If I were a Democrat, I would be afraid, I would be very afraid, after reading former Attorney General Michael Mukasey’s Monday WSJ oped: “John Durham’s Ukrainian Leads.” The subtitle is “What the prosecutor has found may be quite different from what the Democrats are looking for.”
Americans often boast that we are a nation of laws, but for the moment laws appear to play a decidedly secondary role in the drama we are living in and—hopefully—through.
True enough, but the nub of the article, which returns us to the rule of law, comes further on:
True, much media and political effort has gone into sometimes close and often willful parsing of President Trump’s July 25 conversation with President Volodymyr Zelensky —ironic when you consider Mr. Trump’s well-known linguistic promiscuity—not to mention the celebrated whistleblower complaint, which contains no firsthand information. Little notice has been given, however, to another document lying in plain sight: a Justice Department press release issued the day the conversation transcript became public.
That Justice Department statement makes explicit that the president never spoke with Attorney General William Barr “about having Ukraine investigate anything relating to former Vice President Biden or his son” or asked him to contact Ukraine “on this or any other matter,” and that the attorney general has not communicated at all with Ukraine. It also contains the following morsel: “A Department of Justice team led by U.S. Attorney John Durham is separately exploring the extent to which a number of countries, including Ukraine, played a role in the counterintelligence investigation directed at the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. While the Attorney General has yet to contact Ukraine in connection with this investigation, certain Ukrainians who are not members of the government have volunteered information to Mr. Durham, which he is evaluating.” [Bold mine]
The number of countries includes the U.K. and Italy, the latter of which was just visited by one William Barr. So what’s going on? More from Mukasey:
The definitive answer to the obvious question—what’s that about?—is known only to Mr. Durham and his colleagues. But publicly available reports, including by Andrew McCarthy in his new book, “Ball of Collusion,” suggest that during the 2016 campaign the Federal Bureau of Investigation tried to get evidence from Ukrainian government officials against Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, to pressure him into cooperating against Mr. Trump. When you grope through the miasma of Slavic names and follow the daisy chain of related people and entities, it appears that Ukrainian officials who backed the Clinton campaign provided information that generated the investigation of Mr. Manafort—acts that one Ukrainian court has said violated Ukrainian law and “led to interference in the electoral processes of the United States in 2016 and harmed the interests of Ukraine as a state.”
Sorry to quote so extensively, but the WSJ is behind a paywall and I thought everyone should see as much of Mukasey’s writing as possible. Reading not so far between the lines here, it’s clear that the biggest story of 2019 or maybe 2020 is yet to come — and it won’t be impeachment. The Russia Probe is being turned on its head.