John Durham's probe ended in 'humiliation' for Trump-era special counsel: analysis
Official portrait.

Special counsel John Durham's years-long investigation appears to have staggered to conclusion without securing any convictions.

A federal jury acquitted Russian analyst Igor Danchenko on four counts of lying to the FBI in its investigation of Christopher Steele's dossier about Donald Trump, and MSNBC's Steve Benen said jurors noticed that Durham's case was thin, at best.

"By any fair measure, this is the most embarrassing and inconsequential special counsel investigation in the modern history of American law enforcement," Benen wrote. "But the humiliation is not limited to the prosecutor. Every once in a while, Trump still blurts out Durham’s name, hoping the prosecutor might yet bolster some of the former president’s conspiracy theories. As regular readers may recall, the Republican has even suggested at times that Durham’s probe could serve as a possible vehicle for retaliating against his perceived enemies."

Durham's probe, which was marked by periods of apparent inactivity, resulted in two trials, zero convictions, one resignation and a a largely meaningless guilty plea from an obscure figure, Benen wrote, and failed to deliver proof of the vast conspiracy theory Trump sketched out.

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"Those theories, however, lacked merit, which is why the Durham probe is ending with a whimper," Benen wrote. "There is a degree of irony to the circumstances: For years, Team Trump insisted that the Russia scandal was pointless but the Durham investigation was real. It now appears these Republicans had it exactly backward: The Russia scandal was real, and the Durham investigation was pointless."