By Jon Dougherty
You may recall that about a year into failed Attorney General Jeff Sessionsâ€™ tenure with the Trump administration he rebuffed several calls from members of Congress to appoint a U.S. attorney â€˜outside the Beltwayâ€™ to investigate abuses by the Obama regime and the 2016 Clinton campaign regarding â€œSpygate.â€
That attorney, John Huber of Utah, was supposedly a â€˜special prosecutor in all but name,â€™ Sessions said at the time. He claimed Huber will be using all of â€œhis prosecutorial powersâ€ to conduct a wide-ranging investigation into alleged abuses that extend well beyond suspected FISA court improprieties.
â€œI am confident that Mr. Huberâ€™s review will include a full, complete, and objective evaluation of these matters in a manner that is consistent with the law and the facts,â€ Sessions announced in late March 2018.
At one point in late 2018, Huber was expected to testify to Congress about his progress. In November we reported:
In anÂ interviewÂ withÂ TheHill.TVÂ on Wednesday, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., who also chairs theÂ House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations, said it was time for Congress to â€œcircle backâ€ to Huber and find out what heâ€™s been up to.
â€œMr. Huber with the Department of Justice and FBI has been having an investigation â€” at least part of his task was to look at the Clinton Foundation and what may or may not have happened as it relates to improper activity with that charitable foundation, so weâ€™ve set a hearing date for December the 5th,â€ Meadows said.
That would have been one last opportunity for House Republicans, still in the majority until handing off control to Democrats a few short weeks later, to get an update on an important probe.
Alas, however, the hearing date came and went without any testimony from Huber.
In January,Â The Daily SignalÂ notedÂ that Huber is supposed to be working in collaboration in the internal investigation with Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz. But alas, no oneâ€™s heard a thing about any progress â€” or lack thereof â€” he and Horowitz have made.
â€œThere is no evidence a real investigation is taking place,â€ the head of one legal watchdog group told the news site.
The same month, several Republican lawmakers complained in a letter to Huber that they still had not heard from him, had never been briefed about his progress, and had no idea what it was he was doing, if anything at all.
The letter from House Judiciary Committee ranking member Doug Collins, Rep. Jim Jordan (ranking member of the House Oversight Committee), and Freedom Caucus chair Representative Mark Meadows, â€œbegins the formal process to expose a widely believed fraud.â€
â€œYour investigation has been ongoing for more than nine months,â€ the letter said. â€œDuring the course of our extensive investigation we have interviewed more than a dozen current and former DOJ and FBI personnel, and were surprised to hear none of these potentially informative witnesses testified to speaking with you.â€
Come to find out there is a reason we’ve not heard fromÂ Huber: He never even began his assigned probe.
During an exclusive interview with CBS News broadcast on Friday that the rest of the ‘mainstream media’ is doing its best to ignore, current Attorney General William Barr said that Huberâ€™s probe never got off the ground and as such it was reassigned to Connecticut-based U.S. Attorney (and corruption specialist) John Durham.
Reporter Jan Crawford asked Barr: â€œWhatâ€™s the status of Huberâ€™s investigation in Utah? I think the former Attorney General Sessions had asked him to look at this.â€
â€œRight, so Huber had originally been asked to take a look at the FISA applications and the electronic surveillance but then he stood back and put that on hold while the Office of Inspector General was conducting its review, which wouldâ€™ve been normal for the department,â€ Barr said.
Okay. Fair enoughâ€¦so far.
â€œAnd he was essentially on standby in case [DoJ Inspector General Michael] Horowitz referred a matter to him to be handled criminally. So he has not been active on this front in recent months and so Durham is taking over that role (emphasis added). The other issues heâ€™s been working on relate to Hillary Clinton. Those are winding down and hopefully weâ€™ll be in a position to bring those to fruition.â€
Crawford responded, â€œSo he (Huber) wonâ€™t be involved in this really at all then?â€Â
â€œNo,â€ Barr stated. â€œThis is his role, itâ€™s done?â€ Crawford pressed. â€œRight,â€ said Barr.
But Huber and Durham are both U.S. attorneys; how come Durham has the authority to investigate but Huber had to defer to Horowitz, especially when, according toÂ The Daily Signal‘s report, Huber and Horowitz’s office were supposed to be working in tandem?
Something doesnâ€™t smell right. In fact, it seems an awful lot like Huber was sitting around on his hands after Sessions handed him the probe and now that Barr has taken over for Sessions, he is â€˜reassigningâ€™ the investigation to a prosecutor who actually will investigate.
If Huber dropped the ball here, he should be fired for insubordination today. There is no excuse (other than political partisanship) for him not to have started his probe.
Meanwhile, the clock is ticking on the statute of limitations for many of these alleged Spygate crimes.
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- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10