In an interview with NBC News on Wednesday, Attorney General William Barr deliberately kept the door open to the possibility of charging more government officials with misconduct stemming from the 2016 investigation into the Trump campaign and its supposed ties to Russia. Barr, who is overseeing an intense investigation into the origins of the FBI’s Trump/Russia probe, told the network’s Pete Williams that more prosecutions could be coming down the pike.
“Would you say that it’s unlikely that there’ll be further criminal charges?” asked Williams.
“No,” replied Barr. “I wouldn’t say that at all, no. There could be.”
What those charges could be, who they might target, or when we might get to find out about them…it all remains shrouded in mystery for now. U.S. Attorney John Durham is playing his cards extremely close to the vest as he conducts this investigation – one which could turn out to be one of the most important inquiries ever conducted by the Department of Justice. How far up the chain did the malfeasance go? How much of the Constitution was shredded on the floor of Obama’s Oval Office? Of James Comey’s FBI? Of John Brennan’s CIA?
So far, they’ve only caught one fish, and it was a fairly small one to fry. Durham brought charges against former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith in August, securing a guilty plea in federal court. Clinesmith has admitted to “one count of making a false statement within both the jurisdiction of the executive branch and judicial branch of the U.S. government, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.”
Even Clinesmith was not specifically a Durham “get,” since he was referred for prosecution by the DOJ Inspector General following his own probe into the Russia investigation. During that probe, the inspector general accused the lawyer of altering an email about Carter Page so that it said he was “not a source” for the CIA. This was part of the FBI’s determined efforts to mislead the FISA court so that it could spy on Page, an associate of the 2016 Trump campaign.
As much as we would like to hope that Barr and Durham will bring down the whole house of cards, we can’t say we’re counting on it. Maybe we’ll be surprised; maybe the DOJ is getting ready to shock the country with prosecutions against corrupt Obama officials and those who turned the FBI into a domestic weapon against a political enemy. But we’re expecting little more than a scathing report, plenty of criticism, and perhaps an official condemnation from Barr and Trump.
Unfortunately, that will leave the door open for this charade to happen again to some future presidential candidate.