Prosecutor John Durham is ‘preparing a grand jury report’ on FBI employees who ‘sparked the Russia investigation into Trump’
- Durham is reportedly in the process of presenting evidence to a grand jury
- A special counsel report on the origins of the 2016 Trump-Russian collusion probe could come within months, sources familiar with the matter said
- Criminal charges are being looked at for several low-level FBI employees
- Mueller took over Russia probe in 2017 shortly after Trump fired James Comey
- The Trump appointee’s investigation has now outlasted Robert Mueller’s
Durham (pictured as US attorney for Connecticut) is reportedly showing evidence to a grand jury
Special Counsel John Durham has reportedly been presenting evidence to a grand jury ahead of releasing his highly-anticipated report into the origins of the FBI‘s 2016 Trump-Russia probe, and is looking at criminal charges for ‘several’ FBI employees in connection with his investigation.
Durham – then US attorney for Connecticut- was appointed by Donald Trump‘s Attorney General Bill Barr to investigate the origins of the FBI probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election.
That investigation was later taken up by Robert Mueller, who did not find enough evidence to charge the former president but ended up getting six people in Trump’s orbit convicted.
Durham’s grand jury report is expected to be completed within months, people familiar with his probe told the Wall Street Journal. A report that was supposed to be completed by the end of the summer is supposedly expected to be pushed back.
Criminal charges are possible for several low-level FBI employees and people who are not in the US government, sources told the outlet.
So far one prosecution has come out of Durham’s probe – a former FBI lawyer who ended up pleading guilty to a false statement charge over after admitting he doctored an email the FBI relied on as it sought court approval to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page in 2017.
Trump has repeatedly invoked the Durham probe both in office and afterwards in promising evidence the Russia investigation was a hoax – despite a lack of evidence
An inspector general report in 2019 backed up criticism of the official’s actions but did not find evidence that mistakes in the surveillance applications and other problems with the probe were driven by partisan bias.
Prosecutors working for Durham are reportedly looking into whether people knowingly passed false information that ended up with the FBI, and whether that could be considered lying to the US government.
Durham’s review started in May 2019 but was elevated in status when Barr appointed him special counsel in October 2020, which gave his investigation some protections from the next administration’s influence.
Durham resigned as US attorney roughly a month into Joe Biden’s administration after he was asked to, but continued his work as special prosecutor.
Durham’s investigation stretched longer than the two years Robert Mueller spent looking into Russian collusion
One FBI lawyer has been charged in Durham’s years-long probe
His investigation has now stretched longer than the two years Mueller spent looking into Russian collusion.
Under federal special counsel requirements Durham has to have submitted his investigation status to Attorney General Merrick Garland by July 1st as well as a proposed budget for the next fiscal year.
Garland would use Durham’s report and recommendation to determine how much funding he would get, and if the investigation continues at all.
It’s not clear what, if any, decisions Garland has made.
Under the regulations, a special counsel can be fired only by the attorney general and for specific reasons such as misconduct, dereliction of duty or conflict of interest. An attorney general must document such reasons in writing.
A DOJ filing from May shows roughly $1.5 million was spent on the probe from October 2020 through March 2021 alone.
Trump himself frequently invoked Durham’s name and investigation since the probe was started.
In March 2021 the ex-president, apparently angry at the lack of information coming from Durham’s review, blasted the ex-federal attorney in a statement.
‘Where’s Durham? Is he still a living, breathing human being? Will there ever be a Durham report?’ the official statement read.
During his final months in office Trump pardoned two people who were charged in connection with the Mueller probe. Both were guilty of lying to the FBI.