Former Attorney General William Barr recently opened fire on the New York Times due to its so-called critical report of special counsel John Durham’s ongoing investigation regarding the possible misconduct with the Trump-Russia probe.
This past Wednesday seemed to be the breaking point as Barr finally broke the silence as he spoke to a reporter in the wake of giving a speech out in Sacramento, California. He openly challenged a number of aspects of an article that was published last week that detailed alleged issues within Durham’s endeavor. “They ignored some fundamental facts as to why some of the information that Durham was seeking was very important information,” expressed Barr, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. He also expressed that the article overtly missed a number of “obvious reasons” which highlight the need for Durham’s investigation.
The New York Times “stands behind this story and the reporting it contains,” responded one spokesperson for the major newspaper. The first report did sport a note that Barr declined to issue comments for the article.
The report from the New York Times only ended up giving copious amouns of fuel to the detractors of Durham that sit in Congress. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) recently spoke up to threaten an investigation into the matter and other House Democrats called on the Department of Justice’s inspector general to kick off a review to find out whether Durham, or Barr himself, “violated any laws, DOJ rules or practices, or canons of legal ethics.”
Goldman: Ted Lieu and I sent you a letter requesting that you conduct an investigation into Durham’s investigation to see if Mr. Barr or Mr. Durham violated any department policies, regulations, or law. Have you reviewed this letter yet? pic.twitter.com/fXPvuk8ots
— Acyn (@Acyn) February 1, 2023
The article, which was first made public on the 26th of January, explained that a review was carried out over a month by the New York Times “found that the main thrust of the Durham inquiry was marked by some of the very same flaws — including a strained justification for opening it and its role in fueling partisan conspiracy theories that would never be charged in court.” The article itself also outlined just how the investigation being carried out by Durham “became roiled by internal dissent and ethical disputes,” which resulted in a number of resignations by some dissatisfied prosecutors on the team, which included Nora Dannehy, known to be Durham’s No. 2 who allegedly openly disliked how Barr spoke out in an ominous tone about the findings from the probe to the public.
After making an appearance at the California News Publishers Association meeting, Barr openly rejected the idea that setting Durham to the task from the start was problematic.
“The idea that there was a thin basis for doing it doesn’t hold water,” stated Barr. “Because it wasn’t started as a criminal investigation. One of the duties of the attorney general is to protect against the abuse of criminal and intelligence powers, that they’re not abused to impinge on political activity, so I felt it was my duty to find out what happened there.”
Once Durham’s report is finished, Attorney General Merrick Garland expressed that he would very much “like as much as possible to be made public,” but also made sure to temper expectations by stating that there will be Privacy Act concerns and classification to consider.
“I think [Durham]’s going to explain, to the extent he’s allowed to put it out, the whole genesis of [the Russia interference claims] and how it all occurred,” expressed Barr to the Los Angeles Times. “So what’s wrong with that? You review something, you get the facts. Yes, we wanted to hold people accountable if something came up that indicated criminality, or you could prove criminality. But it wasn’t a criminal investigation, it was a review to get the story. And he got the story.”