WASHINGTON — U.S. Attorney John Durham, the top federal prosecutor in Connecticut, announced Friday he will resign from his role at the U.S. Attorney’s Office effective at midnight on February 28.
However, the 70-year-old will remain as a special counsel to oversee the Justice Department’s investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, a special investigation covering Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Durham rose to prominence as a special investigator in several high-profile matters including the Whitey Bulger case, an investigation into CIA torture techniques, as well as the destruction of interrogation tapes.
“My career has been as fulfilling as I ever could have imagined when I graduated from law school way back in 1975,” Durham said.
“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.” he added.
Durham, in a similar fashion to around two dozen U.S. Attorneys under former president Trump, was asked to turn in his resignation earlier this month as the Biden administration moves to select its own nominees.
In July of 2016, the FBI began their investigation into allegations of Trump collaborating with various figures in Russia to influence the outcome of the presidential election. The probe would be transferred to Robert Mueller nearly a year later, with the former FBI director ultimately failing to find sufficient evidence to charge Trump or his associates with conspiring with Russia.
Redacted report findings concluded that “complicit behavior” occurred between Trump and Russia, stopping short of direct collusion.
Trump and his associates have been openly critical of the report, with Trump denouncing it as a ‘witch hunt.’ Critics of the investigation have stated that the FBI made significant errors throughout, and Trump himself claimed the Mueller report ‘fully exonerated’ him, however, Mueller testified otherwise.
An inspector general’s report verified claims of errors but did not find that they were driven by partisan bias.
Durham’s investigation, as described by William Barr, is “focused on the activities of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation within the FBI.”
Durham’s investigation has returned one conviction as of February, for an FBI lawyer charged with altering an important DOJ email. The attorney was sentenced to probation last month.