Last night, in response to Sean Hannity pressuring Billy Barr to be (as Trump stated earlier), “the greatest of all time” with respect to the John Durham investigation, Barr violated DOJ guidelines to reveal there would be a development today (and further developments before the election) in the John Durham investigation.
Perhaps in an attempt to shut down Hannity’s time pressure, Barr said whatever that development was, “the proper pace, as dictated by the facts in this investigation.”
HANNITY: The president said today that he hopes that the Durham report and that you, as attorney general, won’t be politically correct.
I hope that too. Mr. Attorney General, I have spent three years unpeeling the layers of an onion, in terms of premeditated fraud on a FISA court. You have deleted subpoenaed e-mails. You have knowledge we know that they were warned in August of 2016 not to trust that dossier, which was the bulk of information for the FISA warrants.
The sub source in January 2017 confirms, none of that was true, and it was bar talk.
I guess, just as the wheels of justice turn slowly, I feel impatience over it. Can you give us any update?
BARR: Yes, Sean.
Well, first, as to the political correctness, if I was worried about being politically correct, I wouldn’t have joined this administration. As I made clear…
HANNITY: That’s actually a good line, too. OK.
Well, as I made clear, I’m going to call them as I see them. And that’s why I came in. I thought I’m in a — I think I’m in a position to do that.
There are two different things going on, Sean. One, I have said that the American people need to know what actually happened. We need to get the story of what happened in 2016 and ’17 now out. That will be done.
The second aspect of this is, if people cross the line, if people involved in that activity violated the criminal law, they will be charged.
And John Durham is an independent man, highly experienced. And his investigation is pursuing apace. There was some delay because of COVID. But I’m satisfied with the progress.
And I have said there are going to be developments, significant developments, before the election. But we’re not doing this on the election schedule. We’re aware of the election. We’re not going to do anything inappropriate before the election.
But we’re not being dictated to by this schedule. What’s dictating the timing of this are developments in the case. And there will be developments. Tomorrow, there will be a development in the case.
You know, it’s not an earth-shattering development, but it is an indication that things are moving along at the proper pace, as dictated by the facts in this investigation.
That development happened to be the charge of a single False Statements charge against Kevin Clinesmith, the lawyer who altered an email — he said, “to clarify facts for a colleague” — in the Carter Page investigation.
There’s an aspect of the Criminal Information I’ll return to.
But for the moment, consider that Billy Barr has said this Criminal Information, for one count of False Statements, was “moving along at the proper pace.”
Per the DOJ IG Report, Clinesmith’s actions were referred to DOJ and FBI in June 2018. That means it has taken DOJ at least 13 months to charge a fairly clearcut false statements case.
[Note: I’ve reread this. DOJ IG referred Clinesmith to FBI for his politicized texts in June 2018. It’s unclear when they referred his alteration of an email. He resigned from FBI on September 21, 2019, so it would have happened before then. I’ve changed the headline accordingly.]
George Papadopoulos was charged, in an investigation that Barr’s boss Donald Trump said was far too long, just over eight months after he lied to the FBI.
Mike Flynn was charged, in an investigation that Trump claims was far too long, just over ten months after he lied to the FBI.
Even in the Roger Stone case, the longest lasting of the investigations into Trump’s flunkies, Mueller charged obstruction just over eight months after Mueller’s team discovered how Stone was threatening Randy Credico and other witnesses.
In short, Billy Barr has now said that the pace Mueller worked at was better than what he thinks is proper.
Billy Barr probably didn’t realize it, but the only thing his politicized Durham investigation has to show thus far is that Trump is wrong when he assails Mueller for the length of his investigation.