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Senate Judiciary Committee Expects to Probe Durham Probe

Last week, we took note of The New York Times' report on the probe of Russiagate undertaken by special counsel John Durham. The executive summary: It was a sh**show, and one that was pretty clearly governed by political considerations, rather than the search for the truth.

As it turns out, we're not the only ones who read the Times. Senate Judiciary Committee chair Dick Durbin (D-IL) reads it, too. And yesterday, he issued a statement in which he said that his committee would likely take a long look at the matter. "These reports about abuses in Special Counsel Durham's investigation—so outrageous that even his longtime colleagues quit in protest—are but one of many instances where former President Trump and his allies weaponized the Justice Department," the statement reads, in part.

Undoubtedly, this will be interpreted by many—particularly in the right-wing media—as part of a pi**ing contest, in which House Republicans announce that they are looking into Democratic "weaponization" of the Department of Justice, so Senate Democrats counter by announcing that they are looking into Republican "weaponization" of the Department of Justice. And it might be, in part. But from the Times' reporting, it's pretty clear there is some substance here, and some questions that need to be looked at. It's possible that AG Merrick Garland is looking at those questions, too, but of course he does not comment on such things, so there's no real way to know.

Meanwhile, when we wrote up that Times report, we observed: "It is at least possible that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and his brand-spanking-new subcommittee will actually come up with something of substance as they put various Democrats, and family members of Democrats, under the microscope. We think that is unlikely, but you never know for sure." We probably should have added our follow-up thought (even though it would have interrupted the flow of the piece) that we'd have considerably more regard for the possibility of substance if the subcommittee was looking at all potential abusers as opposed to just Democrats.

It would seem that NBC's Chuck Todd, host of Meet the Press, feels similarly. He invited Jordan on the program this weekend, and said:

Many of the things you want to investigate, when I look at them in isolation, I think they're fair targets. I think they're fair things for you to be questioning. The problem that when you look at it is you want to talk about the weaponization of the Justice Department, you don't want to look at anything that happened during the Trump years.

Jordan dodged that particular remark, and hopped and skipped and jumped as he tried to avoid the withering series of questions that Todd posed regarding House Republicans' investigative work. If you want to see what it looks like when a journalist tries to hold a politician accountable, you might want to click on the link above and read the article or watch the video. In any event, we already pretty much knew that Jordan's only interest is pursuing partisan witch hunts, and the interview did noting to dispel that impression. (Z)

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