John Durham’s investigation of the 2016 election has managed to outlive the passions of that era. But now that the Durham investigation has its first arrest – former Brookings Institution analyst and Russian national Igor Danchenko – unanswered questions from that time should capture the imagination of anyone who cares about preventing government interference in elections.
Danchenko has been hit with five counts of lying to the FBI, principally about his role in the now-infamous Steele dossier that the Department of Justice Inspector General later found to be a fount of misinformation. One issue, raised by Andrew McCarthy in The New York Post, should be of interest for civil liberties groups of all stripes. When the FBI appears before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court it must present evidence about a threat to national security. But this is not what happened. McCarthy writes:
One question that Durham must be pressing is: What took the Bureau so long? The Obama Justice Department brought the FBI’s sworn claims to the secret federal Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in October 2016. Though the FBI is supposed to verify its allegations before going to court, it apparently did not interview Danchenko, the main source for the dossier, until January 2017 – by which time it was obtaining its second 90-day spy warrant.
And the FBI’s efforts, mind you, included the presentation of false evidence before the FISA Court, later leading to the conviction of an FBI lawyer. Curiouser and Curiouser, as Alice would say. Durham’s investigation promises to lay bare a conspiracy to plant false evidence in the minds of judges, the media and the voting public.