Another seismic event in Trump world. Too bad that we’re all so used to living on a jello-esque landscape to where we don’t even notice the shaking. Instability is the norm and crisis is the standard tone of the day. Nevertheless, it is newsworthy that a top prosecutor in the John Durham probe, which was expected to deliver an “October surprise” bombshell of some sort for Bill Barr and Trump, just quit. Hartford Courant:
Federal prosecutor Nora Dannehy, a top aide to U.S. Attorney John H. Durham in his Russia investigation, has quietly resigned from the U.S. Justice Department probe – at least partly out of concern that the investigative team is being pressed for political reasons to produce a report before its work is done, colleagues said.
Dannehy, a highly regarded prosecutor who has worked with or for Durham for decades, informed colleagues in the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Haven of her resignation from the Department of Justice by email Thursday evening. The short email was a brief farewell message and said nothing about political pressure, her work for Durham or what the Durham team has produced, according to people who received it. […]
Colleagues said Dannehy is not a supporter of President Donald J. Trump and has been concerned in recent weeks by what she believed was pressure from Barr – who appointed Durham – to produce results before the election. They said she has been considering resignation for weeks, conflicted by loyalty to Durham and concern about politics.
The big deal so far, is that last month former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith was arrested. He’s accused of doctoring email from the CIA about Carter Page, who was being surveilled by the FBI. The CIA wrote an email to the FBI saying that Page was a source. Clinesmith altered the memo to say that he was not, and that arguably allowed the FBI to extend a wiretap order that it had for Page.
Trump and his supporters have pointed to the Clinesmith arrest and conviction as evidence for the President’s contention that political opponents – including top figures in the FBI and intelligence services – have been trying to hamstring his presidency or force him from office with contrived claims that he or members of his campaign colluded with Russia to win the election.
Barr has dropped hints in public that Durham’s investigation will produce something more significant – before the election – than the arrest of Clinesmith, who was charged with making a false statement.
It looks like Bill Barr will simply have to try harder for an October miracle, because it looks like this Hail Mary has gone nowhere. Meanwhile, the legal community chimes in.
Nora Dannehy is highly regarded. She investigated the firings of 9 US Attys during the Bush administration & is widely viewed as a non-partisan professional. https://t.co/jla0svnMxJ
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) September 11, 2020
Dannehy managed as politically-sensitive a probe as you can imagine, the Bush era firing of US attorneys, for both Mukasey and Holder. Says a lot that she can't do it for Barr.
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) September 11, 2020
Canary in coal mine dead.
Looks like profound corruption in Barr-Durham probe—attempted October surprise.
Top Durham aide, Nora Dannehy resigns partly because “team is being pressed for political reasons to produce a report before its work is done”!https://t.co/JvXtU8k4bY
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) September 11, 2020
I don’t think it’s cynical to conclude that Barr’s only interest in this probe is giving Trump an October surprise to manipulate the election with. It would be nice to think that there are some people of integrity who don’t choose to go along with Barr’s fanatical devotion to Trump and Trump’s blatant corruption.