John Durham Used Sketchy Russian Information in Probe: Report – Rolling Stone

Earlier this month, Kevin McCarthy announced the creation of a new select committee on the “militarization of the federal government” aimed at investigating the excesses of the Department of Justice. One case House Republicans are likely to ignore is Special Counsel John Durham’s probe into the Russia probe, despite The New York Times reporting on Thursday that Durham and former attorney general Bill Barr, who appointed him, may have abused their investigative powers in multiple ways, including using sketchy Russian intelligence to access emails from a assistant to Hungarian billionaire George Soros, a frequent target of right-wing conspiracies.

Durham was tasked by Barr in 2019 with overseeing a DOJ investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, in particular the credibility of the intelligence reports on which the investigation was based. According to TimesAt one point during the investigation, Durham seized on questionable Russian intelligence memos in order to target Leonard Benardo, the executive vice president of Soros’ Open Society Foundations.

The memos, which were provided to the CIA by Dutch intelligence partners, suggested Benardo emailed Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) to discuss a promise from the former attorney general. Loretta Lynch to obstruct investigations into the 2016 hack of the Democratic presidential candidate. Hillary Clinton’s hacked emails. Benardo and Wasserman Schultz deny that such a conversation ever took place.

According to interviews conducted by the Times, despite significant factual inconsistencies in the memos raised by investigators, the special advocate reportedly went to great lengths to obtain information about the content of Benardo’s emails. When a judge overturned a request from his office for access to the information, citing a lack of compelling enough evidence to override privacy laws, Durham reportedly tried to circumvent his decision through a grand jury. While the Times was unable to determine whether Benardo had been subpoenaed by Durham, he voluntarily provided the special counsel with the requested information.

The case proved unsuccessful.

Circumventing court orders in an attempt to link Clinton’s email investigation to George Soros isn’t the only potential ethical violation uncovered by the Times. Barr and Durham quietly expanded — and then dropped — an investigation into “potentially criminal suspicious financial transactions linked to Mr. Trump” in 2019. The Times also confirmed that several sudden resignations of investigative team members stemmed from ethical concerns about flimsy indictments.

Barr was named attorney general shortly after Trump fired his AG Jeff Sessions, reportedly for failing to follow up on his complaints about Special Counsel Robert Muller’s investigation into his dealings with Russia.


Durham’s three-and-a-half-year probe has proven to be above all a huge waste of time and resources. It’s the exact type of partisan witch-hunt you’d think a House committee on the “militarization of the federal government” might want to investigate, but Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who will lead the sub -committee, is unlikely to bring it to the table. Jordan, a staunch Trump loyalist, has repeatedly praised Durham’s investigation and publicly asserted his belief that the investigation would result in criminal penalties for those under Barr and Durham’s control.

Jordan says Fox Newsost Sean Hannity Tuesday that as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, he will continue to investigate allegations of corruption within the Justice Department and the FBI as part of the Russia investigation. “The highest levels of the FBI now operate politically,” he said.