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U.S. Attorney John Durham’s final report on the origins of the Russian collusion investigation will be delayed until after the election. Attorney General William Barr reportedly told top Republican lawmakers that Durham is not concerned about any political deadlines and is working “deliberately and in a calculated manner” to complete the report at his own pace.
The news is a blow to those who hoped Durham’s probe would uncover the anti-Trump political motivations of those in the intelligence and law enforcement communities who drove the investigation onward despite scant evidence that there was any collusion between the Russian government and the Trump presidential campaign.
“This is the nightmare scenario. Essentially, the year and a half of arguably the number one issue for the Republican base is virtually meaningless if this doesn’t happen before the election,” a GOP congressional aide reportedly the publication.
Both the Justice Department and the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
Durham has found slow going as he dug into the case, apparently being stiff-armed by the intelligence community and stonewalled by the FBI as requested documents were slow in coming. In fact, one could argue there was a concerted effort by some to draw out the investigation until after Trump leaves office.
For whatever reason, Durham’s findings won’t have an impact on the 2020 presidential election.
A senior White House official additionally corroborated the claim to Axios, adding that Durham is concentrating on presenting winnable prosecutions and isn’t concerned with rushing the report for political purposes, like helping President Donald Trump in the election.
This news comes as Trump has publicly pressured Barr and Durham to complete the investigation and prosecute top Obama administration officials, including former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden.
One can understand the president’s frustration, but you’re not going to indict a candidate for president or a former president without a rock-solid, slam-dunk case. No prosecutor in America would take that case. One need only look at the Hillary Clinton emails case to realize that.
That’s not to say the Durham report is going to let Obama and Biden off the hook. Nor will it tread lightly in calling out the FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies for their actions in driving the investigation forward despite knowing it was based on bogus information. We can expect the report to find wrongdoing, but few if any criminal referrals.
No one believes the “professional investigators” didn’t allow their political biases to cloud their judgment in going after Trump. From the released texts and emails that were exchanged between some of the key players, you’d think they were Hillary Clinton campaign workers.
But Durham’s report will end up being a footnote to the history of the times, and not the game changer many Trump partisans hoped it would be.