The investigation that former Attorney General William Barr ordered into the Russia investigation—which Donald Trump promised would reveal Robert Mueller had been part of a grand Democratic Party “hoax”—may be ending with a fiasco. Barr’s hand-picked prosecutor has brought a case so weak that current Attorney General Merrick Garland should have rejected it in the interest of justice.
Trump long teased that that prosecutor, John Durham, would bring a blockbuster case proving Trump’s innocence and the culpability of Hillary Clinton and her “deep state” confederates. And now Durham, allowed to proceed in his work on Garland’s watch, has finally brought what appears to be his big case, against Michael Sussman, a lawyer who was widely identified as counsel to the Democratic National Committee in connection with Russia’s hack of its servers and dump of their contents. Durham has charged Sussman with culpably hiding his status as a Democratic “operative” from the FBI’s senior lawyer at a meeting in which he shared potentially inculpatory information regarding Trump.
Durham’s indictment was met with immediate criticism, and for good reason: It is so weak that facts Durham recites in his indictment gravely undermine the charge. Yet Garland reportedly declined to use his authority as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer to prevent Durham from proceeding with his misguided charge against Sussman, presumably based on the idea that such intervention in a special counsel charge by the AG—while permissible under the governing rules—would be contrary to Garland’s admirable goal of reinstating the law enforcement “norms” at the DOJ that Barr has so assiduously attacked.