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Don't get your hopes up about Barr / Durham investigation


Did you notice that for the past few years, the biggest stories in American politics basically amounted to waiting for reports from law-enforcement agencies? We keep getting told that bombshells on par with Watergate are just around the corner . . . and then when the final reports arrive, the facts are more complicated and muddier than suggested and turn out to be less consequential.

Just wait until the FBI completes its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s server! Eh, James Comey said Clinton and her colleagues were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information” but did not recommend prosecution.

Just wait until Robert Mueller finishes his investigation into Trump and Russia’s actions during the 2016 election! Eh, you saw what we got there. Insufficient evidence to prove criminal conspiracy, some presidential desire to impede the investigation, but not enough provable actions.

Just wait until the Department of Justice Inspector General finishes its review of the FBI and its actions during the 2016 campaign! Eh, the inspector general included some criticism of Comey, but it didn’t recommend any prosecution. The IG’s office said it was “deeply troubled” by the text messages sent by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, but the report stated it found no evidence that their personal views influenced decisions that were made in the Clinton email investigation.

Just wait until the Department of Justice Inspector General finishes the investigation into Comey’s decision to keep several memos he produced as FBI director! Eh, the report criticized “the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome” but did not recommend prosecution of Comey.

Now we’re being told to just wait until Attorney General Barr and prosecutor John Durham complete their investigation into how the investigation into Trump in 2016 began. Depending upon who you ask, this investigation is either “an investigation that Americans demanded,” led by “a man of unimpeachable character” (Mark Thiessen) or a reckless exercise that “endangers relationships with key U.S. allies” (Sen. Mark Warner).

Maybe Barr and Durham really will find something that shakes American politics to its foundation. Or maybe it will be like the inspector general’s report on “Fast and Furious,” or  “Fitzmas,” or the 9/11 Commission, or . . .

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