Donald Trump and Republicans are furious that U.S. Attorney John Durham has not brought indictments against senior people who spied on the president’s campaign, lied repeatedly to judges in order to do it, and based their intrusions on specious evidence, which they knew to be false — and had been commissioned by the opposition political party. We know the broad outlines of this coordinated operation, but we still don’t know its full extent, all those involved, and what precise roles they played.
Attorney General William Barr promised major developments in this probe by late spring, then mid-summer, then Labor Day, and now sometime after the election. If, as Republicans say (and the evidence seems to show), there was a systematic effort to weaponize federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political purposes, the public has a compelling right to know. This need-to-know is urgent because the Democrats’ presidential nominee, Joe Biden, served as the second-highest ranking member of the administration that conducted these acts.
Why have Barr and Durham delayed issuing indictments or producing a comprehensive report? There are two ways to view this riddle.
The first is that there have been so many practical obstacles to moving quickly, yet properly, to find out what happened. Everything was on hold while bumbling Jeff Sessions was attorney general. The department was, in effect, run by his second-in-command, Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel and then let him and his deputy, Andrew Weissmann, operate virtually without restraint.
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