When Attorney General William Barr told Congress that he had suspicions about the origins of the Russia collusion investigation, one could be forgiven for thinking that the matter would be shelved despite his contention that he planned to investigate the investigators.
But it appears that Barr’s Justice Department might be gearing up to pull a Bob Mueller on the Deep State. The New York Times reported that the attorney general classified the probe into the Russiagate matter as a criminal investigation. Needless to say, the Democrats and their allies in the legacy media aren’t happy.
Investigation Now a Criminal Matter
According to The Times’ report, the Justice Department has changed the probe into the Russia investigation into a criminal inquiry. This shift has empowered John H. Durham, the prosecutor heading the review, to issue subpoenas for “witness testimony and documents.” It also allows him to impanel a grand jury and file criminal charges. In essence, he will have the same type of authority that special counsel Bob Mueller had when he ran the Russia collusion investigation.
Of course, The Times, as well as other left-leaning outlets, surmised that this move would give the impression that President Trump is using the Department of Justice (DOJ) to target his enemies. This is no surprise as the corporate media was all-in on promoting the Russiagate narrative. They can’t be happy about the possibility that those who began the original Russia meddling investigation may have been involved in wrongdoing, right? But how likely is it that investigators will turn up evidence of criminal activity?
Will Suspicions be Confirmed?
According to DOJ guidelines, authorities must have “an objective, factual basis for initiating the investigation” if they are to make it a criminal matter. Previously, Durham only had the authority to question witnesses on a voluntary basis. It is possible that through those interviews and other investigative activities, he found enough smoke to believe there could be a fire.
Before being appointed as attorney general, Barr had already expressed his concerns about the Russia probe. In a congressional hearing, he told lawmakers that he believed investigators had spied on the Trump campaign in 2016 and that he intended to look into the matter. “The question is whether it was adequately predicated,” he said. “And I’m not suggesting that it wasn’t adequately predicated. But I need to explore that.”
Upon beginning the investigation in May, he indicated that he had discussions with officials that led him to believe that some individuals had engaged in improper, if not unlawful, behavior. If Barr decided to make this a criminal investigation, it seemed highly likely that the DOJ would indeed find evidence of malfeasance in the origins of the Russia investigation.
In an appearance on Fox News, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) indicated that some of those involved with the original investigation should “be concerned.” When asked who he thought should be worried, he named Bruce and Nellie Ohr along with former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.
If the investigation turns up evidence of criminal activity, it could result in more than punishment for those involved; it might also damage the progressive left, who used Mueller’s investigation as a constant cudgel against the Trump administration. There can be no doubt that the establishment media will attempt to obfuscate Durham’s findings if they indicate that not only was President Trump not guilty of wrongdoing but that those attempting to paint him as a Russian asset were engaged in unlawful behavior. But as the saying goes, “the truth will out.”