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The major networks ignored news of a new special counsel appointment on their evening newscasts, even as liberal networks CNN and MSNBC mentioned it.
In a letter dated December 1, Attorney General Bill Barr informed the House and Senate Judiciary Committees that he had appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham as special counsel so that he can continue to investigate the origins of the Russia probe even though a new administration will begin. The news of Durham’s appointment was reported Tuesday afternoon, yet the evening newscasts of ABC, CBS, and NBC didn’t include it in their programs.
As Fox News reported, the networks did include news that Barr told The Associated Press that Justice Department investigators hadn’t found enough evidence of voter fraud to overturn the results of the 2020 election. As The Daily Wire reported, some networks erroneously reported this to mean the voter fraud investigation was over, prompting the DOJ to dispute the claims.
“Some media outlets have incorrectly reported that the Department has concluded its investigation of election fraud and announced an affirmative finding of no fraud in the election,” a DOJ spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday. “That is not what the Associated Press reported nor what the Attorney General stated. The Department will continue to receive and vigorously pursue all specific and credible allegations of fraud as expeditiously as possible.”
“Most claims of fraud are very particularized to a particular set of circumstances or actors or conduct. … And those have been run down; they are being run down,” Barr added. “Some have been broad and potentially cover a few thousand votes. They have been followed up on.”
The Trump campaign’s legal team responded to Barr’s assertions that the DOJ has looked into allegations but have so far found nothing by claiming “there hasn’t been any semblance of a Department of Justice investigation.” The legal team alleged the DOJ hasn’t looked into the evidence presented and said, “with the greatest respect to the Attorney General, his opinion appears to be without any knowledge or investigation of the substantial irregularities and evidence of systemic fraud.”
In his letter to congressional committees, Barr wrote that appointing Durham as special counselor makes him “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.”
Durham has long been seen as the man who would hold people accountable for the investigation into alleged collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia. Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of such collusion, and a DOJ Inspector General report found numerous inaccuracies and omissions used to obtain FISA warrants to spy on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Durham was appointed to investigate how such a baseless investigation was started and has so far criminally charged one former FBI lawyer. Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty to altering an email to make it appear as though Page had not previously assisted the CIA, when in fact he had.