The Humiliation of John Durham
Plus, the ‘Death Cult’ Keeping Russia in Ukraine.
Recently at The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: What the AR-15 Does to a Child's Body.
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DENNIS AFTERGUT: The Humiliation of John Durham.
John Durham, the special counsel appointed days before the 2020 election by Donald Trump’s attorney general William Barr, just lost the only trial he has brought to date in his long tenure. A Washington jury took only about six hours yesterday to acquit lawyer Michael Sussmann of making a false statement to the FBI.
Durham’s loss was one more egg laid in the fetid henhouse where Barr first enlisted Durham to nest in May 2019, tasking him with proving the truth of a lie—Donald Trump’s favorite disinformation campaign at the time, that the FBI’s 2016 Trump-Russia investigation was a “witch hunt.” In October 2020, seventeen months after that initial assignment, Barr made Durham a special counsel—which meant that, no matter the outcome of the 2020 election, Durham’s investigation would continue, since special counsels are virtually unremovable. And so it has been: More than sixteen months into the Biden administration, the DOJ remains saddled with Durham.
The moment he let Barr recruit him, Durham, a former U.S. attorney in Connecticut, risked ruining his once-strong professional reputation. That reputation is now in tatters. Durham first knifed it in December 2019, when he joined Barr in an unprecedented attack on the department’s own nonpartisan inspector general. The IG had just issued a 478-page report concluding that the Trump-Russia investigation began properly. Barr and Durham’s actions were widely criticized as inappropriate. William Webster, the revered former Republican director of the FBI and CIA, lambasted Barr’s conduct, saying it risked “inflicting enduring damage” on the FBI. Durham should have known better than to be used in that attack.
We couldn’t understand the Holocaust without pictures — is it time to see what an AR-15 actually does to the human body, especially children? Plus, average people will have to step up to save democracy. James Hohmann joins Charlie Sykes on today’s podcast.
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NATALIA ANTONOVA: The ‘Death Cult’ Keeping Russia in Ukraine.
My oldest friend in the world is arranging to have the body of her brother-in-law, who was killed in the Donbas, shipped back from the battlefront. Two weeks ago, a former colleague of mine died in the line of duty. It was mortar fire in the former case, bullets in the latter. The war with Russia goes on. I believe Ukraine can win it, but the toll is heavy and it will get heavier. And all of this is happening because the country next door is in the thrall of a death cult it refuses to even acknowledge.
Even by conservative standards, Russian losses in Ukraine are staggering. British military intelligence estimates that Russia has lost as many soldiers in three months in Ukraine as the Soviet Union lost in the nine years of its misadventure in Afghanistan. Other sources put the Russian death toll in Ukraine even higher.
And Russian losses in Ukraine are not the sort that would motivate other Russians to enlist. Watching your comrades-in-arms die while attacking people’s homes doesn’t exactly boost morale. After all, Russians are the aggressors. No matter how the hydra of Russian propaganda twists itself to justify the invasion, Russian soldiers are not defending anything. They are rampaging in the country next door.
Eyes on the right… Damon Linker, one of our Beg to Differ panelists, has launched a substack newsletter. Check it out.
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Better late than never?
A weird election in Georgia. 2,000+ early votes, but zero on election day?
14 Warning Signs That You Are Living in a Society Without a Counterculture…A must read from Ted Gioia.
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