Report: Durham exploring charges against low-level FBI officials and tipsters
The special counsel appointed by former Attorney General William Barr is presenting grand jury evidence and preparing a report on his two-year-long review of the FBI’s investigation into Russian activities in the 2016 election, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
Former U.S. Attorney John Durham, whom Barr officially designated as special counsel last year, is reportedly exploring criminal charges against lower-level FBI officials and tipsters who may have provided false leads to the bureau in the 2016 investigation.
The Journal also reported that Durham had aimed to submit a report on his review to the Justice Department by the end of the summer but that it would likely be delayed.
The Trump administration in 2019 tasked Durham, then the U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut, with reviewing the FBI’s probe as former President Trump railed against it as a politically motivated “witch hunt” against him.
His review has now lasted longer than the former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which led to about three dozen criminal prosecutions against Trump campaign and administration officials and others, many of whom later received pardons.
Durham has so far brought just one prosecution, charging a former FBI attorney with altering an email used in internal discussions over whether to extend surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The attorney, Kevin Clinesmith, was sentenced earlier this year to one year of probation.
According to the Journal, Durham’s probe is investigating whether certain tipsters had knowingly provided false information to the FBI, including allegations of links between the Trump Organization and the Russian Alfa Bank, which investigators later found no evidence of.
Durham resigned as U.S. attorney after the Biden administration took office earlier this year, as is customary for politically appointed federal prosecutors, but he was authorized to continue his work as special counsel.
Trump, who is said to have been angry that Durham did not issue any conclusions before he left office, made a pointed swipe at the federal prosecutor earlier this week.
“Does everybody remember when we caught the Democrats, red-handed, SPYING ON MY CAMPAIGN? Where’s Durham?” Trump said in a statement on Monday.
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