden. They can only be fired for ‘good cause’ and are guaranteed a certain amount of day-to-day independence.
“I decided the best thing to do would be to appoint them under the same regulation that covered Bob Mueller, to provide Durham and his team some assurance that they’d be able to complete their work regardless of the outcome of the election,” Barr said.
Durham announced his resignation and said his career since graduating law school back in 1975 has been as fulfilling as he could have imagined. He said much of that fulfillment came from the people he worked with and in the partner law enforcement agencies.
“My love and respect for this Office and the vitally important work done here have never diminished. It has been a tremendous honor to serve as U.S. Attorney, and as a career prosecutor before that, and I will sorely miss it,” Durham said.
In his newly appointed role, Durham will be leading the investigation out of the main Justice Department building on Pennsylvania Avenue. He will continue the investigation of possible criminal wrongdoing in Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Former President Donald Trump had called it a ‘continuation of the greatest political witch hunt’ and that former President Barack Obama used the power of the government to spy on his campaign illegally. Trump called the probe “Crossfire Hurricane” and claimed that it was politically motivated and an improper and illegal abuse of power.
There has been one guilty plea so far by former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who admitted to editing a CIA email in 2017. He said he edited the email to state that 2016 Trump campaign adviser Carter Page was “not a source” for the CIA when it told the bureau on multiple occasions that Page had been an “operational contact.” This helped him renew Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act authority against Page. Clinesmith was sentenced to one year of probation.
Durham told Fox News anchor Brett Baier that they were making “excellent progress” and adding additional prosecutors to the investigative team. Former M16 agent Christopher Steele is currently under suspicion for mishandling classified information about Crossfire Hurricane. He took Steele to court in London and tried to get him to turn over notes he’d taken of his meetings with the FBI in 2016 regarding a potential conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.
There’s more whistleblowers every day and this is just the tip of the iceberg,