Judge Merrick Garland, President Joe Biden’s nominee for U.S. Attorney General, declined to say on Monday whether he would retain Special Counsel John Durham in his role investigating the origins of the “Russia collusion” investigation.
Former Attorney General William Barr quietly elevated Durham to Special Counsel last fall, before the presidential election, to preserve his work in a potential new administration. Barr had previously said that he believed there may have been improper political motivations behind the FBI’s launch of Operation Hurricane Crossfire into Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016. One FBI lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, pleaded guilty to misleading the FISA court to obtain a warrant.
Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) asked Garland whether he would retain Durham, noting that Barr, in his own confirmation, committed explicitly to allowing Special Counsel Robert Mueller to continue the “Russia collusion” inquiry.
Garland would not commit. The following exchange took place: