The process—as allegations are converted to accusations and possibly substantive charges of criminal activity—has been delayed and hampered, primarily by the effects of the CCP virus pandemic on the convening of, and protocols that pertain to, the conduct of grand jury investigations. The presentation of evidence to a grand jury is followed by deliberations and votes on whether to bring specific criminal charges.
It's noteworthy that The Washington Post, Politico, The Associated Press, CNN, and other mainstream media outlets repeatedly referred to Clinesmith as a “former FBI lawyer" rather than as an FBI senior counsel with access to highly sensitive top-secret materials, thereby apparently seeking to downplay his significance and his role within the agency. That occurred in much the same way that the media initially repeatedly referred to Peter Strzok as a run-of-the-mill “FBI special agent,” and not as a deputy assistant director of the FBI.
Such plea agreements are typically the first step in a cooperation agreement, wherein the FBI first harvests the low-hanging fruit in contemplation of subsequently bringing in higher-value targets.
In prior stints at the DOJ, he was part of the same clique as his FBI predecessor, James Comey, and appears ill-suited to participate in a fair and objective investigation of malfeasance in the office he now inhabits.
In the course of a televised interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Aug. 2, Barr stated that consistent with existing policy, the DOJ wouldn't bring charges “for political reasons.”
However, that doesn't mean charges wouldn't be filed for reasons consistent with criminal activity, regardless of whether there are political consequences. Barr also declined to rule out the filing of an indictment or the bringing of criminal charges prior to the election.
Blitzer’s tone was unusually acrimonious, and may arguably reflect a hostility arising in the mainstream media and Democratic Party, out of fear of the effects of impending charges, concurrent with an effort to discredit the attorney general through a variety of assaults on his credibility.
In this case, Blitzer shifted the focus to Barr's views on mail-in voting, advancing the mainstream media's canard that Republican concerns with potential voter fraud are, in actuality, an attempt at voter suppression.
Astonishingly, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), when interviewed on CNN on Sept. 6, expressly accused the attorney general—several times—of lying to the American people.
Barr had stated in the Blitzer interview that China, when compared with Russia, is a more significant threat to the successful execution of the presidential elections in November. As both countries have an extensive history of meddling in U.S. elections, the issue is one of degree.
Schiff’s exaggeration evidences the extent to which Barr’s opponents must grasp at straws in their attempt to disparage a public servant whose integrity is unimpeachable.
This is the same congressman who repeatedly stated publicly that he had conclusive evidence of collusion between Trump and the Russians, evidence that to date hasn't seen the light of day or been disclosed to the American public.
Evidence that—had it existed—Schiff would no doubt have felt compelled to disclose ahead of the publication and release of the report by special counsel Robert Mueller, who, of course, failed to find any evidence of such a connection.
Schiff’s repeated, and unsubstantiated, attacks on Barr reflect the panic and hostility of the Democratic Party with regard to the expected criminal charges. Schiff and others apparently seek to undermine Barr’s credibility in order to mitigate the impact that the investigations will have upon their conclusion.
Barr’s timing dilemma is significant. Even with a shift to a Democratic administration, charges could still be filed through the end of President Donald Trump’s current term, at which time Barr would no doubt be returning to civilian life, along with Durham and Bash.
However, the likelihood of these charges being prosecuted vigorously by a Democratic attorney general is minimal. While they wouldn't necessarily be dismissed outright, they would rather slowly be left to wither from inattention.