We have quite the breaking news story as U.S. Attorney Durham’s review of the Russia inquiry and the origins of the Russia investigations has now turned into an official criminal investigation.
On today’s Jay Sekulow Live, we discussed news that many of us have been waiting for ever since Attorney General Bill Barr announced U.S. Attorney John Durham had been appointed to investigate the origins of the Russia probe which began with the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation, and led to the appointment of Special Counsel Bob Mueller.
Initially this was just an inquiry, meaning Durham’s power was limited in the sense that, sure, he could ask for cooperation, but no one is obligated by any law to cooperate. He could ask for documents, but no one is compelled to provide them. Of course he still had access to a trove of information from the Department of Justice and the FBI because he is inside the organization. But he would not be able to require cooperation from others with firsthand information and documentation.
That’s why this news is now sending shockwaves through Washington, D.C. and likely scaring a lot of people. What started out as an investigation into the origins and potential wrongdoings of the Russia investigation has now become, officially, a criminal investigation.
As our own Senior Counsel Andy Ekonomou explained:
“What we now have is a compulsory process through the issuance of a Grand Jury subpoena. And that makes a tremendous difference in the gravamen of what you do here.
You have no right now not to appear and give your evidence, unless it tends to incriminate you, and you can claim that right in the Grand Jury. You don’t have the right to counsel. You don’t have the right to have a lawyer in the grand jury with you when the government is questioning you. These are not adversarial proceedings. They are one-sided proceedings . . . the Prosecutor has the right to call witnesses and to subpoena those witnesses and to subpoena documents. And you have to produce those documents to the Grand Jury.
So it has pivoted enormously – made a tremendous change in the tenor and scope of what it is that the U.S. Attorney is now looking at.”
That’s why this is such huge news.
John Durham has handled a number of investigations in Washington, including government abuse and abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. He knows what it’s like to investigate his own government officials, even some he may have worked with before. He’s not a partisan guy. He’s a straight shooter.
Although don’t be surprised if the mainstream media tries to alter that profile now that his inquiry has become a criminal investigation.
There are so many questions. Why was there Crossfire Hurricane? What led to Peter Strzok – the top counterintelligence officer at the FBI – beginning that investigation? Was it the Steele Dossier, which FBI officials has already called salacious and unverified? Why then would it be used to justify FISA warrants? Why did all of this occur, and allow for potential spying on a Presidential campaign and U.S. citizens?
Something in his inquiry clearly stuck out to U.S. Attorney Durham for it to compel him to elevate his non-criminal inquiry to a criminal investigation.
As Andy Ekonomou said:
“There is a point that has been reached, obviously, in which John Durham has said there is something criminal here. It’s not just civil and administrative. I need the tools that a Grand Jury gives me.”
And now he has those tools, and the power to get answers. And you can bet it’s scaring people in Washington.
In addition, we discussed the number of Senators who have already signed on to the new Graham McConnell Resolution to condemn the faulty House impeachment inquiry (we discussed this resolution more in-depth yesterday). Already 50 Senators have signed on, but there are others that I think would still be willing to sign on, but they need to hear from you.
Call these Senators today and respectfully urge them to sign on to the Graham McConnell Resolution. Be kind and courteous. I think a lot of these Senators will be receptive to signing on. They just need to hear from their constituents. Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
Sen. Susan Collins (ME)
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Sen. Mitt Romney (UT)
You can listen to the entire episode here.
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