Another seismic event in Trump world. Too bad that we’re all so used to living on a jello-esque landscape to where we don’t even notice the shaking. Instability is the norm and crisis is the standard tone of the day. Nevertheless, it is newsworthy that a top prosecutor in the John Durham probe, which was expected to deliver an “October surprise” bombshell of some sort for Bill Barr and Trump, just quit. Hartford Courant:

Federal prosecutor Nora Dannehy, a top aide to U.S. Attorney John H. Durham in his Russia investigation, has quietly resigned from the U.S. Justice Department probe – at least partly out of concern that the investigative team is being pressed for political reasons to produce a report before its work is done, colleagues said.

Dannehy, a highly regarded prosecutor who has worked with or for Durham for decades, informed colleagues in the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Haven of her resignation from the Department of Justice by email Thursday evening. The short email was a brief farewell message and said nothing about political pressure, her work for Durham or what the Durham team has produced, according to people who received it. […]

Colleagues said Dannehy is not a supporter of President Donald J. Trump and has been concerned in recent weeks by what she believed was pressure from Barr – who appointed Durham – to produce results before the election. They said she has been considering resignation for weeks, conflicted by loyalty to Durham and concern about politics.

The big deal so far, is that last month former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith was arrested. He’s accused of doctoring email from the CIA about Carter Page, who was being surveilled by the FBI. The CIA wrote an email to the FBI saying that Page was a source. Clinesmith altered the memo to say that he was not, and that arguably allowed the FBI to extend a wiretap order that it had for Page.

Trump and his supporters have pointed to the Clinesmith arrest and conviction as evidence for the President’s contention that political opponents – including top figures in the FBI and intelligence services – have been trying to hamstring his presidency or force him from office with contrived claims that he or members of his campaign colluded with Russia to win the election.

Barr has dropped hints in public that Durham’s investigation will produce something more significant – before the election – than the arrest of Clinesmith, who was charged with making a false statement.

It looks like Bill Barr will simply have to try harder for an October miracle, because it looks like this Hail Mary has gone nowhere. Meanwhile, the legal community chimes in.

I don’t think it’s cynical to conclude that Barr’s only interest in this probe is giving Trump an October surprise to manipulate the election with. It would be nice to think that there are some people of integrity who don’t choose to go along with Barr’s fanatical devotion to Trump and Trump’s blatant corruption.

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14 Comments on "Trump’s ‘October Surprise’ May Have Just Blown Up. Top Prosecutor Leaves Durham Team"

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p j evans
Member

Emptywheel covered Clinesmith. There are three posts, starting here.

Denis Elliott
Member
To paraphrase Comey, lordy I hope there are receipts! I doubt Dannehy made any audio recordings despite any misgivings she apparently shared with colleagues in recent weeks or months. I even doubt she made copies of any emails or memos given her reputation as a strict by the book type. However, that same by the book nature is the same quality that would cause someone who became increasingly concerned (as she apparently did) to start writing memos to file and noting in a personal log the date and time and other information so it can be retrieved. Same thing with… Read more »
anastasjoy
Member
Theres no credible way to charge either Biden with anything without it blowing up and splattering on Trump. The thing is, there’s never been an “October surprise.” It’s a fiction Democrats live in mortal fear of but it’s never happened and with a record number of people voting early, it would have to be a September surprise. You can’t just pull something out of thin air at the last minute. Comey’s letter was able to gain traction because the GOP had been hammering it for a year and a half; it didn’t come out of nowhere. Trying to convince anyone… Read more »
bryan wolofsky
Guest

1980 George HW Bush and the Iran hostages. Oh, the Repubs are VERY accomplished at ACTUAL October peek a boos! They’re disgusting political animals, them Repubs, and none in my lifetime (I’m 60) has been as bad nor corrupt as Bill Barr. He is way past disgusting.

lauran
Member

As a veteran prosecutor, hopefully Dannehy has thick skin, because you know djtRUMP is going to lambaste her in one way or another … It is refreshing to see integrity and professionalism come to the forefront in these times. May the force be with her…

Bareshark
Guest

She’s prosecuted scarier guys than Trump.

Bareshark
Guest

Bill Barr Really Sucks As A Fixer Part 300. Now that we know that it was actually Rod Rosenstein who actually knee capped the Mueller investigation, it’s becoming more obvious that he was never the evil wizard too many pretended he was.

p j evans
Member

Barr is still evil.

priscianus jr
Member

Evil, but no wizard.

Bareshark
Guest

Saruman would eat him for breakfast.

Bareshark
Guest

Oh, sure, P J, but not even close to competent.

Elizabeth
Guest

I don’t know. Barr is a zealot and they scare me. He is such a ‘believer’.

Linda Zweig
Guest

Barr comes from a disgusting tradition of
manipulators liars and status seekers.

Bareshark
Guest

I scoff at such believers being THAT dangerous as their zeal is never synonymous with effectiveness.