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Will Garland End Durham Probe After No 'Crime Of The Century'?

Former President Trump once predicted that special prosecutor John Durham would uncover “the crime of the century” — a conspiracy to sink his 2016 campaign. The results of his three-year probe so far: two trial acquittals and a former FBI attorney sentenced to probation. That has fallen far short of Trump supporters’ expectations that Durham would reveal a “deep state” plot behind the U.S. government’s investigation into ties between Russia and Trump’s 2016 campaign, the Associated Press reports. The outcome has led to scrutiny over the purpose of Durham’s appointment by former Attorney General William Barr. It also has raised questions about whether or when the current attorney general, Merrick Garland, might rein in Durham’s work or hasten its completion. “You really measure the success of an investigation by what it uncovers in terms of pernicious activity, and he’s uncovered nothing,” said Stephen Saltzburg, a George Washington University law professor and ex-Justice Department official.


There are no signs Durham plans to charge anyone else. He is expected to produce a report, but it’s unclear whether he will identify any significant misconduct or errors beyond those already reported by the Justice Department’s inspector general. A jury in May acquitted Michael Sussmann, a lawyer for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. He had been accused of lying to the FBI in a meeting in which he presented the bureau’s top lawyer with information about Trump he thought should be investigated. On Tuesday, a jury acquitted Igor Danchenko, a Russian analyst at a U.S. think tank who’d been accused of lying to the FBI about his role in the creation of a largely discredited dossier on Trump and Russia. “I think he was very wise to let this run its course,” Saltzburg said of Garland. “I believe the course has been run. It’s over. I believe what Merrick Garland should say to Durham is, it’s time to submit your report and go home.”

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