Rep. Devin Nunes warned of “growing concern” that President-elect Joe Biden, taking cues from former President Barack Obama, will shut down U.S. Attorney John Durham’s inquiry into the Russia investigation.
The California Republican, who is the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, said on Sunday that Attorney General William Barr should set up a special counsel before Inauguration Day to keep the so-called investigation of the investigators alive.
“Now we’re sitting waiting for Durham to complete this investigation. I think people are getting not only very frustrated but also, there’s a growing concern that Durham is not going to come out with anything and then Biden and Obama are going to be back in, and they’re going to shut this investigation off,” Nunes told Maria Bartiromo on her Fox News program, Sunday Morning Futures.
The congressman noted that Obama moved about a mile away from the White House after his eight years as president, asserting that Obama “set up shop” and spent time propping up Sen. Kamala Harris, who is now vice president-elect, during the Democratic Party presidential primaries until she “bombed out” before they shifted to backing Biden.
Durham was appointed by Barr more than a year and a half ago to investigate misconduct by federal law enforcement, intelligence officials, and others related to the FBI’s inquiry into links between President Trump’s campaign and Russia. So far, the prosecutor has secured one guilty plea from a former FBI lawyer.
Democrats and national security veterans have criticized the DOJ inquiry as a politicized weapon that Barr can use against the president’s political adversaries. Trump and his allies hope Durham will uncover evidence that there was a “coup” to undermine his campaign and administration.
Buzz about Durham dissipated in early October when it became clear there would not be any major indictments or a report before the election. Some have raised concerns that a Biden administration would bury Durham’s findings. Biden is poised to take office in roughly 59 days. Trump has refused to concede the race, pinning his hopes on legal challenges and recounts in battleground states.
Nunes said the need for a special counsel is urgent.
“I’ve been very clear about this,” the congressman said. “Every day that ticks by, it’s going to become an absolute necessity that a special counsel is appointed on the way out. Now that doesn’t mean that Biden wouldn’t fire the special counsel, but at least you’d have a special counsel office set up, with money, so that this investigation can continue, because I’m not seeing the indictments that I should be seeing when you take into the account that I’ve made 14 criminal referrals involving dozens and dozens of people.”
Last Sunday, Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, said he was having “numerous talks” with the Justice Department, and he expects “some kind of report … real soon.”