There was a time last year when a lot of conservative hopes were pinned on John Durham. Hear tell it, he was going to jail Hillary and her campaign supremos. He was going to exonerate Donald Trump, and prove Trump right, on all charges. That would lead to a Trump election victory. The “deep state”, “new world order”, and a Dairy Queen in Florence, Alabama would all be destroyed as part of the elitist conspiracy to destroy good folk.

But then a funny thing happened, bupkis. Only a small fry or two got named and prosecuted and all the dire prognostications for Hillary and her team came to not. However, the probe continues. Jonathan Turley updates us on its progress.


Turley: Washington was rocked last month by the sudden indictment of Michael Sussman, former counsel for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, for his alleged role in spreading a false Russia conspiracy theory.

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Special counsel John Durham – who is variously described as either painfully methodical or positively glacial as a prosecutor – reportedly was prompted to indict Sussman by an expiring statute of limitations. Absent such a deadline involving Sussman, it seems unlikely that Durham would have disclosed as much as he did in the indictment. The reason is that he is likely working on other possible targets. That could include the most notable figure exposed in the Sussman indictment: Jake Sullivan.

In that event, Sullivan potentially could be in the unenviable position of having to argue that he was not perjurious, just clueless, in denying knowledge of key facts to Congress. The “ignorance is bliss” defense is a favorite fallback in Washington scandals but it is less common when that person is the current national security adviser to the president of the United States.

While an indictment of Sullivan is viewed as unlikely, he popped up unexpectedly in the indictment and the national security adviser may not be done with the special counsel. If Durham is focusing on who knew or approved of the Alfa-Bank conspiracy claim in the Clinton campaign, the highest figure referenced in the indictment (and just below Hillary Clinton)  is Sullivan.

With Sussman, Durham indicted someone who he believes intentionally hid the role of the Clinton campaign in creating and pushing the Alfa-Bank scandal. In testimony to Congress, Sullivan also insisted that he did not know the Alfa Bank scandal was the work of a Clinton lawyer and people associated with the campaign. It is not clear if Durham has evidence to contradict his claim of total ignorance on the work performed by campaign counsel and campaign researchers.

Lying to Congress is neither easy nor common for prosecution, though Special Counsel Robert Mueller prosecuted figures like Roger Stone on that basis. Michael Cohen was also indicted for lying to Congress about the involvement of Donald Trump in negotiations over a Moscow real estate deal…

This brings us back to Durham’s calendar. Sullivan reportedly gave his series of denials to Congress in December 2017. The statute of limitations for lying to Congress is five years, which means that Sullivan still would be within range for Durham if the special counsel does not buy Sullivan’s denials. He could also find himself unindicted but entirely exposed in a report that is likely to be blistering.

If so, Sullivan could find himself a “fellow traveler” with Sussman – not “in this campaign effort” but in Durham’s still-unfolding prosecution effort instead.


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This piece was written by David Kamioner on October 12, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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