Bill Barr applauds John Durham’s Michael Sussmann probe

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Bill Barr applauds John Durham's Michael Sussmann probe

Special Counsel John Durham did an “exceptionally able job” with the prosecution of Michael Sussmann and revealed the Hillary Clinton campaign’s role in the Russiagate probe as well as the “dreadful behavior” of the FBI, former Attorney General Bill Barr said Wednesday.

Even though a federal jury acquitted the former Clinton campaign lawyer of lying to the FBI on Tuesday, Barr told Fox News that Durham and his team “crystalized” Clinton’s role in spreading false information about then-candidate Donald Trump ahead of the 2016 election.

“I’m very proud of John Durham. And I do take responsibility for his appointment. I think he and his team did an exceptionally able job both digging out very important facts and presenting a compelling case to the jury,” Barr told “Jesse Watters Primetime.” 

Former AG William Barr complimented Durham's "exceptionally able job" prosecuting Michael Sussmann.
Former AG William Barr complimented John Durham’s “exceptionally able job” prosecuting Michael Sussmann.
REUTERS
Former FBI general counsel James A. Baker after delivering key testimony on May 19.
Former FBI general counsel James A. Baker delivered key testimony on May 19.
Ron Sachs – CNP

Despite not winning a conviction of Sussmann, Barr claimed that Durham “accomplished something far more important, which is he brought out the truth in two important areas.

“First, I think he crystallized the central role played by the Hillary campaign in launching, as a dirty trick, the whole Russiagate collusion narrative and fanning the flames of it,” Barr added. 

The former AG, who appointed Durham in 2019 and designated him special counsel in 2020, said the investigation also “exposed really dreadful behavior by the supervisors in the FBI, the senior ranks in the FBI, who knowingly use this information to start an investigation of Trump and then dupe their own agents by lying to them and refusing to tell them what the real source of that information was.”

Special Counsel John Durham leaves the US Federal Courthouse on May 23.
Special Counsel John Durham leaves the US Federal Courthouse on May 23.
ZUMAPRESS.com
"I’m very proud of John Durham. And I do take responsibility for his appointment," Barr said.
“I’m very proud of John Durham. And I do take responsibility for his appointment,” Barr said.
Getty Images for SiruisXM

Durham’s prosecutors alleged that Sussmann deliberately hid his connection to the Clinton campaign in 2016 when he approached then-FBI general counsel James Baker to share “white papers” and thumb drives that purported to show a back channel between the Trump Organization and Kremlin-linked Alfa Bank. 

However, Durham faced a high bar in getting a conviction because the jury was drawn from residents of Washington, DC, where Democrats outnumber Republicans by a ratio of more than 14 to 1.

As many as three Clinton donors were among the prospective jurors, including one who was a backer of far-left Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  

Michael Sussmann speaks to members of press outside the courthouse after his acquittal.
Michael Sussmann speaks to members of press outside the courthouse after his acquittal.
AP
Durham, pictured above during his swearing-in in 2018, faced a high bar getting a conviction in Democrat-heady D.C..
Durham faced a high bar getting a conviction in Democrat-heady D.C..
U.S. Department of Justice

“In government cases, that means a DC jury, which is a very favorable jury for anyone named Clinton and the Clinton campaign​,” said Barr, adding that “those are the facts of life.”

Watters then asked Barr to respond to Americans who are frustrated by the verdict and “feel like they were cheated out of accountability.” 

“No one is more frustrated than the law enforcement people who are trying to uphold the law and try to uphold one standard,” Barr responded. “And the​re are not. There  a​re two standards of the law. And we’ve had to struggle with that. And people have done, I think, a very good job trying to develop this case in the face of very strong headwinds​.”

“Complicated cases like this take a long time to build​. They occur step by step and in secret. People don’t like that​,” the former AG added.​

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on the debate stage in Oct. 2016.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on the debate stage in Oct. 2016.
AP

“But if they want people punished, that’s what it takes. If they want the facts of what happened, you can get it that much more quickly. You can give people immunity and then you know, require them to provide evidence.​ … If you want ​scalps, it takes time.”

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