Let's talk about Bill Barr's unethical, corrupt and perhaps even illegal upcoming October surprise. Let's talk about the so-called Durham report, because justice matters.
Hell, Glenn Kershner here, welcome to another episode of my podcast, Justice Matters, and today I want to take on the so-called Durham report. Right.
The the investigation that has been undertaken by US attorney from Connecticut, John Durham.
Bill Barr appointed Durham. He commissioned this report. It's yet another attempt to try to undermine the origins of the Trump Russia investigation.
And as I was preparing for this podcast today, I started to go through my files on Bill Barr's crimes, his abuses, his corruption, his unethical behavior, his smashing of all DOJ norms and traditions and protocols. And I'll tell you, I don't know where to begin. I do want to talk about the Durham report because it's been in news in recent days for, I think, some really important reasons. Namely, one of Durham's top prosecutors, a woman named Nora Dennehy, has walked away from the Durham team.
And it's being reported that she walked away from the Durham team because the Durham team was getting pressure from Bill Barr to issue an interim report. Why? Because we have an election coming up.
And why wouldn't Bill Barr want to do everything he can to nefariously interfere in the upcoming election to try to help Donald Trump and hurt Joe Biden? We're going to talk about that in a few minutes. But I'll tell you, I started to pull out my files and yes, folks, I have paper files and I have legal pads. Somebody came to my office not too long ago and said, you don't have a computer. I said, no, I don't have a computer.
They said, well, but, you know, you can organize your information by topics and you can create folders on your computer. And of course, I responded, I got this.
I know how to create folders. I'm no dummy. I am e incompetent.
Anybody who worked with me for 30 plus years as a federal prosecutor can tell you that I am e incompetent.
So I do everything with pads and printouts, pens and paper.
Yeah, I'm a dinosaur.
So I was going through my files and I don't know where we should begin regarding Bill Barr before we get to the so-called Durham report, because the scope and the breadth and the depth of Barr's corruption is astonishing. It's absolutely astonishing, especially when you look at it all in aggregate. You know, we see it coming out day after day in dribs and drabs. And one day it's it's this outrage and the next day it's this abuse.
But I'll tell you, when you pile it all up, it is a whole lot of corruption.
So as I was looking through my Bill Barr files, I didn't know where to begin.
I mean, should I begin with Roger Stone and Bill Barr's dumbing down of Roger Stone's of the prosecutors sentencing request and the Roger Stone case? Should we start there? You know, Bill Barr doing a favor, though, for one of Donald Trump's criminal associates, Roger Stone. And folks, I was in the courtroom during the Roger Stone trial. My friends and former colleagues were prosecuting the case.
And I saw Steve Bannon figuratively dragged up to the witness stand because he didn't want to be there.
And he hemmed and hawed and he equivocated like the extraordinarily weak person he is. But I saw him testify that Roger Stone was the Trump campaign's access point. Steve Bannon's description between the Trump campaign and Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.
Roger Stone was the Trump campaign's access point to grab hold of those stolen emails to weaponize them and to deliver them to the American people benefiting from that stolen information and weaponize them against the candidacy of Hillary Clinton and in favor of Donald Trump's.
That's Roger Stone. He then went on to lie to Congress and tamper with witnesses and interfere in a congressional inquiry into all things Trump Russia.
That's Roger Stone, and then, of course, Bill Barr made the prosecution team dumbed down its sentencing request for Roger Stone, prompting all four prosecutors to walk off the Roger Stone case, resign the case in protest. Folks, in my 30 years as a prosecutor, I have never seen one person walk off a case or resign from a case in protest, not one. This was for prosecutors.
And so I don't know if we should start there with Roger Stone or with the statement that was issued by hundreds.
Indeed, it may have been thousands of former federal prosecutors in the aftermath of the Roger Stone debacle, that particular injustice orchestrated by Bill Barr, where thousands, I believe, a former DOJ prosecutors and officials wrote that the actions of Bill Barr and the damage they have done to the Department of Justice's reputation for integrity and the rule of law require Bill Barr to resign. Do we start there or do we start as part and parcel of the Roger Stone case with the testimony of one of those prosecutors before Congress who walked off, resigned from the Roger Stone case, a gentleman named Aaron Zolensky, when he said, and I quote, What I saw was the Department of Justice exerting significant pressure on the line, prosecutors in the case, the Roger Stone case, to obscure the correct sentencing guidelines, calculation to which Roger Stone was subject and to water down and in some cases outright distort the events that transpired in this trial and in the criminal conduct that gave rise to its conviction.
And then prosecutors, Wolinsky went on to say Roger Stone was being treated differently from any other defendant because of his relationship to the president.
Is that where we should start our discussion today of the so-called Durham report being orchestrated by Bill Barr? Or should we start with Michael Cohen? Michael Cohen, the president's former fixer and lawyer, a convicted felon who served half of his sentence in federal prison, pleading guilty for, among other things, being in a conspiracy with Donald Trump at the direction of and for the benefit of Donald Trump to pay off porn stars and playmates, to hide damaging information from the American voters.
Again, cheating in the election to try to get Donald Trump elected.
Should we start with a Michael Cohen case when after Michael Cohen was put in home detention, home confinement, to finish out the balance of his sentence because covid was resulting in inmates being being sent from the prisons to their homes to finish serving their sentence on home detention to try to stop the spread of covid in the prison population.
And then, Bill, Department of Justice got wind that Michael Cohen was going to speak critically of the president in a book. And what did Bill Barr's Department of Justice do? They wrongfully, illegally, unlawfully, unconstitutionally took Michael Cohen and put him back in prison. And don't take my word for it that it was unlawful and unconstitutional because a federal judge in New York ruled that it was an unconstitutional violation of Michael Cohen's free speech rights, his First Amendment rights, when Bill Barr in retaliation, that was the judge's term bill, bars Department of Justice in retaliation for Michael Cohen having the temerity to speak truthfully, perhaps critically, of the president of the United States.
They imprisoned him. They imprisoned him.
He had to file the great writ, the writ of habeas corpus, which is just bring the body to the court, an allegation that the government is illegally confining someone, the writ of habeas corpus. And Michael Cohen won and was ordered released by the judge. Should we start there? Or maybe we should start with Jeff Berman and Bill Barr's lies about the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, Jeffrey Berman, who was prosecuting any number of Donald Trump cronies and associates, partners in crime.
And what happened was Bill Barr told Jeff Berman, I want you to resign. And Jeff Berman said, I'm not resigning. I have important cases that we're investigating in the southern district of New York. And so Bill Barr lied and issued a press release saying Jeff Berman has resigned.
Well, you know what, Jeff Berman, we're going to take that lying down. And Jeff Berman issued his own statement.
He said in his congressional testimony calling out Bill Barr, Jeffrey Berman said, I issued a press release saying that I had not resigned and I had no intention of resigning and that I intended to ensure that our offices, important cases continue unimpeded. That was Bill Barr lying about the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. And what was Bill Barr trying to do? He was trying to orchestrate the installation as top prosecutor of one of Donald Trump's golfing buddies, a guy named Jay Clayton, who had never, never spent one minute of his life prosecuting cases.
Bill Barr wanted to make him the top prosecutor in the Southern District of New York. Why do you think he wanted to do that? A person with no qualifications for the job, a golfing buddy of Donald Trump's. Should we start there with Jeff Berman?
Or maybe we should start with Judge Reggie Walton's ruling in some Foiler litigation, Freedom of Information Act litigation, where news organizations were suing the Department of Justice, trying to get the unredacted Mueller report, which we still don't have.
We're still waiting.
And Bill Barr told Judge Reggie Walton, just trust me, all those redactions, they're appropriate. I checked them. They're good. Yeah.
What did Judge Reggie Walton conclude? What did he find in his written order? In that litigation?
He found that Bill Barr mischaracterized the findings and conclusions of the Mueller report. He, quote, dubiously handled Judge Walton's words, the release of the Mueller report. He, quote, attempted to spin the findings and conclusions of the Mueller report.
Judge Reggie Walton's words and Bill Barr's characterization of the Mueller report has been directly contradicted by the contents of the Mueller report itself. Judge Reggie Walton topped it all off with Bill Barr lacks candor. Maybe we should start there.
And please don't forget, Judge Reggie Walton is a lion of the federal district court bench. I used to handle murder cases in front of him back in the 90s when he was a superior court judge in D.C. He was Judge Walton was not once nominated by a Republican president, not twice nominated by a Republican president, but three times nominated by Republican presidents and then elevated to the FISA court by Chief Justice Roberts. So let's not anybody call Judge Reggie Walton an angry Democrat.
Bill Barr lied and lacks candor.
Should we start there before we move on to the so-called Durham report, maybe we should start with Bill Barr yelling and screaming that everything that's going on in these protests. That's bad. That's violent.
That's wrong is courtesy of courtesy of Antifa and Tifa Antifa, Antifa, Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in Bill Birte, Bill Barr's estimation. It's all due to antifa. In fact, folks, stay with me on this. Even though my blood pressure begins to tick up, injustice really ticks me off.
Bill Barr stepped to the cameras on June 4th, this past June 4th, looked us in the eye and told us that radical left wing violent extremist groups like Antifa, Antifa, Antifa are injecting violence into these protests.
That's what he said until he was questioned by a great reporter named Pierre Thomas, I believe ABC News, he said, Mr. Attorney General, just yesterday, June 3rd, one day before Bill Barr was screaming about antifa being the violent actors in these protests, Pierre Thomas said, I've got a press release here from the Department of Justice dated yesterday, June 3rd.
And it says that the Department of Justice just returned indictments against three members of the Boogaloo Boys, a radical right wing extremist violent organization. For doing what? For conspiring to cause destruction during the protests in Las Vegas and for possessing unregistered destructive devices. Molotov cocktails. Mr. Attorney General. Aren't you misleading the American people by saying antifa, antifa and take antifa when your own Department of Justice just yesterday indicted not members of Antifa, but members of an extremist right wing violent organization, the Boogaloo Boys, for conspiring, getting together in advance and entering into a criminal conspiracy to inject violence into otherwise peaceful protests in Las Vegas.
Maybe we should start there, or should we start before we get to the so-called Durham report with all things Michael Flynn? Really? Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty twice, Michael Flynn's entire defense team, affirmed that he was guilty, the entire prosecution team affirmed that he was guilty.
And then Bill Barr swooped in and said, not so fast. I'm joining Mike Flynn's defense team and I'm going to tank his guilty plea case. I'm going to get rid of it all together.
So basically, we the people have no prosecutors in the Mike Flynn case because Bill Barr has joined Mike Flynn's defense team, some Fox lawyers, after Mike Flynn fired his original defense team. And they were very strong, very solid, very honorable ethical attorneys got rid of all them.
And now Bill Barr is fighting tooth and nail to try to bury the reasons that he is trying to tank dismiss Mike Flynn's case. He doesn't want that exposed to the light of day.
Doing yet another favor, though, for a criminal associate of Donald Trump and Judge Emmet Sullivan. Judge Emmet Sullivan. Yes, I said it twice because I so admire Judge Emmet Sullivan at cases in front of him when I was prosecuting in Washington, D.C., said, I'm not having any of it.
I'll decide as the rules provide, if Mike Flynn's case will be dismissed or not. And because there was no prosecutor left in the case, because Bill Barr had migrated to Mike Flynn's defense camp, Judge Sullivan appointed a former prosecutor, John Gleason, who successfully prosecuted John Gotti, mob boss, and John Gleason, retired federal court judge, after he left his work as a federal prosecutor, became a federal district court judge in New York for more than 20 years.
He appointed him to be basically the voice of we the people, our prosecutor, an independent prosecutor of sorts.
And John Gleason, just a day or two ago filed his pleading, his brief saying, quote, There is clear evidence that the government's motion to dismiss the case of defendant Mike Flynn rests on pure pretext.
There is clear evidence that this motion reflects a corrupt and politically motivated favor unworthy of our judicial system.
This is the man who successfully prosecuted John Gotti and who served as a federal district court judge in New York for more than 20 years.
There are still people out there fighting for the rule of law, fighting for the integrity of the Department of Justice and the criminal justice system, generally fighting for we the people.
This is the real story, folks, not what the bill bars. And the Mike Flins and the Roger Stones of the World spin. This is the real story. Maybe we should start there.
The Mike Flynn case before moving on to the so-called Durham report.
Can I check my notes? Folks will edit all this out later. No, we won't. I can't edit anything out.
And so now, before we move to the Durham report, Bill Barr caps it all off his abuse. The jaw is telling Wolf Blitzer when Wolf Blitzer says, well, the president is telling people to vote twice in the same election for him, that's illegal.
Mr. Attorney General. And what is the attorney general of the United States say to Wolf Blitzer?
I don't know that that's illegal. Come on, sport.
Really, any sixth grader knows it's illegal for a citizen to vote twice in the same election. And Bill Barr can't even say it, because if he stated the obvious that it's illegal, he would be telling the world the president of the United States just instructed countless citizens to commit a crime by voting for him twice. The attorney general plays along in the most pathetic and transparent way.
Is it any wonder that 80 percent, 80 percent of the faculty of George Washington University School of Law, Bill Barr's alma mater, 80 percent of the faculty said Bill Barr must resign.
You know, I teach at George Washington University undergrad criminal justice. I used to teach in the law school for a number of years, back in the early to mid 20s. And if I were still teaching law school, I would have made it eighty one percent. Bill Barr must resign. Maybe we should start there. We've just scratched the surface of half a dozen bill bar, outrageous illegalities of corrupt acts, just scratched the surface of his lawlessness, all of which prompted me to ask folks, this bill bar already have his pardon from Donald Trump.
Has he got it stuffed in his back pocket, ready to pull it out when he needs it, when he's charged with a crime? We'll talk more about that toward the end of this podcast. I mean, how can you engage in so much illegality unless you've got that insurance policy, that corrupt pardon sitting in your back pocket?
OK, let's actually talk about the so-called Durham report, because it's been in the news in recent days and what we learned is that one of Durham's top prosecutors on this investigative team, they've been running around trying to undo the findings and conclusions of, I don't know, you name it, the Muller report, the congressional committees that said Trump Russia was a thing. And they were they were colluding. They were conspiring when you get right down to it. Paul Manafort, campaign chairman, his de facto deputy campaign chairman, was Konstantin Kalinich, Russian spy, and he was giving him polling data so the Russians could help Trump win them unfairly.
Right. But he's trying to undo the congressional committees, the Senate committees and Intel committee that issued a scathing report of the Trump Russia coordination, trying to undo the findings of Inspector General Michael Horowitz, the Department of Justice inspector general, who concluded after a lengthy investigation that the Trump Russia investigation was properly opened, properly predicated and was not a product of politics billboard. Unlike any of those answers, he wants to contradict everybody on God's green earth, and he wants Durham to come up with a different answer.
And he has tasked him with coming up with a different answer. And we learned that during one of his top prosecutors, Nora Dennehy, long term DOJ public servant who reportedly has done great work over the years, walked off the case in recent days.
The reporting, though, it's not being attributed yet to anybody in particular, but there are multiple sources who are saying it's because the Durham team was being pressured by Bill Barr to issue an interim report before the election. OK, let me now tackle the so-called Durham report. First, prosecutors don't issue reports. I think I tweeted that in all caps, I try not to yell when I'm tweeting, but prosecutors don't issue reports. I was a federal prosecutor for 30 years, first in the military as an Army JAG, then at the Department of Justice, specifically at the DC US attorney's office.
Prosecutors don't issue reports. You know what we do? We investigate cases in the grand jury. And if there is enough evidence to support an indictment, we ask the grand jury to issue an indictment.
That indictment is our report. That indictment is a matter of public record. That indictment can be shared with the public in the form of a press release.
Today, the grand jury indicted Steve Bannon, for example, for defrauding Trump supporters out of their money by setting up this sham build the Wall Foundation. And instead, Steve Bannon and his co-defendants were lining their own pockets with Trump supporter money defrauding them. These people, there is no bottom. That's a prosecutor's report.
OK, we don't issue reports, the grand jury issues indictments and those become matters of public record, and that signals to the public what this investigation is about. Prosecutors don't issue reports. James Comey tried to depart from that rule in advance of the 2016 elections, didn't reporting to us about the Hillary Clinton investigation and how she was extremely reckless with her emails, but no prosecutor would would would indict or would ask a grand jury to indict based on that evidence and that, oh, wait a minute, we found some more.
We have to reopen. We have to I mean, you know, some might say that was like a prosecutor's report and we all saw how that turned out. Why? Because prosecutors don't issue reports.
I think I may have mentioned that we don't issue reports. We issue indictments and then we try cases. And the only time we talk to the media is after the jury has returned a verdict, guilty or not guilty, then we can stand on the courthouse steps and say we are pleased with the jury's verdict or we're disappointed with the jury's verdict. But we respect it because the jurors sitting as members of the community resolve this case. We don't issue reports, not our job.
Some might say, well, Bob Mueller issued a report, didn't he? He did in his capacity as special counsel, not in his capacity as a prosecutor, because as special counsel, he was tasked with investigating contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russians.
And boy, did he find them. Boy, did he find them. And he ultimately issued a report. But that was not in his capacity as a federal prosecutor. It was in his capacity as special counsel with a specific task that was going to be reported out at the conclusion.
And he did prosecute some cases, which was in his appointment letter. You can prosecute cases that you come across as necessary to develop your in for your investigation into Trump Russia coordination.
And he did some of that. He prosecuted some cases in furtherance of investigating the Trump Russia connection. But you can't use Bob Mueller as an example of a prosecutor issuing a report because he wasn't acting as a traditional prosecutor, because I think I've said prosecutors don't issue reports. We don't do it. It's not what we do. Nevertheless, we learned that Bill Barr is pressuring Durham and Co. to issue an interim report before the election.
OK, so let's talk about another reason why this is dead wrong for Bill Barr to do. We don't do anything as federal prosecutors within 60 days of an election. We don't do anything that could interfere or impact the voters decision about who to vote for by issuing anything on the eve of an election or within 60 days of an election. Those are traditions, those are norms, those are protocols, those are not laws, but those are the rules that govern the ethical practice of the Department of Justice and its prosecutors.
And Bill Bar not only ignores them, but apparently he pressures. Prosecutors, Durham and others to do the absolute wrong thing by issuing an interim report so we can get it in the public square before the election because we need to help out Donald Trump here, don't we?
Well, that's dead wrong. It's dead wrong. And I think the people who know how investigations and prosecutions are supposed to work inside the Department of Justice applauded Nora Dennehy for walking off in protest. Hopefully, she will now speak, speak up and speak out. You know, you don't have to call people like that a whistleblower. They're just plain old patriots. Tell us what the heck is going on behind the scenes in Bill Barr's Department of Injustice that he's trying to run roughshod over.
He's trying to create. So apparently, though, he's pushing for an interim report so he can use it for whatever purpose he wants. And here's the other thing, folks. We saw Bill Barr lie about the Mueller report, and he poisoned the well of public opinion before the Muller report ever had a chance to catch up, and Judge Reggie Walton concluded an issue or issued a written opinion that Bill Barr mischaracterized and spun the Mueller report and that he lacks candor.
So we already know, don't we? We're going into the so-called Durham report, interim though it may be. We're going into it with our eyes open. That Bill Barr will lie about it regardless of what Durham finds or doesn't find who it incriminates, who it up exculpates. It doesn't matter because Bill Barr will lie about it.
Bill Barr will lie about it to Donald Trump's advantage and to Joe Biden's disadvantage. It's what Bill Barr does.
Remember in nineteen ninety three, William Safire writing for The New York Times, dubbed Bill Barr the cover up general because of his corruption more than 20 years ago.
He will lie about it, folks. As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, as sure as Donald Trump will lie tomorrow, Bill Barr will lie about the findings of the interim Durham report.
So I would urge everybody, when you see Bill Barr step to the microphones again, announcing that Durham has found blockbuster information, that means everybody should run out and vote for Donald Trump.
Do not believe it. Don't credit it. Don't buy into it. Bill Barr is like a used car salesman who drones on endlessly about the shiny wax job on the car he's trying to sell you. And you keep asking him, Bill, can I look under the hood? And he tells you how great. Look at the tires. Very little.
Where Bill can I look under the hood? He says, well, look at look at the interior leather seats. Bill. Bill, can I look under the dang hood? You pop the hood and there's no engine. That's Bill Barr. That's who he is. Why is he that way? I don't know. Nobody I don't think anybody but Bill Barr knows why he has chosen the path of lawlessness and corruption in blind support of a corrupt president. But he has.
And our eyes are open to it. Let's hope Durham stands up. Let's hope Mr. Dennehy speaks out. Let's hope there are some good people who just are not going to continue to keep bill bars corruption secret.
People ask me, you know, you were in the Department of Justice for nearly a quarter of a century of your 30 years as a prosecutor. Why aren't people speaking out?
You know, and I don't have a great answer for that, but I think about my struggle to decide when and if to retire from the US attorney's office for the District of Columbia, from the Department of Justice. And it was a struggle.
Why? Because I had cases. I had victims. I had matters that I wanted to see through to fruition. I didn't want to walk away from my pending cases. Of course, I realized that no matter when I retired, I would walk away from pending cases. It's the nature of being a career federal prosecutor carrying an active caseload.
But it's not easy because I can tell you, my friends and my colleagues at the Department of Justice and in all of the US attorney's offices cared deeply about the cases they are working.
There are real victims in those cases. There are real issues involving protecting the community and protecting the United States of America against criminals, domestic and foreign, national and international. And we take those obligations seriously and we want to see those cases through. We don't want to walk away from our cases.
And as bad as they have it right now and believe me, I know they have it bad. I've heard from them. I mean, atop their organization, the Department of Justice is an abject criminal. Think about that. But you know what, they're doing the work of the American people and they don't want to walk away from it, and if they speak up and speak out against Bill Barr, you know what's going to happen, like Michael Cohen gets stuck in prison unlawfully, unconstitutionally have a president tweet that you've committed treason, you're a traitor.
And you know what we do to traitors. People don't want to suffer that fate. I understand that.
They also want to put food on the table. They also want to keep their health health care. I understand that. But at what cost and to what end? So I hope that John Durham's the Naura, that Dennehy and others will stand up and will speak out against Bill Barr's corruption. We'll see. Tomorrow's another day. In the meantime, folks, we will be fighting the good fight every day between now and November and then between now and January.
And hold on tight after Trump loses in a landslide, pulls out all the stops, he's trying to cheat. Now he will file suits contesting the election results beginning in November. All of those suits will lose. He will grant pardons to everybody and anybody, friends, family, cabinet members, members of Congress, select governors. Who knows? He'll give Bill Barr pardon if he hasn't already. And then let me finish with this, because this is perhaps my favorite part.
Let's assume Donald Trump pardons Bill Barr for all of his crimes and abuses over his during his tenure as attorney general.
I contend that what needs to be done beginning in January is presenting evidence of all of bullbars, crimes to the grand jury, the members of the community sitting as the conscience of the community, presented all fairly, honestly, aggressively, ethically and a politically.
And then ask the grand jury if there's enough evidence to indict Bill Barr for the crimes he's committing every day and he has committed. And then indict him, haul him into court and let him hold up his corrupt pardon, let him use it as a defense and let the judiciary decide if corrupt pardons are lawful, if they're constitutional.
Let the judiciary decide if a corrupt executive branch officials can all pardon one another and get away with any crime they choose. I predict the judiciary will hold that corrupt pardons are unlawful and are avoidable and can't be used as a defense to prosecution. Why do I say that? Because if the judiciary said Donald Trump can pardon all of his criminal associates and then he can step down and let Mike Pence be sworn in and Mike Pence can pardon him, they can all get away with all the crime they want throughout the entire four years of the Trump administration.
And there's nothing the judiciary can do about it because pardons are untouchable, unchallengeable.
That would be the judiciary taking the crime and corruption, the lawlessness of Donald Trump and Co. and putting it above reach, above reach of the legislative branch and most importantly, above the reach of the judiciary, the judicial branch.
It would be the judiciary relegating itself to a second class branch of government because they would say corrupt pardons make all executive branch crime beyond the reach of the judiciary.
They are all kings.
The judiciary ain't going to do it and they're going to have the chance to rule on corrupt pardons beginning in January, I predict, and they will strike them down.
They will say they're unlawful, they're unconstitutional, and they are void as against public policy.
You know why you know why they're going to do that. Because justice matters. It matters and we will fight for it. Folks, as always, please stay safe, and I look forward to talking with you all again soon.