Federal Law Enforcement

The Durham Investigation Is Not About the Steele Dossier

By Robert S. Litt
Thursday, January 17, 2019, 5:20 PM

letter this week from two Republican House members to John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, revealed that the lawyer for former FBI General Counsel James Baker had said that Baker could not answer certain questions during his congressional testimony because Baker was the subject of a criminal investigation into leaks being conducted by Durham. Some have suggested that the investigation is related to the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 election, or specifically to the so-called Steele dossier. 

Let’s put that speculation to rest. Durham’s investigation had nothing to do with the Russia investigation or the Steele dossier. I have first-hand knowledge of this because, in my former capacity as general counsel to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, I was interviewed by Durham as part of that investigation. I’m not at liberty to disclose what Durham was investigating, but it concerned events that occurred long before the 2016 election and were unrelated to Russia or the dossier. Others have reported that Durham has cleared Baker; I have no personal knowledge of that. But I have known Baker for over 20 years. He is a fine lawyer with a punctilious regard for the requirements of the law and a long record of outstanding government service. He doesn’t deserve to have his reputation besmirched by false insinuations made for partisan purposes.