Durham spent 'so long' on a report that tells the public 'so little': former prosecutor
WASHINGTON, DC - Special Counsel John Durham, who then-United States Attorney General William Barr appointed in 2019 after the release of the Mueller report to probe the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, arrives for his trial at the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on May 17, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Ron Sachs/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images)

Special counsel John Durham's report criticizing the FBI for investigating former President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign takes "so long" to say "so little," wrote former federal prosecutor Harry Litman on Tuesday.

"When then-Atty. Gen. Bill Barr appointed Durham to investigate the department’s probe of connections between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, Trump and his true believers looked forward to revealing a criminal conspiracy within the FBI. Trump tweeted at the time that Durham would uncover the 'crime of the century,'" wrote Litman. "Instead, four years after Barr first ordered Durham to investigate the investigators, he produced a ponderous, 316-page tome that interminably chews over information that has long been in the public record. The bottom line awaiting the minuscule percentage of the country that has the time and patience to wade through the report is a handful of small and already familiar cavils about the procedural details of the FBI’s work."

Durham's investigation was largely unsuccessful, only securing one plea deal, and two indictments, which both failed to land a conviction. But despite this, Trump and his allies are trying to claim victory anyway.

"Durham’s mission was always questionable. After the FBI received a tip from an Australian diplomat that the Trump campaign had advance knowledge of the Russia-linked hacking of Democratic Party emails, the bureau had no responsible choice but to investigate the matter. Moreover, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation proved itself by securing an impressive series of guilty pleas from high-profile Trump associates," said the report. "Barr nevertheless gave Durham a long leash on a dubious investigation by elevating him to special counsel status. And while the relevant regulations instruct the special counsel to 'provide the Attorney General with a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions reached,' Barr also directed that the report be suitable for public dissemination 'to the maximum extent possible.'"

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Ultimately, Durham's report shows little, not recommending any new charges and simply advocating for a new bipartisan oversight process.

The whole episode, wrote Litman, has done nothing other than create "new momentum for wild-eyed theories that misinform the public, aggravate our partisan divide and provide fodder for Trump’s effort to reprise our most dangerous presidency."