Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) said that Attorney General William Barr should appoint a special counsel to investigate the origins of the Russian collusion conspiracy to protect an ongoing probe from a potential Biden administration.
Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, appeared on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” with host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday to discuss “growing concerns” that a Democratic presidential nominee would significantly limit or shut down an ongoing investigation into the origins of Russia collusion allegations. Barr appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham to investigate the investigators of the allegations that dogged President Trump for years into his presidency.
“Now we’re sitting waiting for Durham to complete this investigation. I think people are getting not only very frustrated but also, there’s a growing concern that Durham is not going to come out with anything and then Biden and Obama are going to be back in, and they’re going to shut this investigation off,” Nunes told Bartiromo, according to The Washington Examiner.
“I’ve been very clear about this,” the congressman said. “Every day that ticks by, it’s going to become an absolute necessity that a special counsel is appointed on the way out. Now that doesn’t mean that Biden wouldn’t fire the special counsel, but at least you’d have a special counsel office set up, with money, so that this investigation can continue, because I’m not seeing the indictments that I should be seeing when you take into the account that I’ve made 14 criminal referrals involving dozens and dozens of people.”
On Sept. 17, 10 Democratic senators sent a letter to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz calling on the government watchdog to investigate whether the Durham investigation is being used for political purposes by the Trump administration. As The Daily Wire reports:
“We write to request that you investigate whether U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation complies with Department of Justice policies, including policies that protect criminal investigations from political influence,” wrote the Senate Democrats in the letter to Horowitz. “The Department’s mission ‘to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans’ requires that its prosecutorial decisions be insulated from political influence. To that end, longstanding rules restrain Department personnel from publicly commenting on public investigations, taking actions that may affect an upcoming election, and communicating with the White House about ongoing criminal investigations.”
The letter cites three specific examples, including a report from the Hartford Courant that a former top assistant to Durham recently resigned over concerns of political influence, and a comment from Attorney General William Barr suggesting that the Durham investigation would yield “significant developments” before the general election in November.
“These actions suggest that the Durham investigation is being misused for partisan political purposes and undermine the legitimacy of any investigative steps Mr. Durham takes,” the letter continued. “In addition, it remains unclear what rules and authority permit the public release of a ‘report’ by U.S. Attorney Durham, raising additional concerns about the legitimacy of his appointment and work.”
Durham has yet to release a report on his investigation, however, despite pressure from President Trump to come out with information prior to the election. An October report said Durham was taking his time with the investigation without worrying about artificial political deadlines.
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