John Durham’s Explosive Motion

Yesterday The American Spectator published my article regarding Special Counsel John Durham’s recent motion in the Michael Sussmann case. The motion, which seeks an inquiry as to whether Sussmann’s lawyers have a conflict of interest, contains an explosive factual summary of evidence gathered by Durham’s office establishing, among other things, that Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign conducted a full fledged electronic spying operation against candidate and then President Donald Trump. This operation included accessing the White House computer servers in an effort to gather derogatory evidence about Trump.

As I say in the article, compared to this nefarious scheme, the Watergate burglary was just good natured juvenile horseplay.

The article begins with the observation that, when Trump claimed he and his campaign had been spied on, the corporate media mocked him and called him a liar. In fact, the derision continued through the 2020 presidential campaign. For example, click on the picture below to see how Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes condescendingly dismissed Trump’s assertion that the evidence of spying was available but that the news media would never report it because, to do so, would hurt Joe Biden’s candidacy.

Posted comments by AmSpec’s readers have trended toward characterizing Durham’s investigation as too slow, too little and too late. But the scope and complexity of Durham’s assignment are enormous. It’s one thing to spout conspiracy theories but quite another to assemble competent admissible evidence that will stand up in court to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Given the absence of leaks from the Special Counsel’s Office and the solid and workman-like content of its court filings, my impression is that Durham is a consummate professional carefully doing a very difficult job.

As for those who are demanding Hillary Clinton’s head on a stick by sundown, they need to understand that Durham is dealing with a vast amount of documentary evidence and many layers of underlings between her and those who did the actual spying. That’s one of the reasons that her campaign operated through lawyers who could – among other things – provide the added protection of attorney-client privilege.

In a previous geological era, I ran street level and grand jury investigations of organized crime, and prosecuted the resulting cases in court. Every investigation required starting at the bottom of a conspiracy and laboriously climbing the ladder to get at the leaders. This involved the difficult and chancy process of jamming up and then flipping conspirators into prosecution witnesses. Sometimes it worked and frequently it didn’t. But there was no way around the process which always took hard work, precision and time.

For a good dramatization of how La Cosa Nostra compartmentalized its operations, click on the two pictures below to see how the fictional Corleone organized crime family was able to insulate its boss from a charge of perjury before the United States Senate.

First up is witness Wille Cicci who explains about the Family’s “buffers” followed by Frank “Frankie Five Angels” Pentangeli, Michael Corleone’s final protective buffer.

The Godfather II is a great movie, and the above sequence is an excellent portrayal of just how chancy and difficult it can be to climb the slippery slope of a conspiracy. Minus the category of crimes being investigated, the challenge facing John Durham is not dissimilar.

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