The Department of Justice is now launching what has been called a criminal inquiry into — get ready for it — the investigation into whether Russia interfered in our 2016 presidential election.
What DOJ expects to find is not clear. Attorney General William Barr has appointed a seasoned prosecutor, John Durham, to lead the probe. This one puzzles and concerns me greatly.
Every leading intelligence official within the Donald Trump administration has said the same thing: Russia interfered in our election and sought to elect Donald Trump as president in 2016. Trump, of course, has debunked that notion; he also has denigrated our intelligence agencies’ ability to reach the conclusion they all reached.
When former Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia probe, his deputy AG, Rod Rosenstein, appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller to be special counsel and lead the investigation into the Russia matter.
Trump has hurled some harsh language at Mueller’s investigation, which concluded in May with a partial exoneration of Trump of “colluding” with Russians; he left open the question of whether Trump obstructed justice in the pursuit of truth behind that interference.
Now we have DOJ entering the scene.
To what end will this probe conclude?
I just hope that John Durham, the experienced federal prosecutor who has drawn praise from partisans on both sides of the aisle, will be able to withstand political pressure that might emanate from the top of the Justice Department.
Still, I fear how this probe will proceed. I smell a “witch hunt” in the making.