Months ago, Attorney General Bill Barr ordered U.S. Attorney John Durham to criminally investigate the people who investigated Donald Trump’s Russia scandal, to see if anything could be found to suggest that Trump was somehow framed. Now, just forty days before the election, Barr is ordering Durham to investigate the Clinton Foundation of all things. So what’s going on here?
Consider the timing. At this late date, there is zero chance Durham will complete an investigation of the Clinton Foundation before the election. For that matter, the Clinton Foundation has been investigated to death over the years and has turned out to be clean as a whistle, meaning Durham wouldn’t find anything even if he had time to do so.
The only reason for Barr to send Durham on this last minute goose chase is to appease Trump. And when you consider that we’re now entering the timeframe in which Barr probably told Trump he’d be getting results from Durham’s earlier probe, it’s not difficult to parse what happened here. Durham found nothing in his probe into the Trump-Russia investigation, and Barr is trying to avoid having to tell Trump the bad news by distracting him with the “good news” that Durham is now supposedly investigating the Clintons.
In other words, Bill Barr is continuing his pattern of playing Donald Trump for a fool, keeping up the illusion that he’s helping Trump in ways that he isn’t, and keeping an increasingly addled Trump sated enough not to ask any questions about why Barr’s antics have delivered such little results. After all, Barr has failed to achieve his goals with his meddling in the Flynn, Stone, Cohen, Bannon, Lev, Igor, and SDNY cases, and Barr is failing again with the Durham probe, so Barr has to do something to trick Trump into believing that Barr still has something up his sleeve.
The doomsday pundits will spin this new “investigation” of the Clinton Foundation as proof that Donald Trump has now seized absolute power, democracy is dead, the election has already been decided, Trump is going to magically win no matter what, and there’s no point in even bothering to vote. This is why these ratings-driven pundits are so harmful. The real story is, obviously, that Barr is out of ideas and he’s just trying to keep Trump sated. This Clinton Foundation probe will go nowhere.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report