Thursday, July 30, 2020


I'm still worried about the November elections. I'm worried that Trump's poll numbers have stopped declining. I'm worried that Joe Biden's running mate won't be embraced by voters (or even by his own advisers).

Know what I'm not worried about? This:
Barr says he won’t wait until after election to reveal Durham’s findings. Democrats fear a campaign-altering surprise.

Attorney General William P. Barr reiterated this week that he will not wait until after November’s election to release whatever U.S. Attorney John Durham finds in his examination of the FBI’s 2016 investigation into President Trump’s campaign, raising fears among Democrats that Barr and Durham could upend the presidential race with a late revelation.

Republicans have been eagerly awaiting Durham’s findings — hopeful that the prosecutor Barr handpicked last year to investigate the investigation of possible coordination between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia will validate their fierce criticisms of the bureau. Democrats, meanwhile, have worried that the Connecticut U.S. attorney is aiding a political stunt designed to undercut an investigation that dogged Trump’s presidency.
Obviously Barr intends this to be an October surprise.
Barr recently told Fox News he expected developments in Durham’s investigation “hopefully before the end of the summer.” ...

Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Fla.) asked Barr: Would he “commit to not releasing any report by Mr. Durham before the November election?”

“No,” Barr responded.
But while angry liberals and Trump loyalists still want to talk about Russian election interference and the investigation of the Trump team's ties to Moscow, the rest of America seems bored with the subject -- and seemed that way even before the country became consumed with pandemic fears, a severe economic downturn, and the problem of systemic racism. Americans seem unable to wrap their minds around the Russia story, or, for that matter, the subsequent Ukraine story -- the complex timelines and huge casts of characters appear to be more than most voters can absorb.

The Durham report, whenever it arrives, seems designed to appeal exclusively to people who watch Fox News fourteen hours a day (and to infuriate those who watch hours of MSNBC). It won't be about Donald Trump or any top official directly. It will be about all those people your Fox-watching relatives despise and your apolitical relatives have never heard of.
Exactly what Durham is focused on is not clear....

One focus, people familiar with the matter said, seems to be on why the bureau kept pressing forward after it came to have doubts about the credibility of Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer on whose work the FBI relied in part to get a secret court order to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Investigators were particularly interested in doubts raised about Steele by one of his sources of information, the people said....

Another line of inquiry Durham has pursued is whether the CIA was inappropriately withholding material from the National Security Agency and the FBI to enable a finding about Russia’s covert activities sought by then-CIA Director John Brennan, according to people familiar with the matter....

Kerri Kupec, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said earlier this year that Durham also had been examining the issue of “unmasking” — or intelligence officials asking to reveal a name that has been shielded in a sensitive government document....
"Unmasking"! People are dying in overcrowded ICUs and we're supposed to worry that the election will turn on "unmasking"?

We're reminded that in May, "Barr said publicly that he did not expect Durham would investigate former president Barack Obama or Biden — seeming to disappoint some conservatives who hoped otherwise." If that's accurate, then this report will generate hours of Fox News content that the president will gleefully consume, as will voters who are solidly committed to voting for Trump already. But it won't matter to the rest of America. I'm not concerned.

No comments: