The New York Times on Friday tried to sabotage U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation into the origins of “Russiagate” by denigrating it as a futile pursuit of conspiracy theories. As a bonus, the Times was able to mount a defense of their second-favorite political couple. Reporters Adam Goldman, William Rashbaum, and Nicole Hong filed “In Politically Charged Inquiry, Prosecutor Sought Details About Clintons:”
From the beginning, John H. Durham’s inquiry into the Russia investigation has been politically charged. President Trump promoted it as certain to uncover a “deep state” plot against him, Attorney General William P. Barr rebuked the investigators under scrutiny, and he and Mr. Durham publicly second-guessed an independent inspector general and traveled the globe to chase down conspiracy theories.
It turns out that Mr. Durham also focused attention on certain political enemies of Mr. Trump: the Clintons.
Mr. Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut assigned by Mr. Barr to review the Russia inquiry, has sought documents and interviews about how federal law enforcement officials handled an investigation around the same time into allegations of political corruption at the Clinton Foundation, according to people familiar with the matter.
The approach is highly unusual, according to people briefed on the investigation. Though the suspected crimes themselves are not comparable — one involves a possible conspiracy between a presidential campaign and a foreign adversary to interfere in an election, and the other involves potential bribery and corruption — and largely included different teams of investigators and prosecutors, Mr. Durham’s efforts suggest the scope of his review is broader than previously known.
Mr. Durham’s focus on the Clinton Foundation inquiry comes as concerns deepen among Democrats and some former Justice Department officials that his investigation is being weaponized politically to help Mr. Trump….
They blamed “Right-wing news media and prominent Republicans” for suggesting the FBI and Justice Department under Obama favored Hillary Clinton (click “expand”):
Mr. Barr has repeatedly attacked the Russia inquiry as Mr. Durham has investigated it, calling it “one of the greatest travesties in American history” and ignoring a policy that generally prohibits the department from making public statements about current investigations. Mr. Barr’s statements have raised hopes among the president’s supporters that Mr. Durham will unearth evidence of a plot to sabotage Mr. Trump’s campaign and presidency.
So far, only one person has been charged with criminal wrongdoing: Kevin E. Clinesmith, a former F.B.I. lawyer who pleaded guilty to altering an email that investigators relied on to renew an application for a secret wiretap on the former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
The president and his Republican allies have tried to cast the Clinton Foundation, a philanthropic organization, as corrupt, accusing Mrs. Clinton of taking steps as secretary of state to support the interests of foundation donors.
The news story included an unusual book review pan:
The allegations against Mrs. Clinton were advanced in the book “Clinton Cash,” by Peter Schweizer, a senior editor at large at Breitbart News, the right-wing outlet once controlled by Mr. Trump’s former top aide Stephen K. Bannon. The book contained multiple errors, and the foundation has dismissed its allegations.
That’s not a nice thing to say about a Times contributor.