Skip to comments.John Huber, Justice Dept. Sheriff Who Never Quite Rode Into Town
Posted on 12/23/2018 1:39:51 AM PST by Trump_the_Evil_Left
John Huber has developed almost mythical status among pro-Trump tweeters since former Attorney General Jeff Sessions directed him to investigate why the FBI spied on Trumps aides and whether they protected Hillary Clinton and her foundation over alleged misdeeds. They hoped the Salt Lake City-based prosecutor would aggressively expose the malfeasance that has already led to firings and resignations among the bureaus top brass.
Instead, more than a year since his appointment, Hubers lack of traction on either front is leading many once hopeful supporters to dismiss his investigation as a sham."
RealClearInvestigations has learned from potential witnesses, their lawyers and others close to the investigations, that Huber has not impaneled a federal grand jury to subpoena witnesses or hear evidence.
They are puzzled as to why he has failed to interview key witnesses such as disgraced FBI officials and Trump advisers targeted by them, as well as Clinton Foundation whistleblowers -- who could shed light on whether FBI and Justice Department officials misused their power when they obtained spy warrants to monitor Trump adviser Carter Page; or whether such officials turned a blind eye to millions of dollars in foreign Clinton Foundation donations influencing Clintons official decisions as secretary of state. Even when whistleblowers have reached out to Huber, offering reams of evidence, his office has not followed up, they say.
While some witnesses and their attorneys complain hes not doing his job, some critics who once had high hopes for Huber now suspect he was never expected to. They say Hubers appointment was always political, that the Justice Department had no interest in exposing its own corruption and named this longtime department official to mollify Republicans who clamored for the appointment of a second special counsel to investigate FBI and Justice activities under the Obama administration.
At the time, people wanted a special counsel, but Jeff Sessions announced he brought in Huber and people said, OK, we got Huber on it, former Justice Department prosecutor Victoria Toensing said. But it was a head fake.
Now a private attorney in Washington, Toensing represents a whistleblower in the so-called Uranium One scandal, who she says still has not been contacted by Huber. Her client, Doug Campbell, an FBI informant who claims to have evidence that Clinton helped Russians secure U.S.-based uranium rights in a quid pro quo for large donations to her familys foundation and speaking fees for former President Bill Clinton from the Russian company at the heart of the deal.
He should have contacted Doug Campbell within the first two months of being assigned by Sessions to look into the 2010 uranium deal, Toensing said.
Its a farce, she added. "Its an embarrassment how this has been handled.
Hubers office would not speak directly to the complaints, but asserted that his inquiry is active and ongoing.
Two other Clinton Foundation whistleblowers reached out numerous times to Hubers office, starting in April, and offered to turn over 6,000 pages of evidence, only to get the silent treatment for several months before finally hearing back after Republican leaders supporting the expert witnesses made a stink about the snub on Fox News.
Private financial-crimes investigators Lawrence Doyle and John Moynihan say they got no response after sending evidence of alleged foundation tax fraud, misappropriation of funds and pay-for-play schemes to Salt Lake City by mail in April and again in May. After hearing nothing back, they followed up and were told the materials had been lost." So they re-sent them by FedEx in October. But again, they heard nothing. Then, finally, they received a call on Nov. 30 from an assistant U.S. attorney there, who said he would review" the material.
Its disappointing it took that long, said Moynihan, a former Justice official.
Just days earlier, GOP congressional leaders had called Huber to testify and give them a progress report on his work at a hearing originally scheduled for Dec. 5. Republicans are suspicious of the timing. The hearing was rescheduled without Huber.
I find it just very coincidental that on Nov. 30 a few days before the hearing [and] after they had been noticed that we wanted them to come and testify -- all of a sudden, they would start following up, said House Oversight Subcommittee on Government Operations Chairman Mark Meadows.
Huber ultimately balked at the invitation, reportedly because he would have to appear with the ignored whistleblowers. He was never scheduled to testify, House Oversight spokeswoman Amanda Gonzalez Thompson confirmed.
The Clinton Foundation probe isnt the only case where Huber appears to be dragging his feet.
Sessions told Congress he also tasked Huber with looking into whether FBI investigators and Justice lawyers misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court by making deliberate misrepresentations about evidence presented against Page, whom they targeted as a Russian agent." Allegations include omitting material facts and exculpatory evidence undermining their probable-cause case.
For instance, they never told judges that their application relied heavily on a dossier of anti-Trump opposition research funded by the Clinton campaign. Recently revealed emails show then-FBI Director James Comey raised concerns about the reliability of the unverified dossier before he signed the initial application for the FISA warrant in October 2016.
Page, who denies the allegations, says he has not been contacted by Hubers office.
Never heard anything from Utah, he said in an interview.
In fact, Page added, I have spoken with no federal law enforcement officials this year.
In addition, Huber has yet to interview a key Justice official involved in the surveillance activities.
Republicans say demoted Justice official Bruce Ohr recently testified to Congress that hes not been interviewed by Huber about his contacts with FBI officials while they were surveilling Trump aides before and after the 2016 presidential election. Nor has his wife, Nellie Ohr, who worked on the dossier used to support wiretap warrants, according to his testimony.
Meadows sent a letter to Sessions demanding Huber interview Bruce Ohr about his connection to the bureaus process in obtaining the wiretap. The Republican leader says the FBI used Ohr as a back channel for dossier information. He followed up with another letter in October asking for an update on Hubers progress.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz: overlapping inquiries. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta Defenders say what appears to be slow progress may be a function of Huber having to wait on Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who is conducting his own investigation into the departments mishandling of the Clinton and Trump probes. They point out that Huber is shadowing Horowitzs slow-moving probe and lending any prosecutorial support he sees fit to provide. Inspectors general do not have the power to subpoena outside witnesses and compel testimony, or convene grand juries and seek indictments.
I am surprised by witnesses saying that they have not been contacted. And there has been no public indications of his use of grand juries or other powers, said George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, who thought appointing Huber instead of a special counsel would bring faster results. But that may reflect a priority given to the investigation by Horowitz [because] he had the experience and evidence going into the investigation."
He also noted that Huber may be avoiding overlap with Horowitzs lines of inquiry.
Some witnesses have already given statements to other investigators, and there may be less of a need for re-interviews, Turley added.
However, neither Page nor Ohr has heard from investigators from Horowitzs office, either.
The lack of movement by the inspector general surprises colleagues.
Michael Horowitz assured me last summer he would have additional reports (including regarding the alleged FISA abuses), but theres still no sign of them, former State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard said.
Im disappointed, he added. "I dont know what is holding them up."
Horowitzs office declined comment. But Hubers insisted he is still conducting his inquiry.
"Mr. Huber was asked to evaluate certain issues and report directly to the attorney general and the deputy attorney general, as appropriate, Melodie Rydalch, spokeswoman for the U.S. attorneys office in Salt Lake City, told RCI. "His review is ongoing."
Asked why key figures have gone unquestioned and what areas of investigation he has pursued, she said, "It would be inappropriate for us to comment on the scope or findings of his review.
Rydalch also declined to provide details about the size of Hubers team and budget, though he is said to marshal several senior federal prosecutors.
Hubers appointment came late last year after the chairmen of judiciary committees on the Hill repeatedly called for a second special counsel to investigate Uranium One and alleged surveillance abuses. Sessions said he designated Huber in November 2017 to look into the matters and see if one was necessary.
In a March 29 letter to the GOP congressional leaders, Sessions said he was confident Huber would conduct a full, complete and objective evaluation of these matters. He pointed to his skills as a prosecutor and to his location 2,000 miles from Washington, where he could operate far removed from Beltway politics and conflicts.
But critics say Huber is, in fact, a typical government insider. An Obama holdover who was also very close to Sessions, Huber previously led the attorney general offices national security section in Washington and was the executive assistant attorney general. And some question his chops as a prosecutor, citing several bungled white-collar and public corruption cases that his office opened in Utah, though others are quick to credit Huber with recent reductions in violent crime in the state.
Hes an establishment Justice Department career person, whos not going to take any strong action against what went on at the FBI and Justice, former Justice prosecutor Larry Klayman said.
Toensing noted an inherent conflict in Huber reporting his findings to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who signed one of the warrant renewals for wiretapping Page. Others note that Huber may have a local conflict in the Uranium One matter, since the Russian deal involved uranium mining interests located in his state.
Rod signed one of the FISA applications and is potentially a co-conspirator in the FISA abuse. Why would Huber report anything back to him thats embarrassing on the FISA front? It makes no sense, she said. The whole thing is corrupt and cries out for a special counsel.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton agreed, arguing the FBI and Justice cant be expected to investigate themselves, even with an outside-the-Beltway prosecutor leading the investigation.
Huber was a distraction to ease pressure for a second special counsel, he said, adding that Sessions used sleight of hand in crafting his letter to Congress. Technically, he explained, Huber had a mandate from Sessions only to investigate the investigations, not the underlying allegations.
Huber wasnt tapped to investigate anything, Fitton said. "He was tasked to investigate whether to investigate.
Fitton said he intends to FOIA Justice for the regular updates that Sessions said he was getting from Huber.
Once Democrats take back control of the House, they will have little interest in pressuring Huber to keep them in the loop on what are Obama-era scandals.
That leaves the Senate.
While the Senate Judiciary Committee told RCI it has not received "any updates" from Hubers office or Justice about his work, it plans to continue its oversight as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) takes the gavel from longtime Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in January.
Theres no imminent plan for Huber to testify, said committee spokesman George Hartmann. But Sens. Grassley and Graham have worked closely on oversight issues over the last two years, and I wouldnt expect either of them to forget about it."
Sessions never did actually promise any real investigations with Huber... all that was said was that Huber would "review" some "issues" for Sessions... who is long gone.
IG Horowitz is supposed to come out with further reports, but he can only interview internally within DOJ/FBI. The IG of the Dept.of Justice does not have subpoena powers, or any Grand Jury, ability to take evidence outside of DOJ staff, etc.
Sessions was and is a traitor.
and then there’s this.....
I never had any hope for it at all. I never wasted any time thinking about it. I knew it was Sessions just trying to get Trump off his back.
Also, as “Sundance” points out in a new article discussing the Paul Sperry piece, the Mueller probe has been set up to corral all the dangerous and embarrassing topics within FBI and DOJ so that even IG Horowitz may not be able to say or recommend anything very significant (since he cannot review a lot of the relevant docs while the Mueller farce continues).
Huber is an Obama Appointee from Utah.
His only interest is protecting the Deep State.
Ask yourself why Bruce Ohr still works at the DoJ and where is that McCabe Indictment?
Comey and Mueller hired 90% of the people in those agencies.
Only the Sessions butt kissers believe Huber would work to drain the swamp.
Anyone with half a brain just has to look at Huber’s tweets to know he IS a swamper.
You can trust a bureaucrat to be... a bureaucrat.
Fire him and his entire staff. They have stolen from the American taxpayer. Send in an audit team and if they dont have substantial evidence and progress fire them for fraud.
Here we have DOJ and the FBI telling Congress to stick it and there is not a single appropriation consequence.
Anyone who wants you to believe that republicans in Congress are not FULLY behind this farce is full of it. The conservatives who you see regularly decrying Justice are the ones milking it the most.
All farce and theater by every single Republican, without exception. This, by the way, includes the OMB director and the President.
I’ve gone from hoping that the Rule of Law will assert itself, to hoping that there is at least one person out there, of the millions who have sworn oaths to defend the Constitution from domestic enemies, that actually meant it.
I will no doubt be disappointed on that score as well.
The “rule of law” is now nothing but a tool of oppression by the Deep State. Nothing of consequence will ever come of any of this except actions against Trump and his supporters. Until there is a purge revolution there is no justice within the justice system.
See this article about Sessions and Huber.
“Huber was a distraction to ease pressure for a second special counsel, he said, adding that Sessions used sleight of hand in crafting his letter to Congress. Technically, he explained, Huber had a mandate from Sessions only to investigate the investigations, not the underlying allegations.”
I think Jeff Sessions was so far out of his element that you can blame this whole stinking debacle, starting with the special counsel and the Anti-Trump movement.
Trump gave him plenty of chance to take charge over there and be the AG that most presidents get to have.
I could not understand why the GOP was hesitant to charge ahead with Watergate 2.0 for months until it occurred to me the reason it was going no where is because there were a lot of top level GOP players involved in the coup. Then it all made sense. #FusionCollusion is going nowhere and will never go anywhere because it is being blocked by the GOP, ironically. They had a gold plat4ed gift handed to them on a silver platter and blew it. Usual GOP fashion.
This is all one strange plan, I’ll say.
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