Barr says appointing John Durham as special counsel was ‘the best thing to do’ to preserve ongoing investigation

Citing fraud, President Donald Trump has vowed to continue the fight to overturn the results of the 2020 election — but as things stand, it’s looking more and more like Joe Biden will be commander-in-chief come Inauguration Day. It’s a scenario that has many conservatives worried that Trump will never see justice for what he has referred to as the “Russia collusion hoax.”

Now, however, Attorney General Bill Barr has just given an order that will ensure the ongoing investigation into how that alleged hoax got started will continue even with Biden in the White House.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Barr has officially appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham to serve as special counsel, granting him extra protections and ensuring his work “investigating the investigators” can’t be easily swept under the rug by a new administration.

The move was first made by the attorney general two weeks ahead of the election, in October, Barr told the AP in a recent interview.

Narrowing it down

Thanks to Barr, Durham will now be covered by the same statutory protections that prevented President Trump from firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who in 2017 took over the FBI’s investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election on Trump’s behalf.

Mueller’s probe continued for two more years, costing millions but never finding any real evidence linking Trump and his campaign to Russian election interference efforts.

In his interview with the AP, Barr said that ahead of Election Day, he had determined “the best thing to do [with Durham and his team] would be to appoint them under the same regulation that covered Bob Mueller, to provide [them] some assurance that they’d be able to complete their work regardless of the outcome of the election.”

Barr also told the outlet that Durham’s once-broad inquiry, which became a criminal investigation in October 2019, had “narrowed considerably.”

Waiting for justice

The attorney general said he expects a public report to be released once Durham concludes his work, but it remains to be seen when that might be.

In a letter to Congress announcing Durham’s appointment as special counsel, Barr said he “had expected Mr. Durham to complete his work by the summer of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as additional information he uncovered, prevented him from doing so,” Fox News reported.

According to Fox, Barr also said in the letter that Durham has been “authorized to investigate whether any federal official, employee, or any other person or entity violated the law in connection with the intelligence, counter-intelligence, or law-enforcement activities directed at the 2016 presidential campaigns, individuals associated with those campaigns, and individuals associated with the administration of President Donald J. Trump, including but not limited to Crossfire Hurricane and the investigation of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III.”

One can only hope that among those names, Durham finds someone to hold accountable for this mess.

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