Not a Whole Bunch of “There” There

And we have the latest swing and miss for special council John Durham, whose prosecution of Igor Danchenko for lying to federal agents regarding the origins of the Steele dossier has resulted in acquittal.

It’s clear that the Steele dossier was unreliable and highly suspect, but charging someone for lying to a federal agent on the basis of the recollections of a causal discussion different federal agent is awfully thin gruel.

From the get-go, this was an attempt to criminalize what is the rough and tumble of opposition research.

It does not make the Steele dossier true, but it similarly does not make the actions surrounding it criminal, except potentially if law enforcement officials leaked grand jury proceedings, which is a crime:

A jury on Tuesday found Igor Danchenko — a private researcher who was a primary source for a 2016 dossier of allegations about former president Donald Trump’s ties to Russia — not guilty of lying to the FBI about where he got his information.

The verdict in federal court in Alexandria, Va., is another blow for special counsel John Durham, who has now lost both cases that have gone to trial as part of his nearly 3½-year investigation. Durham, who was asked by Attorney General William P. Barr in 2019 to review the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign in 2016, is sure to face renewed pressure to wrap up his work following the verdict.

Trump predicted Durham would uncover “the crime of the century” inside the U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies that investigated his campaign’s links to Russia. But so far, no one charged by the special counsel has gone to prison, and only one government employee has pleaded guilty to a criminal offense. In both trials this year, Durham argued that people deceived FBI agents, not that investigators corruptly targeted Trump.

The Durham investigation has always been political theater.

It should be noted that this theater, was enthusiastically endorsed by former US Attorney General Bill Barr, who, as I have said before, makes former US Attorney General John Mitchell look like Perry Mason in comparison.



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