Justice Comes to John Durham's and Bill Barr's Political Prosecution | Dennis Aftergut | Verdict | Legal Analysis and Commentary from Justia

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  jbb  •  4 weeks ago  •  26 comments

By:   Dennis Aftergut (VerdictJustia)

Justice Comes to John Durham's and Bill Barr's Political Prosecution | Dennis Aftergut | Verdict | Legal Analysis and Commentary from Justia
Former federal prosecutor Dennis Aftergut comments on the acquittal of Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussman and what it means for former U.S. Attorney John Durham and former Trump Attorney General William Bar. Mr. Aftergut points out that all of Durham's prosecutions, including another he has set for trial in October, are about facts that post-date the fully legitimate launch of the FBI's 2016 Trump-Russia investigation, precluding any possibility of showing that investigation was a "hoax."

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Former Trump Attorney General William Barr's 18-month campaign to rehabilitate his reputation just dove into an empty pool. What's worse, his special counsel-appointee, John Durham, the one-time U.S. Attorney from Connecticut, is the man who drained the water.

Durham just disgraced himself in a DC courtroom. In September, he indicted Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussman for lying to the FBI, proscribed by 18 U.S.C.§ 1001. On Tuesday, after two weeks of trial, the jury delivered a lightning acquittal—about six hours of deliberating . . . ouch! The courthouse version of "Don't let the swinging door hit you on the way out."

Starting in May 2019, Barr brought Durham to DC to prove Trump's "witch hunt" mantra. In October 2020, just before the election that Barr expected to put a new administration's AG into power, he made Durham a special counsel to immunize him from removal.

Hence, Tuesday's verdict was also a blow to Barr. For 18 months, he's been on a charm offensive to make himself a hero who stood up to Donald Trump's Big Lie that there was election fraud.

Barr wants us to forget that two federal judges effectively called Barr a liar in his spinning the Mueller Report, before its release, to the American people.

He'd like to erase our memory that he unsuccessfully sought to dismiss Michael Flynn's guilty plea.

He'd rather we not remember his scurrilous attack on his own department's nonpartisan Inspector General, who found that the FBI's investigation of Trump-Russia collaboration began legitimately.

Now John Durham's trial embarrassment reminds us of Barr's ill-doing.

Durham couldn't prove what wasn't true—that the 2016 FBI's Trump-Russia investigation was a conspiracy with Hillary Clinton's campaign. But prosecuting Sussman was like playing horseshoes—close enough for Fox News allies.

Sussman was a lawyer for the Clinton campaign, and he went to the FBI with a tip. There were signs of a secret Trump-Russia talk-channel between servers at the Trump Organization and at Russia's state-controlled Alfa Bank.

Durham always had a little timing problem for the thesis that Sussman's action had something to do with the FBI starting its Trump investigation unlawfully—Sussman went to the FBI six weeks after its investigation began.

Never mind that. Especially if you think that the Justice Department's mission is less about serving justice than using public relations to manipulate facts for political ends.

Fortunately, we have juries to set the record straight, as Sussman's jury did in short order on Tuesday. Durham's problem was that he didn't have the evidence to prove the lie that he alleged: It wasn't that the Alfa Bank "tip" was never substantiated. Rather, the purported lie was that Sussman told FBI counsel James A. Baker that he (Sussmann) was not acting "on behalf of a client," the Clinton campaign, whom he was representing at the time.

Sussman's defense was that he went to Baker on his own behalf, as a private individual who wanted neither the FBI nor his friend Baker to be surprised by imminent press coverage of the Alfa Bank story. That could imperil any investigation the FBI might do.

Disproving Sussman's stated motivation beyond a reasonable doubt was an impossible task. Baker's testimony lent support to it, and Sussman's billing sheets did not mention going to the FBI. Durham surely knew about both holes in his own evidence.

Let's acknowledge two things from a former prosecutor's perspective. In October 2019, before Barr made Durham a special prosecutor, Durham righteously obtained a guilty plea from FBI agent Kevin Clinesmith for doctoring documents. Our justice system cannot tolerate that.

Similarly for prosecuting provable lies to the FBI.

But Sussman's indictment went beyond aggressive prosecution in that cause. Given the evidence Durham didn't have, this was a prosecutor abusing the government's awesome power and dangerously overstepping the line separating innocence and guilt. It has the bad odor of trying to cook up a prosecution using the moldy sausage of partisan politics.

It would give Barr more evil credit than even he deserves to suggest that he was trying to add to his sad legacy of giving future special prosecutors a bad name. But that may be the collateral damage that his choosing Durham hath wrought.

Here's the key point. All of Durham's prosecutions, including another he has set for trial in October, are about facts that post-date the fully legitimate launch of the 2016 Trump-Russia investigation. None could achieve the Trumpian mission that Barr gave Durham, to prove that investigation was a "hoax."

That's why his courthouse disgrace was also Barr's. We shouldn't forget it.


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JBB
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JBB    4 weeks ago

John Durham's and Bill Barr's politically motivated prosecutions of Obama Era Democrats for Trump getting investigated by the FBI and CIA for his shady dealings with Russian spies during the lead up to the 2016 presidential campaign were doomed to fail...

Those investigations began way prior and they were legally predicated on Trump and Co seeking out and establishing relationships with known Russian spies.

Because, by at least 2014 and continuing right up to election day in November 2016 Trump was in secret negotiations with clandestine agents of Russian State Intelligence Services to build Trump Tower Moscow and lying about it. Trump even offered Putin a luxury penthouse as a bribe to get the deal.

To top it off, Hillary Clinton has not held any public office since January on 2013. Trump got himself investigated for his dealings with Russia and Putin.

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Masters Principal
1.1  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  JBB @1    4 weeks ago

Again with that bullshit? LMMFAO

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.2  Tessylo  replied to  JBB @1    4 weeks ago

We know certain folks here aren't dealing with reality jbb such as 1.1

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Masters Principal
1.2.1  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Tessylo @1.2    4 weeks ago

That comment SOOOO drips with irony..............

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
1.2.2  seeder  JBB  replied to  Tessylo @1.2    4 weeks ago

They can probably see pyramids from that river!

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
1.2.3  seeder  JBB  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @1.2.1    4 weeks ago

Why did Trump pardon Manafort and Stone?

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Masters Principal
1.2.4  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  JBB @1.2.3    4 weeks ago

Because he could.....................

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1.2.5  Trout Giggles  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @1.2.4    4 weeks ago

But why pardon someone who isn't guilty of a crime?

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1.2.6  Trout Giggles  replied to  JBB @1.2.2    4 weeks ago

That's clever, JBB

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
1.2.7  Greg Jones  replied to  JBB @1.2.3    4 weeks ago

Why didn't Comey prosecute Hillary for her illegal home server...which the Russians eventually hacked?

Why couldn't Mueller provide any evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election, or provide proof of Putin-Trump collusion?

Why has Trump never been indicted or charged with a crime?

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
1.2.8  seeder  JBB  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2.7    4 weeks ago

Hillary retired from public service in Jan 2013.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.2.9  Ozzwald  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2.7    4 weeks ago
Why didn't Comey prosecute Hillary for her illegal home server...which the Russians eventually hacked?

2 lies in 1 sentence?  Wow.

Her server was not illegal at that time, law was changed later.

No evidence her sever was ever hacked.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
1.2.10  Greg Jones  replied to  Ozzwald @1.2.9    4 weeks ago

Her actions at the time were illegal, putting classified government documents on a unsecured server network...as were her attempts to wipe and/or to destroy the drive. Comey said so.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
1.2.11  Greg Jones  replied to  JBB @1.2.8    4 weeks ago

"Hillary retired from public service in Jan 2013."

The email scandal occurred prior to that

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.2.12  Tessylo  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2.11    4 weeks ago

jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

It's unreal how that's all you folks with Clinton Derangement Syndrome have is - e-mails - and not even that!

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.2.13  Tessylo  replied to  JBB @1.2.2    4 weeks ago

All that they have is projection, deflection, and denial, plus outright lies.  That's all they got so they go for it!

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.2.14  Ozzwald  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2.10    4 weeks ago
Her actions at the time were illegal, putting classified government documents on a unsecured server network

And a 3rd lie.  They found no classified email on that server that she directly sent or received.

as were her attempts to wipe and/or to destroy the drive.

It was her personal server, and her work order to wipe the drive was submitted well before any investigation.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.2.15  Ozzwald  replied to  Tessylo @1.2.13    4 weeks ago
All that they have is projection, deflection, and denial, plus outright lies.

Don't forget that with all their whining about Hillary using a private email server, they ignore that Trump, and many in his administration, have been routinely using a private email server.

 
 
 
MrFrost
Professor Principal
1.2.16  MrFrost  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @1.2.4    4 weeks ago

Because he could.....................

And because they were guilty as hell. 

 
 
 
MrFrost
Professor Principal
1.2.17  MrFrost  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2.7    4 weeks ago

CDS. 

 
 
 
MrFrost
Professor Principal
1.2.18  MrFrost  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2.11    4 weeks ago
The email scandal occurred prior to that

That was all fake news, obviously, since Ivanka, kushner and don jr. all used private email servers. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
1.2.19  Sean Treacy  replied to  Ozzwald @1.2.15    4 weeks ago

Lol... Imagine talking about Hillary's use of a private server and ignoring the "classified information" part?

Comical. 

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.2.20  Ozzwald  replied to  Sean Treacy @1.2.19    4 weeks ago
Lol... Imagine talking about Hillary's use of a private server and ignoring the "classified information" part?

The classified information they failed to find on her server?  That classified information?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.2.21  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @1.2.20    4 weeks ago
The classified information they failed to find on her server?  That classified information?

Use Google.

Do you realize it only takes about five seconds to debunk your claim?

Clinton's Handling of Classified Information - FactCheck.org

...

...

..

...

Parroting what you have been told without doing any research leads to silly posts claiming insane things.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.2.22  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2.21    4 weeks ago
Do you realize it only takes about five seconds to debunk your claim?

From your link.

  • More than 2,000 of the 30,490 emails Clinton turned over to the State Department contained classified information, including 110 emails in 52 email chains that contained classified information at the time they were sent or received. (Most emails were retroactively deemed to contain classified information by the U.S. agencies from which the information originated.)
  • Some of the emails containing classified information “bore markings indicating the presence of classified information,” contrary to Clinton’s claims that none was marked classified. Comey did not provide a specific number.
  • “[S]everal thousand work-related emails” were not turned over to the State Department in 2014, but were recovered by the FBI. Comey said “three of those were classified at the time they were sent or received.”

You can't blame someone for emails that weren't classified at the time of the email. 

How many had the classified markings?  1...2? 

Out of sever thousand, he found 3?

And if you looked at my original statement, "They found no classified email on that server that she directly sent or received."  The ones they found were part of an email string where she was one of the recipients, but not a direct receiver.

SO, with all those illegal email (in your opinion), how many people were charged?  Someone had to send all of those to her, where is a list of all those indictments?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.2.23  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @1.2.22    4 weeks ago
  • More than 2,000 of the 30,490 emails Clinton turned over to the State Department contained classified information, including 110 emails in 52 email chains that contained classified information at the time they were sent or received. (Most emails were retroactively deemed to contain classified information by the U.S. agencies from which the information originated.)

FFS, you even QUOTED the part that was relevant and STILL can't understand it?

Do you know what MOST means?

It means NOT ALL.

So YES, Hillary the Queen HAD classified info despite your erroneous, made up claim that she had NONE.

Isn't this YOU in post 1.2.20--it DOES have YOUR name on it, but maybe somebody hacked your account and posted lies:

The classified information they failed to find on her server? 

Begone now, before I have to debunk any more lies.

 
 

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