Department of Justice Provides Update on John Durham Probe

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Special counsel John Durham’s probe into the origins of the Trump–Russia collusion narrative cost taxpayers more than $2 million during the second half of fiscal year 2022, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) update that was published on Dec. 23.

The DOJ stated that Durham’s office spent about $2.08 million from April 1 to Sept. 30. His team has been quiet in recent weeks, after a jury found Russia analyst Igor Danchenko not guilty of a charge of lying to the FBI.

“The review identified no material weaknesses or significant deficiencies in the design or operation of SCO controls,” the DOJ stated.

SCO refers to the Special Counsel’s Office of John Durham.

A large portion of the funds allocated to Durham went to personnel compensation and benefits, while the rest dealt with rent, travel, utilities, and related expenditures. About a third went to “contractual services,” including IT services and “litigative support,” according to the report.

“The Department will continue to dedicate and leverage resources to maintain strong program and financial management controls. Management takes its program and financial accountability seriously and is dedicated to ensuring that funds are used in a responsible and transparent manner,” the DOJ report reads.

Durham was appointed by then-Attorney General William Barr in mid-October 2020, or about two weeks from the general election that year, to investigate alleged violations of the law when the FBI opened probes into former President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Ahead of the election and in the months after Trump assumed the presidency, legacy news outlets reported on alleged leaks from law enforcement agencies about what they said was collusion between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government. However, a separate special counsel investigation led by former FBI chief Robert Mueller found that there was no collusion, and Trump has long said the Russia narrative was a hoax designed to discredit his campaign and presidency.

By Jack Phillips

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