As The New York Times reports, it’s unclear when the other 56 U.S. attorneys will actually leave their posts. Some may give feedback to Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson that they’d like to stay long enough to see through a case in progress. Some might even refuse to go quietly, requiring that Wilkinson, or Biden, fire them outright. Considering how prepared Biden’s team has been to fill other niches, it’s certain they’ll have already lined up the attorneys they want in these positions and be ready to move quickly, no matter how the person currently in the position decides to leave.
When it comes to Durham and Weiss, there seems to be little reason to carry on with investigations that were started for little more than to provide Trump with talking points in his campaign. At this point, Durham’s investigation into the origins and prosecution of the Russia investigation has been going on longer than the investigation itself. His report has been promised, multiple times, in the past, but has constantly been delayed. The unbounded investigation has gone so far afield as to delve into the finances of the Clinton Foundation, and has looked at some of the most head-slappingly silly parts of the Q conspiracy. That includes claims that the professor who first talked to George Papadopoulos about connecting the Trump campaign with Russian officials was actually a CIA plant put in place to bring down Trump years before he even ran.
In all of this extremely long-running and extensive investigation, Durham has managed to land just a single charge. That charge went against FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith and appears to be more of a matter of Clinesmith simply getting lazy and signing off on a statement without fully investigating whether Trump adviser Carter Page was actually working with the CIA. That’s all Durham and former attorney general William Barr have to show for their efforts. In comparison, the Mueller investigation indicted 34 individuals and three Russian businesses in far less time. Those charges led to seven guilty pleas and five people sentenced to prison—most of whom were later pardoned by Donald Trump.
Over the course of Durham’s investigation, even his top assistant called it quits. She had worked with Durham for decades and was recruited back from private practice specifically to work on this investigation. But after deciding that Durham was being pressured by Barr to come up with something Trump could use in his reelection campaign, she resigned. Not only has Durham failed to produce anything of substance, it’s unclear that he’s even working on anything.
On Weiss’ investigation of Hunter Biden’s taxes, the approach seems to be simply overkill. As the Associated Press reported in December, the investigation into the tax filings of President Biden’s surviving son appears to date back to 2018—the same time that Rudy Giuliani was helping to spread lies about the actions of father and son Bidens in Ukraine. The scope of the actual concern appears to be unclear, and Hunter Biden himself was unaware of the investigation until after the election.
Wilkinson, or soon-to-be Attorney General Merrick Garland, should instruct Durham to wrap it up and file a report. It seems clear that “Bull” Durham hasn’t managed to find anything other than bull when it comes to finding criminal intent behind the Russia investigation. It’s time to simply admit that and go home.
On Weiss, there may be reasons to continue the investigation—not because it involves Hunter Biden, but because it seems to involve ploys by Chinese companies. However, over two years is a long time to dig into someone’s taxes. Weiss may not be able to go forward with the case he wants at this point, but he should certainly be able to either indict or absolve Hunter Biden.
In any case, no one in the Biden White House should expect to receive any credit for allowing Durham and Weiss to stay on. At this point, any investigation that doesn’t end with every Democratic politician lining up to visit the gallows that insurrectionists raised outside the Capitol is going to be looked on by the right as just another sign of the “deep state.”
After all, both Bidens have already been convicted in the court of Donald Trump’s mind, and for the GQP, that’s all that matters.