John Durham, James Comey
US Attorney from Connecticut John Durham was tapped by then Attorney General Jeff Sessions in March of 2017 to investigate then-FBI Director James Comey.
According to a new book written by New York Times reporter Mike Schmidt, Sessions in March of 2017 appointed John Durham to investigate James Comey following a report by the New York Times that Comey asked the DOJ to make a statement denying Trump’s accusation that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower — but the DOJ refused.
President Trump also fired off a tweet hammering Obama for wiretapping Trump Tower.
Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
Sessions assigned Durham to open a leak investigation into James Comey. Durham reportedly had his own office and reported directly to Jeff Sessions, angering career officials working under then-DAG Rod Rosenstein.
3. After NYT reported in March 2017 that Comey had asked DOJ to make a statement denying Trump’s false accusation that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower but DOJ refused, Sessions assigned Durham to open a leak investigation into Comey & had his own office, not the DAG, oversee it. 169
— Charlie Savage (@charlie_savage) September 4, 2020
Via Lawfare Blog:
Schmidt reports in his book that around March 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions tapped Durham—then an assistant U.S. attorney in Connecticut—to open a leak investigation into FBI Director James Comey following reporting by the New York Times that Comey had asked the Justice Department to refute Trump’s baseless allegations that former President Barack Obama had ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower. The investigation reported directly to Sessions. Schmidt adds that Durham’s investigation “unnerved career officials in the deputy attorney general’s office,” which is generally responsible for the department’s day-to-day operations and normally would have overseen an investigation like Durham’s.
The existence of the investigation shows that Durham has been involved with the investigation of Russia-related matters from the very start of the Trump administration, a point the New York Times’s Charlie Savage made on Twitter. It is unclear to what extent Durham’s 2017 inquiry is related to a January 2020 report that federal prosecutors were investigating whether Comey improperly disclosed information to reporters in the spring of 2017.
A year and a half after US Attorney General Bill Barr appointed Durham to investigate the origins of Spygate, he finally filed a criminal complaint against FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith and charged him with one count of making false statements after he altered an email from CIA investigators used to request a FISA warrant and renewals on Trump campaign advisor Carter Page.
Clinesmith plead guilty last month to one charge of making false statements 18 USC 1001 a(3) “makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry.”
This means John Durham has been closely connected to the Russiagate investigation for 3 years and we’ve only seen one person charged.
Comey has been under investigation by Durham since 2017 and he still has not been indicted.