Durham’s two-and-a-half year probe has so far produced two indictments and is still ongoing
Donald Trump heaped praise on Special Counsel John Durham on Monday, commending the prosecutor for the two indictments his years-long investigation into the 2016 Russia probe finally produced late this year and claiming it’ll ‘only get deeper’ from here.
The former president, 75, predicted that Durham’s investigation, which he was first assigned to in April 2019, will show that ‘it all leads back to the Democrats, Hillary [Clinton] and the dirty lawyers.’
‘It really has come out,’ Trump said to Fox after Durham produced his second of two indictments late last week. ‘In all fairness, while it has taken a long time, hats off to John Durham.’
‘Hats off, because, it’s coming out, and it is coming out at a level – Durham has come out with things that are absolutely amazing.’
Trump said he already ‘knew what happened’ but claimed now he had the facts to support his theory that the investigation into whether his 2016 campaign had any help from Russia to sway the US election was just a hit job.
‘We all sort of knew that happened, and now we have facts, and I think they’re only going to get deeper and deeper — and it all leads back to the Democrats, Hillary and the dirty lawyers,’ Trump said.
The latest arrest was a key source who provided information to British ex-spy Christopher Steele for his ‘dirty dossier’ of allegations against Trump.
Igor Y. Danchenko, a Russian-born analyst living in the United States, was arrested on Thursday in Virginia by federal agents assigned to John H. Durham’s special counsel inquiry into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, according to the Justice Department.
Danchenko, 43, was the primary researcher for Steele’s dossier alleging that Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign conspired with Russia in a covert operation to beat Hillary Clinton, and that Russia had salacious videos that could be used to blackmail Trump.
Michael Sussman, a cybersecurity lawyer who worked for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, was charged in September and pleaded not guilty to lying to the FBI.
In September, former Clinton campaign-linked lawyer Michael Sussman (left) pled not guilty to charges stemming from Durham’s probe. More recently, Durham’s findings led to the arrest of Russian-born analyst Igor Danchenko (right) late last week
Sussman was indicted for allegedly telling the FBI in September 2016 that he was not doing work ‘for any client’ when he requested a meeting with the FBI’s general counsel to warn them of concerns from cybersecurity researchers of potentially suspicious contact between Russia and the Trump team.
At the meeting the attorney allegedly gave the FBI data and analytics from cybersecurity researchers who thought the numbers might be evidence of hush-hush communications between Trump Organization’s computer servers and Alfa Bank – a Kremlin-linked Russian financial institution. The FBI looked into the matter but found no connections.
And the probe is still ongoing, Durham told Fox.
Trump said of Durham’s findings on Monday, ‘What they did was so illegal, at a level that you’ve rarely seen before.’
‘Now, in all fairness, it looks to me like this is just the early building blocks.’
He said Durham’s two indictments after two-and-a-half years prove that ‘those are big things that are happening, and what it really shows is what a hoax it was.’
Former Attorney General Bill Barr had tapped Durham, then a US attorney in Connecticut, to look into the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane probe from when it began in July 2016 until Special Counsel Robert Mueller was appointed to take it over in May 2017.
Trump continues to tease a potential 2024 White House bid, with his latest interview on Monday indicating he may have a decision as early as late 2022
Also on Monday, Trump teased election watchers once again by telling the world that he’ll ‘probably’ announce whether he’ll run for president again after the upcoming midterm election cycle.
The bombastic Republican leader dropped his latest hint in an interview with Fox, just under a week after Democrats underperformed in off-year elections across the country.
Trump said he’s ‘certainly thinking about’ mounting a 2024 White House bid, but it appears he’s waiting to see if Democrats’ poor performance will continue in 2022.
‘I think a lot of people will be very happy, frankly, with the decision, and probably will announce that after the midterms,’ he said.
Last Tuesday Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin defeated former Democratic Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to lead the Old Dominion state. In New Jersey, incumbent Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy just barely crawled to victory against his GOP challenger, in a race he was easily expected to win.
At the time Trump, like other Republican leaders, celebrated the party’s victories.
But on Monday he attempted to muddy the waters about his future aspirations, claiming his frequent hinting that he’ll run in 2024 ‘doesn’t mean [he] will.’
‘It’s probably appropriate, but a lot of people are waiting for that decision to be made,’ Trump said.
A recent Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll released last week shows the former president is still the runaway favorite for Republican voters in 2024.
According to that survey, first obtained by The Hill, 47 percent of registered GOP and Independent voters want him to run again.
The next-closest candidate, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, only managed to score 10 percent of support.
‘We have a lot, they’re very well named,’ Trump said of the prospective field.
Along with them a flurry of national Republican figures have at least tested the waters for a 2024 run. Among them are former Vice President Mike Pence, ex-UN ambassador Nikki Haley and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Trump celebrated along with other national Republican figures when GOP candidate Glenn Youngkin beat out former Democratic Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe in a stunning upset to be the state’s next leader
Youngkin celebrated with supporters last week after beating McAuliffe. Democrats had underperformed in a number of races across the country, prompting some left-wing election watchers to worry about what it means for the 2022 midterms – after which Trump will ‘probably’ make his decision on whether to run for the White House again
Trump acknowledged the potentially wide array of opponents Monday, but said all those candidates were waiting on him to make the first move.
‘A lot of great people who are thinking about running are waiting for that decision, because they’re not going to run if I run,’ he said.
He added, ‘And that’s nice, primarily because it shows a great degree of loyalty and respect.’
Trump declined to name a potential running mate, claiming it’s ‘very early to be talking about it.’
But it appears Pence, who reportedly fell out with Trump when he refused to try and upend the 2020 election results for him, is probably out of the running.
Asked about DeSantis being a possibility, Trump said: ‘He’s a good man, but we have a lot of great people. He’s been good.’
On Haley, his response was also tepid, though he praised her work as his United Nations ambassador.
‘She said she’d never run if I ran, which I think is a good sign of respect,’ Trump said.
‘I was very good to her, I thought she did a very good job at what she did with the United Nations. She did an excellent job.’
Though he added, ‘every once in a while goes off the rails, and she comes back, which is nice.’
After Trump and DeSantis, 9 percent of voters who responded to the Harvard/Harris poll said Pence would be their choice. Nearly one-fifth said they were unsure.
However in a race without Trump, Pence fares far better. In that scenario the GOP VP comes out on top with 23 percent of voter support, narrowly eking a lead ahead of DeSantis’ 21 percent.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz comes in third in that poll with 12 percent of support.