If you grew up in my generation’s popular culture, you are very familiar with the extraordinarily talented duo of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. Hit after hit. Quite the success story, their folk-rock music was a unique blend of poetry, vocal rendition and storytelling. I’ve read that Mr. Simon is credited with being the musician, the songwriter of the two. Let’s agree that we should give credit where it is due. However, listening to Mr. Simon, without the graceful harmony of Mr. Garfunkel, is like eating fries without ketchup. Filling and comfortably familiar, but not necessarily a transcendent experience.
Another famous duo, also no longer together, comes to mind this lovely Saturday morning. How I long for the good old days when Mr. William Barr and Mr. John Durham were America’s hope for change (sorry Barry) at the DOJ. Were they inseparable? Maybe in the minds of those who seek the truth about the Trump/Russia collusion investigation, but in the political reality that transcends real life, obviously not.
So, I’ll let Mr. Marvin Gaye ask the question for me, ‘What’s goin’ on?’
My untrained fingers dance over the keyboard. Success! While Mr. Barr has been replaced in his role as attorney general, The Associated Press informed us on Feb. 26:
Durham will resign from his post as U.S. attorney for Connecticut on Monday. But Durham, who was appointed (October 2020) by then-Attorney General William Barr as a special counsel to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, will remain in that capacity.
Durham’s investigation, which the Justice Department has described as a criminal probe, had begun very broadly but Barr said in December that it had “narrowed considerably” and that it was “really is focused on the activities of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation within the FBI.”
Durham’s investigation has so far resulted in one prosecution so far. A former FBI lawyer was sentenced to probation last month for altering an email the Justice Department relied on in its surveillance of an aide to President Donald Trump during the Russia investigation.
So, even with Mr. Barr gone from the scene, America has at least the continued hope of some bottom-line answers about the Trump Campaign/Russia Collusion hoax when Mr. Durham finishes his investigation. Mr. Muller’s investigation didn’t find any wrong doing from the Trump organization. We were promised that the DOJ would get to the bottom of this, right?
Mr. Narrator (interrupts): “Richard Edward, stop daydreaming and don’t get your hopes up. The band is definitely not getting back together. Mr. Barr has moved on to continue his solo career. Attorney General Merrick Garland is now the front man for DOJ and Mr. Durham plays his instruments under AG Garland’s direction.”
Richard Edward: “Okay, I get it. New lead singer, but the tunes will still be the same, right? I mean, we’ve been waiting, for so long, for an investigation like this to come into our lives. This isn’t a Foreign(er) nation, is it? Durham can still get the bad guys without Barr’s cover, right?”
Mr. Narrator: “Richard Edward, you are so naïve. Ace, ‘How long has this been going on?”. Let me direct your attention to a CNN report from 30 March 2121.”
I see the CNN article Mr. Narrator has referenced:
Durham is still at work, looking at early aspects of the FBI investigation into the campaign. His relatively opaque investigation has now lasted longer than former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and prosecution of dozens of Russians and Trump advisers.
Investigators with Durham’s office — having been delayed by pandemic restrictions last year — are now arranging witness interviews, according to people familiar with the probe. Grand jury subpoenas also were being used to gather documents in recent months, the sources said.
Durham’s probe is focused at least partly on actions by the FBI in its handling of a private intelligence dossier and the bureau’s disclosures to the federal intelligence surveillance court, according to people briefed on the matter.
I thought I would be encouraged, but I now realize that Mr. Durham is working on what appears to be the everlasting gobstopper of DOJ investigations. All this time, all that tax-payer money and we got one FBI agent who has suffered probation for altering an email in an effort that attempted to unseat a duly elected POTUS, or so we conjecture….
Mr. Narrator: “Richard Edward, no one’s proved anything so far other than we may have had some less-than-honorable behavior on the part of some FBI agents. Many of those agents involved are no longer with the bureau. Dude, some got fired and/or left the agency in disgrace.”
Richard Edward: “Not good enough for me, Mr. Narrator. I want to know, just like the rest of America wants to know, if the FBI was weaponized to try to influence a U.S. general election. I thought we were going to find out the truth from Mr. Durham.”
Mr. Narrator directs my attention again to the same CNN article, which continues to inform us that:
While the Barr era at the Justice Department was marked by political drama, Garland is attempting to shift the focus toward civil rights and domestic terrorism prosecutions. Still, Garland pledged at his confirmation hearing he would prioritize speaking with Durham once he became attorney general and would let Durham finish his work.
The Biden administration has said Durham will continue his work as special counsel, but little else.
Richard Edward: “No, this cannot be happening. Mr. Durham could just poke along, handing his investigation off to the next-in-line special counsel until every living human being who has an interest in a resolution over this issue has passed on to the great rock n roll hall of fame in the sky.”
“Even if Mr. Durham completes his investigation and produces a report for AG Garland, his findings could be buried under the excuse that the DOJ cannot comment upon active ‘cases’…. Mr. Narrator, will we ever find out the truth about Crossfire Hurricane? Mick and the rest of the band could all be gone before the music is ever played again.”
Mr. Narrator: “I am sorry for you, Richard Edward. In this business, your band is hot one day and before you know it, you lose your voice and it’s all over. ‘For all we know’, by the time Mr. Durham is ready to step onto the stage, his voice may be gone, his instruments out of tune and his resulting music might be somewhat filling, but hardly transcendent.”
If you think the speed of Mr. Durham’s very important (at least to Richard Edward and Mr. Narrator) investigation is inordinately slow, please opine in the comments.
— Richard Edward Tracy