U.S. Attorney John Durham on Friday announced his resignation from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, but he will reportedly be staying on as special counsel in the investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation.
John Durham has resigned as U.S. attorney for Connecticut. My understanding is that he will continue on as special counsel investigating the origins of the Russia probe, after AG Barr move last year.
— Morgan Chalfant (@mchalfant16) February 26, 2021
Durham is resigning, effective at midnight on February 28, after serving as the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut for more than three years.
“My career has been as fulfilling as I could ever have imagined when I graduated from law school way back in 1975,” Durham said in a statement. “Much of that fulfillment has come from all the people with whom I’ve been blessed to share this workplace, and in our partner law enforcement agencies. My love and respect for this Office and the vitally important work done here have never diminished. It has been a tremendous honor to serve as U.S. Attorney, and as a career prosecutor before that, and I will sorely miss it.”
Durham’s resignation comes as Joe Biden begins replacing top federal prosecutors appointed by former President Trump with his own nominees.
According to the Hartford Courant, Durham, and U.S. David C. Weiss, the U.S. Attorney in Delaware, are the only Trump-appointed prosecutors who are expected to stay on at the Justice Department because of their active investigations. Weiss is directing a tax investigation of Biden’s corrupt and scandal-prone son Hunter Biden.
Requests by incoming administrations for the resignations of U.S. Attorneys — the top federal law enforcement officers in their districts — are in most cases routine and Durham’s office has anticipated and planned for the transition. But Durham’s position directing the politically explosive inquiry into the Russia probe — and Weiss’ role in the Hunter Biden investigation — presented a challenge for the Biden administration.
Durham could not be reached Tuesday to discuss his plans. His office in New Haven declined comment.
A justice department spokesman said, “Continuing the practice of new administrations, President Biden and the Department of Justice have begun the transition process for the U.S. Attorneys.” An official said the remaining Trump U.S. Attorneys have been given to the end of the month to depart.
First Assistant U.S. Attorney Leonard C Boyle will serve as Acting U.S. Attorney after Durham departs.
“The Office will be in the extraordinarily capable hands of Len and our superb supervisory team who, together, guarantee that the proper administration of justice will continue uninterrupted in our District,” said Durham.
In May of 2019, former Attorney General William Barr appointed Durham to investigate “certain intelligence and law-enforcement activities surrounding the 2016 presidential election.” Two weeks before Election Day 2020, Barr quietly appointed Durham as Special Counsel to continue investigating the origins of the Russia probe into the next administration.
“Although I had expected Mr. Durham to complete his work by the summer of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as additional information he uncovered, prevented him from doing so,” Barr explained in December.
Durham’s probe is reportedly focused mainly on the FBI, though the prosecution of top level officials is said to be “unlikely.” The special prosecutor completed the CIA portion of his probe last year, according to Fox News’ sources.
Durham was pursuing “new and credible leads” through the end of the Trump administration, Fox reported.
Investigative journalist John Solomon of Just the News, reported on Sunday that his sources told him Durham has been “building a small number of indictments.”
“Everything that I see in the activity of the investigation and everything I hear from defense lawyers and others that are familiar with what’s going on is that he is building a small number of indictments, trying to get the evidence to get there,” Solomon told Fox News “Sunday Futures” host Maria Bartiromo.
“There have been some delays, and there’s fights over evidence in the secret, behind closed doors, grand jury fights. But all the evidence is pointing toward him trying to bring criminal charges probably in the first quarter of this year. That’s what I’m hearing.”