Durham Says It’s Not His Fault His Former Boss Called for the Death of His Defendant

John Durham didn’t have much to say after being called out for making baseless accusations that their source Kash Patel lied about, leading the former President to suggest Michael Sussmann should be killed.

They’re not responsible for the death threats, the attorney who filed a notice of appearance in the wake of Friday’s stunt, Brittain Shaw, insists.

If third parties or members of the media have overstated, understated, or otherwise misinterpreted facts contained in the Government’s Motion, that does not in any way undermine the valid reasons for the Government’s inclusion of this information.

She said this even while acknowledging it might be prudent to take measures against death threats in the future.

That said, to the extent the Government’s future filings contain information that legitimately gives rise to privacy issues or other concerns that might overcome the presumption of public access to judicial documents – such as the disclosure of witness identities, the safety of individuals, or ongoing law enforcement or national security concerns – the Government will make such filings under seal. United States v. Hubbard, 650 F. 2d 293, 317-323 (D.C. Cir. 1980) (setting forth factors for considering whether the presumption of public access is overridden, including (1) the need for public access to the documents at issue; (2) the extent of previous public access to the documents; (3) the fact that someone has objected to disclosure, and the identity of that person; (4) the strength of any property and privacy interests asserted; (5) the possibility of prejudice to those opposing disclosure; and (6) the purposes for which the documents were introduced during the judicial proceedings.) The Government respectfully submits that no such issues or concerns are implicated here. [my emphasis]

The former President implied the defendant and a witness should be killed. But it’s not Durham’s fault and so he doesn’t have to deal with the fact that it happened!!

This is factually specious. Kash Patel, who was among the first to make egregiously false claims, is not a “third party.” He is the originator of this inquiry, and he knew well his statements to be false. Donald Trump, who suggested Sussmann and others should be killed, is not a “third party.” He was Durham’s boss and his demands for prosecutions are what led to Durham being appointed Special Counsel in the first place.

Plus, Durham’s team have already made the identities of some grand jury witnesses public in discovery filings.

The claim that the architects of this mob are neutral “third parties” is all the more pathetic given the excuse Shaw provides for including the false insinuation that Rodney Joffe spied on Trump’s White House rather than tried to keep the White House safe from hackers at the time it happened to be occupied by Barack Obama.

The reason they mentioned the White House, you see (Shaw claims), is because of one of the conflicts they raised.

The Government included two paragraphs of limited additional factual detail in its Motion for valid and straightforward reasons. First, those paragraphs reflect conduct that is intertwined with, and part of, events that are central to proving the defendant’s alleged criminal conduct. Second, the Government included these paragraphs to apprise the Court of the factual basis for one of the potential conflicts described in the Government’s Motion, namely, that a member of the defense team was working for the Executive Office of the President of the United States (“EOP”) during relevant events that involved the EOP. [my emphasis]

Shaw here argues that events in February 2017 are “intertwined” with an alleged crime that took place five months earlier.

She also suggests that the reason they raised the White House is because one of Sussmann’s team members worked there (Charlie Savage has now IDed the lawyer as Michael Bosworth).

I mean, so did Kash Patel, a central player in the false claims that led to the former President calling for death.

Here’s what the actual conflict memo said about that purported conflict.

Based on its review of documents in its investigation and other information, the Special Counsel’s Office also has learned that one of the members of the defendant’s current defense team (“Defense Team Member-1”) previously worked as Special Counsel to the then-FBI Director from 2013 to 2014. In connection with that work, Defense Team Member-1 developed professional and/or personal relationships with several individuals who later were involved with and/or knowledgeable of the FBI’s investigation of the Russian Bank-1 allegations. For example, Defense Team Member-1 appears to have developed a professional relationship with the former FBI General Counsel to whom the defendant made his alleged false statement and who will likely be a central witness at trial.4 While it is unlikely that these past interactions and activities will give rise to an actual conflict of interest, the Government respectfully requests in an abundance of caution that the Court inquire with the defense concerning whether Defense Team Member-1’s relationships with persons and entities who might be witnesses in this case could give rise to a potential conflict or appearance issue and, if so, whether the defendant waives any such conflict.

4 Following his employment at the FBI, Defense Team Member-1 worked from 2014 to early 2017 as an attorney in the EOP which, as noted above, was involved in certain factual issues that the Government expects will be relevant at trial and any sentencing proceedings. Latham has represented to the Government that while employed at the EOP, Defense Team Member-1 had no role in the aforementioned events or arrangements involving Tech Executive-1, Internet Company1, and/or allegations involving the purported use of Russian-made phones. The Government similarly has not seen evidence to suggest that Defense Team Member-1 had any role in, or direct knowledge of, the Russian Bank-1 allegations or the FBI’s ensuing investigation. [my emphasis]

It’s the tie to Jim Comey and through him to James Baker, not the subsequent job at the White House, that Durham’s team presented as a potential conflict — and even then, Durham’s team admits this is not likely a conflict. By this standard, several members of the prosecutorial team, not to mention the guy from whom this allegation came from, Kash Patel, have a conflict. John Durham was hired by Donald Trump; that’s a more serious conflict than anything his team spins up as one.

The White House will not be called to the stand at Sussmann’s trial. None of this is actually about the White House. As Andrew DeFilippis noted in his filing making wild claims of conflict, the White House job was not one of those conflicts. Indeed, this is yet another marker of Durham’s dishonesty. This team member, as described, was a victim of Rodney Joffe’s purportedly vicious efforts to make sure the Obama White House was not hacked. The team member only has an adversarial relationship if one believes that protecting against hacks is an adversarial stance. But that’s not how they describe the purported conflict which even they admit is not one.

Which is a pretty big hint their understanding of conflicts here is whacked beyond all reason.

Even in a terse four page motion (which I guess is one way she’s an improvement over DeFilippis), Shaw still had room for bullshit.

Having given a transparently bogus excuse for raising the White House, she then says that raising it in a conflict memo is cool because Durham plans to later raise these issues in a motion in limine (pre-trial motions about what can and cannot be presented during the trial).

In light of the above, there is no basis to strike any portion of the Government’s Motion. Indeed, the Government intends to file motions in limine in which it will further discuss these and other pertinent facts to explain why they constitute relevant and admissible evidence at trial. Pursuant to caselaw and common practice in this and other districts, the filing of documents containing reference to such evidence on the public docket is appropriate and proper, even in highprofile cases where the potential exists that such facts could garner media attention. See, e.g., United States v. Stone, 19 Cr. 18 (D.D.C. October 21, 2019) (ABJ), Minute Order (addressing the Government’s publicly-filed motion in limine seeking to admit video clip from the movie “Godfather II” that defendant sent to an associate and permitting admission of a transcript of the video); United States v. Craig, 19 Cr. 125 (D.D.C. July 10, 2019) (ABJ), Minute Order (addressing Government’s publicly-filed Rule 404(b) motion to offer evidence of defendant’s efforts to assist Paul Manafort’s relative in obtaining employment); United States v. Martoma, S1 12 Cr. 973, 2014 WL 164181 (S.D.N.Y. January 9, 2014) (denying defendant’s motion for sealing and courtroom closure relating to motions in limine concerning evidence of defendant’s expulsion from law school and forgery of law school transcript);1 see also Johnson v. Greater SE Cmty. Hosp. Corp., 951 F. 2d 1268, 1277 (D.C. Cir. 1991) (holding that there is a “strong presumption in favor of public access to judicial proceedings”). Moreover, any potential prejudice or jury taint arising from such media attention can effectively and appropriately be addressed through the voir dire process during jury selection.

1 The publicly-filed evidentiary motions and judicial rulings in each of the above-cited cases received significant media attention. See, e.g., Prosecutors Can’t Show Godfather II Clip at Roger Stone Trial, Judge Rules, CNN, October 21, 2019 (https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/21/politics/godfather-ii-roger-stone/index.html; Greg Craig Pushed to Hire Manfort’s Relative at Skadden, Prosecutors Say, POLITICO, May 10, 2019 (https://www.politico.com/story/2019/05/10/greg-craig-hire-manaforts-relative-1317600); SAC’s Martoma Tried to Cover Up Fraud at Harvard, Documents Show, REUTERS, January 9, 2014 (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sac-martoma-harvard/sacs-martoma-tried-to-cover-up-fraudat-harvard-documents-show-idUSBREA081C720140109).

Roger Stone Roger Stone Roger Stone and Mueller, she throws in for good measure.

This is a fairly bald admission that the time to raise these issues, pretending they were relevant, would be the later 404(b) fight (over whether evidence of related conduct can be admitted at trial to help prove the case), not now, on a totally separate issue. That this might be a relevant issue later (which is itself admission that these topics are not direct evidence about Sussmann’s alleged lie and must first demonstrate relevance to even be admitted at trial) is not an excuse to use them in untimely and off-purpose fashion.

And yet that’s Durham’s excuse for saying a bunch of things that predictably led to calls for death.

According to John Durham’s logic of conflicts, he is the one with an unwaivable conflict. The guy who hired him to this job is the same guy suggesting, based off Durham’s filing, that the guy he is prosecuting should be executed.

Updated for clarity.

Update: Corrected Bosworth’s last name.

83 replies
  1. Dopey-o says:

    I can see how Durham would be upset that he is drawn in the net of stochastic terrorism. But ST is afoot.

  2. DaveC says:

    Typo – delete 2nd “safe from hackers” per below (could be fixed by the time this is posted)

    “The claim that the architects of this mob are neutral “third parties” is all the more pathetic given the excuse Shaw gives for including the false insinuation that Rodney Joffe spied on Trump’s White House rather than tried to keep the White House safe from hackers at the time it happened to be occupied by Barack Obama [strike this: safe from hackers]. ‘

      • graham firchlis says:

        The three steps of effective teaching:

        1) Tell them what you’re going to tell them

        2) Tell them

        3) Tell them what you’ve told them

        As a slow learner with reading challenges, I also very much appreciate repetition. I also very much appreciate repetition.

        Proofreading one’s own writing is difficult, as we all of us all too often see what we think we wrote. Dr. Wheeler’s work is extraordinary in scope, astounding in detail and crystalline in clarity. I am constantly in awe. Such trivial typos as infrequently occur are only endearing.

        • civil says:

          I’m a former teacher, teacher educator, and education researcher, and telling people things often isn’t an effective form of teaching. However, blogging has many fewer teaching options available than classroom teaching, and presumably the people who choose to read the columns here are more motivated than the average student to learn from Dr. Wheeler’s explanations. I very much appreciate the researcher’s eye that she brings to her data analysis.

        • civil says:

          I don’t recall commenting about any other contributor, and I was responding to graham firchlis, who also referred to “Dr. Wheeler.” Do you object to that?

        • joel fisher says:

          What do Proctor and Gamble and Fidel Castro have in common? When you are telling the masses to buy Tide or that the US is the great Satan, repeat, repeat, repeat.

  3. Peterr says:

    . . . to the extent the Government’s future filings contain information that legitimately gives rise to privacy issues or other concerns that might overcome the presumption of public access to judicial documents – such as the disclosure of witness identities, the safety of individuals, or ongoing law enforcement or national security concerns – the Government will make such filings under seal.

    Emphasis added.

    This strikes me as very convenient for Durham, as it would allow him to keep prying eyes — Hi Marcy! — from peeking at his work and publicly calling it out for the crap that it all too often contains.

  4. Kevin says:

    Does the DOJ Inspector General have to wait until Durham is done to set out his bad behavior in a report? Is there any way to send him packing before that? Bad optics, I know, so I guess we just have to grit our teeth! Your eviscerations sure do help, though—thanks yet again!

    [Welcome to emptywheel. Please use a more differentiated username when you comment next as we have several community members named “Kevin” or “Kevan.” Thanks. / ~Rayne]

    • Troutwaxer says:

      I think they’d have to wait until he (hopefully, knock wood) blows this case. The really smart thing to do would be to replace him with a Democratic appointee, or better yet, a Bush/Cheney never-Trumper if the right person is available.

  5. joel fisher says:

    I hope EW won’t object too much if Sussman’s lawyers adopt, word for word, some of EW’s arguments.
    It would be really hard to put it better.

    • emptywheel says:

      Yup. That actually came before this filing. I’ll probably write it up too. But it has none of the bullshit fireworks in the Durham one.

      • Susan says:

        I’ve just recently began reading your posts and as a non lawyer and novice reader of legal jargon, I may sound as though I have no idea what I’m talking about which I probably don’t, but I am very curious about one thing. I’d read awhile back on a Twitter detectives tweet that former AG Barr worked for the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis before auditioning for the job of Trump’s fixer. It’s my understanding that K&E represent, or did represent, Alfa Bank. Wouldn’t that be a major conflict of interest for Durham?

  6. Marinela says:

    If this case gets to trial, somebody was saying Kash Patel could be called as witness for defense to maybe show how this prosecution was started on garbage not facts.
    Is this a possibility?
    If the case gets dismissed, that’s fine too.

    • emptywheel says:

      I said that.

      I suspect Sussmann’s lawyers will just blow this case to pieces without fanfare. But Kash has made himself a witness now, so they reasonably could call him if need be.

      • Marinela says:

        Thank you.
        If the case gets dismissed, can Sussman ask for Durham/DOJ to pay for his legal fees at least?

        • Rugger9 says:

          I had raised this with bmaz and the answer is no because of prosecutorial immunity. However, those who fed Durham his information he relied on for his filings (looking at you, Kash) probably do not have that kind of immunity. That, and lying to federal investigators is a crime that Martha Stewart spent time in the hoosegow even with very white-shoe lawyers defending her.

        • Marinela says:

          Who can make a referral to investigate Kash Patel lies that were ‘polluting’ Durham investigation? Would be good to see how honest KP testimony is when on the hot seat.
          Can Congress, a house committee, ask KP about some of the issues from the Sussman investigation?

        • I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

          What bmaz said is correct. But he also noted that prosecutors lose their absolute immunity when acting as “investigators” instead of acting as prosecutors. I’m too busy with my own work to have looked at the question of whether Durham may have been acting as an “investigator” when he went with Barr to Italy, or might have been acting as an “investigator” at other times, and whether his activities that might have been taken as an “investigator” have any connection with the current prosecutions being pursued by Durham’s office.

          Ironically, it’s the lack of a proper investigation that has caused problems for Durham to this point. If a mere lack of investigation is the problem, the “acting as investigator” exception to absolute immunity is logically not available.

        • Leoghann says:

          Although Durham and crew have certainly failed in their investigation, or their understanding of the results of investigation, I don’t think that’s caused Durham’s problems to date. His biggest issue is that he’s trying to reverse-engineer a case from his desired outcome–conviction of Sussman in a way that it also proves Trump’s “Spygate” conspiracy theory.

  7. Rapier says:

    It’s a very antiquated term but I consider Durham and the whole gang a literal fifth column. I am not sure exactly why they want to cancel the Enlightenment in order save and reinvigorate the white race but it’s an old dream. It’s the 100th anniversary of Mussolini marching into Rome and taking power after all. It’s a funny thing that 2 months into this centennial year I’ve never seen it mentioned so I’ll mention it here.

  8. Savage Librarian says:

    Inter View

    When you wish upon a Starr,

    Makes no difference you’re not Barr,
    With your Starr chart to conspire,
    Rogues comes to you.

    When kickstart is in your scheme,

    No request is too extreme,

    When you wish upon a Starr,

    As schemers do.

    Hate is blind,
    It gives truth a big shove,
    The sweet fulfillment of,
    A sadist’s longing.

    Like a bolt from the blue,
    We see how you inter view,

    When you wish upon a Starr,

    Your schemes fall through.


    “When You Wish Upon A Star by Cliff Edwards – Songfacts”

  9. ThePL says:

    Remember when FDR appointed Joseph Kennedy to head the SEC? It takes a thief to catch a thief, FDR supposedly explained. In retrospect, generally considered a brilliant appointment.

    When will this group appreciate the parallel brilliance of Billy Barr, who sent a liar to catch the liars saying all those mean things that reflected so poorly on our dear, honest former president?

    Change of tone alert: Thank you, everyone here, EW most of all, for your hard work and clear eyes.

    • Leoghann says:

      The irony of your second paragraph was pretty clear. But if ever in doubt, it doesn’t hurt to put a /s at the end.

  10. BobCon says:

    To what degree is it possible to see this as Patel’s operation rather than Durham’s?

    Is it plausible that Patel is basically a conduit for funnelling suggestions and even directions into Durham, and then also serve as a channel from the inner workings of his office out to the right wing spin team?

    Or is that too big of a stretch, and Durham is in fact the driver here, with Patel as just a piece on the board?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Kash Patel’s gubmint jobs all had him acting as a conduit, so that makes your hypothetical plausible. But if he’s doing that now, as a former gubmint employee, and getting info from a federal prosecutor about an ongoing investigation and prosecution, that would seem to put him and Durham in a big pot of hot water (conveniently bereft of all live lobsters).

      • BobCon says:

        I’m thinking of things like EW’s lines in the “Kash Patel Knew” post, such as:

        >Kash then claims that “Durham writes that he
        >has evidence showing Joffe and his company
        >were able to infiltrate White House servers.”

        > Curiously, Kash specifies that the White House
        > addresses involved were in the Eisenhower
        > Executive Office Building. That could well be true,
        > but Durham only claims they were associated with
        > EOP, and as someone who worked there, Kash
        >should know that one is a physical structure and
        >the other is a bureaucratic designation.

        Except that Patel’s depiction of what Durham actually said was really off base here and in other places. And it seems to have hurt the PR campaign spin.

        One strong possibility seems to be that Patel badly misread what Durham delivered. But I also wonder if Patel was already committed to a script that had been fed to Durham, and assumed Durham would follow it more closely.

        PR typically takes time — it gives spinners a huge advantage to have the script well ahead of the launch date so that they can prep talking points, schedule interviews, and get friendly background “sources” lined up. Hitting the ground running means you can drown out people who need time to read and analyze what has been delivered.

        But in the meantime, maybe some of Durham’s less hackish staff were sanding down some of the less defensible elements of the script, leading to the differences that have undermined the PR.

        The ongoing screwups by Durham could very well point to nothing more than Durham’s incompetence. But I wonder if it’s also a sign of a giant game of telephone going on, with someone developing a script, trying to use people to deliver talking points and evidence to Durham in the guise of witness interviews, and communications being scrambled in the transmission.

        I realize one complication is the need for Durham to eventually take part in the discovery process, and not all signs of coordination can be hidden. So it’s possible that I’m significantly overestimating how much of a script and backup evidence could be delivered to Durham without being revealed.

        But it seems worth considering whether there is more than just incompetence behind the divergence between Durham’s words and the right wing characterization of those words. The speed with which they jumped on this suggests to me some level of preknowledge and planning was going on.

        • Eureka says:

          Besides those lines in the Kash Patel Knew post (which I also took as EW pointing to a script pilot of sorts), I’m also recalling a salient “stray” utterance of Trump’s from the first debate (and EW noted it at the time in a post). Trump, ranting about how they never gave him a transition and they were spying on him from before the election says ~ we’ve caught them, and we’ve got it all _on tape_.

          What do they have “on tape” (besides, say, hearings) and is it germane here?

        • harpie says:

          Marcy links to the debate/transcript in that post [at “made this prepared attack”] and Trump says transition 4 times at 01:01:53.

          […] And by the way, you gave the idea for the Logan Act against General Flynn. You better take a look at that, because we caught you in a sense, and President Obama was sitting in the office.

          He knew about it too. So don’t tell me about a free transition.

        • Eureka says:

          Thank you harpie, I was headed that way & fell asleep at the keyboard.

          FYI, I updated your thread on recent J6 subpoena recipients re Michael Roman (long-time “voter fraud”/ stopthesteal, Koch/ McGahn guy, also involved in Canadian politics). He’s got a lot more going on in the long game here than that for which he was apparently subpoenaed re the electors/state legislators.


          Per the Politico there cited, Roman also played a critical role during the transition, managing for McGahn the influx of Jones Day attorneys, and “whatever came up” for McGahn.

          Obliquely related to the discussion here I wonder if he’s another intersector between the STS and “Russia-gate” players.

          It’s so regrettable how myriad individuals ratfuck us on our dime.

        • Eureka says:

          Hmm indeed.

          In other it-always-circles-back news, I saw the headline about Trump in talks to host that Saudi golf tour and thought ah, that’s how Trump’s going to get his post-Mazars-dump “loans”.

          Then I read it [Bwahaha Rayne is going to have a field day with this. Also Mickelson is trash (see the quote)] — nope, no way he’s going to get enough cash out of that. Maybe cover some of his “operating expenses” to stay afloat. Unless there are some compound deals afoot (which of course Dawsey would neither be anticipating nor nosing around about).


        • Eureka says:

          That quote (I mean it’s really bad):

          “We know they killed Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights,” Mickelson was quoted as saying by Alan Shipnuck, a biographer who wrote a book about him. “They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.”

        • Rayne says:

          Yeah, that’s *exactly* how the courses will be kept afloat, a mega-sponsor establishing a program through those courses with a total fucking idiot like Mickelson willing to whore his name out as a front.

          I thought Tiger Woods was a disappointment for his participation in development of the Trump-Saudi course, but this is absolutely beyond stupid because Mickelson knows the score. He knows he’s being asked to front for a murderer and on American soil, but golf!!

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          BobCon, I recently looked up Durham’s Connecticut history in the Hartford Courant. This Durham (who officially retired last year) sounded like a different person entirely–so much so that I find it hard to imagine him deeply involved in the moronic strategery of Kash Patel et. al. Durham is 72. If I were him I would be backing away slowly with my hands up.

    • Remy says:

      Over at DailyKos, Mark Sumner lays out a pretty damning timeline:

      “First, there’s a strong series of “coincidences” connecting the filing to the former Devin Nunes aide and eventually the chief of staff to the acting secretary of defense, Kash Patel.

      – In 2017, Patel questioned Sussman as part of Nunes’ House investigation and asked about meetings Sussman may have had with officials outside the FBI. Sussman informed Patel of the CIA meeting, what had been shared, and the date of the meeting. Patel did nothing in response to this knowledge, which was recorded in transcripts but didn’t even merit mention in Nunes’ eventual report on his findings.
      – On Feb. 7, Patel and Donald Trump were on Epoch Times TV for an interview in which Trump said there was “a lot coming” from Durham, and that the special counsel was about to “fully expose” the truth about the Clinton campaign. “It was them and Russia. It was them and Russia, they worked with Russia,” said Trump.
      – One week after that interview, Durham issued a pointless document in which the only new information was a sentence pointing to the meeting that Patel had attended, and the answer to the question he had asked.
      – Patel then tweeted out a claim that the “Hillary Clinton campaign and her lawyers masterminded the most intricate and coordinated conspiracy against Trump when he was both a candidate and later President of the United States.”
      – Patel then went on Fox News to talk about how Clinton’s team had worked to “infiltrate” the White House.


      • Marinela says:

        The article ends with:
        All of which would seem to suggest that more charges should be filed in this case. Just not against Sussman.

        Do they mean charges against somebody like Kash Patel?

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Sometime around June 2020, Neil Patel seems to have bought out Tucker Carlson’s share of the Daily Caller. Patel may be a fairly common name. But it does make me wonder if he knows Kash Patel. I have no information on that, one way or the other. But it would be helpful if we could find some way to determine if they are friends or relatives.

      As an aside, Carlson has known Roger Stone since 1996 (at least, according to a 2/26/20 article by Gabriel Sherman, ‘ “Catastrophic”: Trump Is Fighting With Advisers Over Pardoning Roger Stone’.)

      And, DT also spoke numerous times a week (sometimes daily) to Rupert Murdoch, according to an Australian TV documentary, ‘Fox and the Big Lie.’

      So, if Kash and Neil Patel have any kind of connection, that might explain some of the mysteries surrounding Kash.

      • gmoke says:

        Came across another interesting “same last name” instance yesterday. One Edward Gorsuch provoked the Christiana Riot of September 11, 1851 by trying to retrieve some men under the Fugitive Slave Act. I wonder if Mr “Justice” Neil Gorsuch is related.

        Referred it to Henry Louis Gates on Twitter as a suggestion for a “Finding Your Roots” episode, which would be more than interesting if it ever happens.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        Patel is a very common surname. It’s in the top 100 in the U.S. It’s about as common as Sanders. I wouldn’t assume that Barry Sanders is related to Bernie Sanders because they have the same last name.

        • Savage Librarian says:

          Nor Sarah Huckabee Sanders. But both Patels may still have common patterns in how they express their 1st Amendment interests. Even if they may not be related, it’s still possible their paths have crossed in related interests. And, of course, even if they might not be related, they may have had more interactions than some people who are related.

          “The Daily Caller has published false stories on multiple occasions.”


        • Rayne says:

          Patel is the 19th most common surname in India. The variant name Patil is only slightly less common. Betting the percentage of Indian immigrants here with last name Patel reflects this.

      • Leoghann says:

        Several Indian friends have told me over the years that Patel in India is like Smith in the US. So there’s likely no connection, but there could be.

        • Savage Librarian says:

          Thanks, Leoghann. I, too, have a surname that I have been told is equivalent to “Smith” in its country of origin. Yet I experienced circumstances that crossed paths with a person of the same name. Both of us incurred unpleasant consequences. But one of us broke the law (hint: not me) which, I assume, resulted in some fallout for the other person. I just had the misfortune of being confused with that person.

          As we might recall, some names associated with the DT administration are:
          Andrew Miller, Carol Miller, Christopher Miller, Jason Miller, Stephen Miller.

          Chances are that they may not be related, at least relative to their nuclear families. Maybe not even in their extended families. But all their paths may have at least one common node of intersection, even if they did not connect physically with each other.

          Ever since I watched a film about fractals called, “The Secret Life of Chaos” (2015), I have thought of the experience I had with extremists’ threats and cowardly, dishonest government officials as a fractal [“a shape made of parts similar to the whole in some way.” – Mandelbrot.]

          Some things would be unwise to share. So, in the interest of caution and safety, I’ll just quote you, Leoghann: “there’s likely no connection, but there could be.”

  11. Brad Cole says:

    What I infer from your reporting and others is that there exists under Garland a sort of dual DOJ. Where one side, the official Garland led crew, fights for truth, justice, and the American Way; and another crew, Trump/Sessions/Barr hangers on now apparently led by Durham though he seems much like a figurehead on a ship drifting through the fog of all the lies, espouses an alternate reality supported by alternate facts. I’m curious how long this is tenable.

    • Scott Johnson says:

      The whole point of a special counsel, of course, is some level of political immunity.

      Garland has given Durham far more rope than Barr (and his predecessors) gave Robert Mueller; but despite that Durham has far less to show for it. (Even if Trump is never indicted for obstruction, Bob Mueller still has a few heads mounted on his wall…)

  12. What Constitution? says:

    “Tenable” has never been Durham’s, or Barr’s, standard. This is about “sustainable”, which is a whole different goal that is built upon threat of complaining about “coverup” should the “investigation” be shut down because it is so obviously untenable.

    Give us a couple more deputy non-apologies like this “gee, not our fault if some media outlet reads our work as supporting the death penalty for Trump’s erstwhile ‘enemies'” — without actually disclaiming any intention to foment such hyperbole or explanation as to how the comments do not support such…. Looking forward to a ruling on the motion to dismiss.

    • Leoghann says:

      Durham put out a public statement today, saying almost exactly that. The gist, as I read it, was “it’s terrible that Fox News seized upon our filing as proof that the Clinton campaign spied on and infiltrated the White House. You people should read better. But it was my sacred duty to include a lot of verbiage in my filing that could easily be interpreted as saying the Clinton campaign spied on and infiltrated the White House.”

  13. Hopeful says:

    Eric Boehlert has a brief summary of the Durham investigation on Press Run and cites Dr Wheeler, unfortunately referring to her as “blogger Darcy Wheeler”.

      • Hopeful says:

        I emailed Mr Boehlert this morning saying “Marcy Wheeler is the intrepid journalist following this story, not “Darcy”.

        He responded by thanking me and saying that he had fixed the typo for the online version.

        I see that it now cites “journalist Marcy Wheeler”.

        • bmaz says:

          Excellent. Thanks.

          The funny thing is Eric knows exactly who we all are, especially Marcy. That is why I said he was a blogger as well. There are not that many left from the old days, but there are still some.

    • Scott Johnson says:

      Shouldn’t that be “blogger Dr. Wheeler”?

      (It seems these days that the worth of a reporter is inversely proportional to his or her salary. The most highly-paid of the set seldom wear down any shoe-leather, and merely schmooze the well-connected and give them a place to launder gossip…)

  14. WilliamOckham says:

    A while back, Ruth Ben-Ghiat said that you can tell when Trump is really scared because he starts talking about Hilary Clinton. I think this little episode demonstrates that all of Trump World is terrified.

    • Marinela says:

      Keeping my expectations low regarding the prospect of Trump being held responsible.
      Worrying he’ll get out of it…

      But I hope between the house committee J6, DOJ J6, NY AG civil case against Trump, Georgia case, the Manhattan DA criminal case, the fake electors cases, some of the dominoes start falling and allow for the truth to be laud and clear.
      Which could not happen when Trump was president.

      At least there are efforts now to get to the truth, that the executive branch changed hands.

    • Leoghann says:

      I doubt that anything about Durham’s “investigation” is scaring him. I noticed that his public statement about Judge Engoron’s order for him, Spawn #1, & Spawn #2 to testify ended with the complaint that he can’t possibly get a fair trial in crooked New York. If he’s already laying his old “voter fraud” ploy down, it means he knows he’s on the losing end of the cases in New York, and is hoping he can enlist his thousands of MAGAts to threaten.

  15. WilliamOckham says:

    From the Judge Mehta’s ruling on the KKK Act lawsuits against Trump:

    That said, Stone’s connections to both the President and these groups [ed. note Proud Boys and Oath Keepers] in the days leading up to January 6th is a well-pleaded fact. Discovery might prove that connection to be an important one.

    Hmmm…. I’m not saying he’s being reading this site, just that acute observers notice similar things.

  16. William Bennett says:

    I mean, I know everything in Trumpland is a distraction from something else, but it irritates the f*** out of me that Trump’s death threat affords Durham the comfort of disavowing responsibility for what the rightwing noise machine is doing with his filing instead of having to answer why the filing was full of donkey dung to begin with.

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