What might this be? It’s not going to be an “earth-shattering development,” Attorney General William Barr told Sean Hannity last night, but it will be enough to convince those interested in John Durham’s probe that it continues to operate at a reasonable speed. Hannity had expressed frustration over an apparent lack of progress in the probe into Crossfire Hurricane, but Barr said that the only interruption to progress was COVID-19.
What about the timing of the election? “We’re not doing this on the election schedule,” Barr said. “We’re aware of the election, we’re not going to do anything inappropriate before the election.” However, Barr also insisted that the election timing will not “dictate” the pace of Durham’s investigation, either:
Attorney General William Barr said there will be a “development” in U.S. Attorney John Durham’s criminal inquiry into the Russia investigation on Friday.
Barr, who made the announcement Thursday evening during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, stressed it won’t be an “earth-shattering development,” but an “indication that things are moving along at the proper pace, as dictated by the facts in this investigation.” …
When pressed by Hannity, Barr emphasized that the investigation needs to run its course. “When we feel we can prove a crime beyond a reasonable doubt, it will be charged, I can tell you that,” Barr said. …
“I’ve said there are going to be developments, significant developments before the election, but we are not doing this on the election schedule. We are aware of the election, we are not going to do anything inappropriate before the election, but we are not being dictated to by this schedule, what’s dictating the timing of this are developments in the case and there will be developments,” Barr told Hannity, adding, “The way out of the politicization and corruption of the justice system where it’s used as a political weapon by one party against another is not to deliver tit-for-tat, it’s not to use the tactics of the other side, it’s to uphold the rule of law, use the right standard, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Hannity’s not the only one worried. Donald Trump earlier in the day had told Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business that he wondered whether Barr and Durham would decide to be “politically correct” and sit on the results of the investigation until after the election. When Hannity asked about this, Barr quipped, “If I was worried about being politically correct, I wouldn’t have joined this administration.” However, Barr has also gotten pushback from Congress about DoJ guidelines over elections and investigations, which makes all of this a bit of a minefield.
So what will be the “significant development” today? If it’s not “earth-shaking,” then it might be an indictment against a bureaucratic figure inside Crossfire Hurricane. In fact, if we take Barr at his earlier word on reports from prosecutors, that may be the only kind of development we ever see from Durham. We already know that Durham’s not going after Barack Obama or Joe Biden, and it appears he’s not targeting John Brennan or James Clapper either. The next step in this process, after indicting FBI attorney and Carter Page FISA warrant figure Kevin Clinesmith, might be going after the people who worked with Clinesmith on those warrants as a way to work backwards into Crossfire Hurricane. It doesn’t sound like the development today will involve top-echelon figures from the FBI, which would indeed be “earth-shaking.”
In other words, James Comey and Andrew McCabe can probably breathe easy. Today, anyway.