With the Mueller investigation over and the mainstream media still obsessed with how Attorney General William Barr is handling the Trump/Russia hoax on the American people, it could be that the real names to watch have been all but forgotten.
In March 2018, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed John Huber, the U.S. attorney of Utah, to investigate how the Justice Department and the FBI handled both the politically charged Trump and Clinton investigations.
In an interview with CBS News, Barr said Huber is wrapping up his investigation related to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He suggested that Huber’s report on Clinton’s involvement in the Uranium One scandal as well as claims of corruption involving the Clinton Foundation being enriched by the deal would be available later this month.
Now that the Clinton investigation is nearly done, Huber can once again solely focus on the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation. Initially Huber was tasked with reviewing the surveillance warrant applications taken out against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page by the intelligence community, but was sidelined while Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz investigation touched on that issue.
Two weeks ago, when the President directed AG Barr to declassify documents concerning government agencies’ surveillance activities against the Trump campaign, that allowed Huber and the Justice Department to once again focus on how our own intelligence agencies conducted themselves in the whole affair and if everything was done above board.
One key take away from Trump’s declassification directive is that this also will apply to any documents included in Huber’s investigation. These documents are likely to be the juiciest out of all of the Russian collusion investigations. They will tell us how high up this Russia hoax goes and whether or not it was done for political purposes.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) has been most vocal in accusing the Justice Department under President Obama and the FBI of misleading the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) in applications for surveillance warrants against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
Republicans want details as to the number of documents and witnesses included in Huber’s investigation. In a letter sent last Monday, they pressed Huber for details about documents and witnesses he has reviewed. Republican Representatives Jim Jordan of Ohio, Doug Collins of Georgia and Mark Meadows of North Carolina wrote:
During the course of our extensive investigation, we have interviewed more than a dozen current and former DOJ and FBI personnel and were surprised to hear none of these potentially informative witnesses testified to speaking with you.
Huber has conducted his investigations mostly out of public view and lawmakers like Jordan think nine months is enough time for him to have enough to report something.
In April, Barr appointed another US Attorney John Durham, to take over part of Huber’s investigation. AG Barr said he selected Durham because the other special investigator Michael Horowitz has limited investigative powers.
Barr said, “He [Horowitz] doesn’t have the power to compel testimony, he doesn’t have the power really to investigate beyond the current cast of characters at the Department of Justice,” Barr said. “His ability to get information from former officials or from other agencies outside the department is very limited.”
Though virtually unknown to the public, Durham is no stranger to high-profile cases.
According to The New York Times, Durham first appeared as a Justice Department lawyer in 1982 and has since then conducted special investigations for both the Republican and Democratic Parties.
Time Magazine reports that Durham was instrumental in taking down Connecticut street gangs in 1992 and prosecuted mobsters in the Gambino, Genovese and Patriarca crime families in 1992. He was also responsible for exposing the corruption of Republican Connecticut Gov. John Rowland in 2004 that lead to his year-long stint in prison.
Trump appointed Durham to be Connecticut’s U.S. attorney in 2017 and was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2018. Upon his confirmation, Democratic Connecticut Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy said, “We are confident that Durham will continue this record of success in providing strong leadership to the office. … John Durham has earned immense respect as a no-nonsense, fierce, and fair prosecutor.”
Similar praise and support were seen for Huber and Durham by Democrats before their association with President Trump so it should be interesting to see how they and the media handle upcoming reports from them.
Part of Trump’s response to the debacle of Jeff Sessions as AG has been to appoint a strong point man like William Barr with deputies like Huber and Durham who could focus on specific parts of the investigation.
The media has largely ignored Durham’s and Huber’s work but the odds are that will come to an end soon.
Like a line from an Ayn Rand novel, people may be saying, “Who is John Huber?” The mainstream media may have to answer that question sooner than Democrats want.