MSNBC, CNN, ABC and more pan ‘asinine’ Durham probe after Sussmann verdict: ‘A flop’
Left-leaning media personalities, reporters and guests of MSNBC, CNN, CBS, ABC and The Washington Post gloated after Michael Sussmann was acquitted, and cast doubt on the Justice Department-backed Durham probe into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation.
On Tuesday, Sussmann, a former Hillary Clinton lawyer, was found not guilty of a charge brought by Special Prosecutor John Durham, who believed Sussmann made a false statement to the FBI. The false statement allegedly occurred about presenting information about possible communications between the Trump Organization and Russia’s Alfa Bank.
The same day as the verdict, an opinion piece in The Washington Post by Paul Waldman and Greg Sargent called Durham’s case “a flop” and the latest in a string of “Trump coverup failures.” The piece also described Trump’s goal of erasing the “enormous significance” and “depravity” of the Russiagate scandal as “decidedly unfulfilled.”
The reactions on cable news were decidedly definitive in their assertions that Durham’s investigation was of little significance.
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A jury on Tuesday found Michael Sussmann not guilty of making a false statement to the FBI.
(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
During an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” frequent guest and lawyer George Conway described the investigation as “ridiculous” and “a joke.” He added that he hoped the probe by Durham was “headed into the trashcan.”
Just moments earlier, co-host Joe Scarborough also described the investigation as “a joke” and as an “asinine” investigation that needed to be shut down.
“This investigation of the investigators is much ado about nothing” Scarborough added.
MSNBC primetime hosts Joy Reid, Chris Hayes and Ayman Mohyeldin all weighed in on the Sussmann verdict.
Reid described the acquittal as “another Republican obsession” that had come “crashing down,” while Hayes attempted to draw a distinction between the fruits of the Mueller investigation, and Durham’s probe.
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Special counsel Robert Mueller speaks at the Department of Justice in Washington, about the Russia investigation.
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
“Now never mind the Mueller report produces this huge report, obstruction, obtains multiple convictions before multiple juries, gets plea deals etcetera, right?” Hayes said, attempting not to laugh. “[The Durham Probe] has now gone on for three years and like it really looks like bubkis.”
Mohyeldin meanwhile described the case as Durham’s moment in court that he “he lost, badly.” The MSNBC Prime host, a rebranded show that has taken over the slot for Rachel Maddow most nights during the week, also read off a statement from a juror describing the case as a waste of time.
CBS Mornings also briefly discusses the case, with “headlines” describing it as “clear setback” for Durham and Trump supporters who hoped the trial would expose bias against Republicans in law enforcement.
ABC News similarly discussed the possible implications for Trump and his circle.
“They’ve been hoping that Durham would uncover some explosive revelations to back that up. Three years later, that still hasn’t happened,” chief justice correspondent Pierre Thomas said.
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Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally on May 28, 2022, in Casper, Wyoming, in support Harriet Hageman, Rep. Liz Cheney’s primary challenger.
(Chet Strange/Getty Images)
CNN’s Don Lemon also harped on the length of time the investigation has been underway.
“This was the first trial in the Durham investigation, which has gone on now as I’ve said for three years, its cost millions of dollars, and what do they have to show for it?” Lemon asked senior legal analyst Preet Bharara.
“Well, not much,” Bharara replied.
John Avlon was perhaps the most enthusiastic about Sussmann’s acquittal. The CNN host announced the verdict on “Reality Check,” as he grinned.
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“Yesterday the hammer was supposed to finally come down. I’m talking of course about the much-hyped, long awaited verdict in the Durham investigation,” Avlon said. “But instead, it was time to cue the sad trombone soundtrack.”