Who is He?
John Henry Durham was born on March 16, 1950, in Boston, Massachusetts. He is 72 years old and has previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney in various positions in D.C. for 35 years.
He is married with 4 sons, 2 of whom are also prosecutors.
Listen to a rare lecture given by Durham at the University of St Joseph in West Hartford on March 5, 2018. Scroll to the bottom of the page on the link to hear the complete audio. The speech starts at around the 9-minute mark.
Credentials and experience
Durham earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University, a liberal arts college in Hamilton, New York in 1972, and a Juris Doctor, or Doctor of Law from the University of Connecticut School of Law in Hartford, Connecticut in 1975. He volunteered for two years (1975–1977) on the Crow Indian Reservation in southern Montana. From 1977 to 1978, he served as Deputy Assistant State's Attorney in Connecticut as a prosecutor. From 1978 to 1982, Durham served as Assistant State's Attorney in New Haven.
Following those five years as a state prosecutor, Durham became a federal prosecutor, joining the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Connecticut. From 1982 to 1989, he served as an attorney and then a supervisor in the New Haven Field Office of the Boston Strike Force in the Justice Department's Organized Crime and Racketeering Section. From 1989 to 1994, he served as Chief of the Office's Criminal Division. From 1994 to 2008, he served as the Deputy U.S. Attorney and served as the acting U.S. Attorney in 1997 and 1998.
The James “Whitey” Bulger Case
I grew up hearing about the gangster “Whitey” Bulger and for years was under the impression that Durham was on the prosecution team that took Bulger to trial. John Durham was not a part of Whitey Bulger’s actual trial. He investigated and prosecuted the corrupt FBI agents connected to Bulger during the time he was an informant. This took place years before the trial of Bulger. Let me explain.
First, let’s look at some background on Whitey Bulger and where he came from.
He grew up in poverty in the housing projects of Boston. By the age of 14, he had joined a street gang known as the "Shamrocks" and was eventually arrested for assault, forgery, and armed robbery and was sentenced to a juvenile reformatory. After being released in 1948 he joined the Air Force. Bulger spent time in military prison for assaults and was arrested in 1950 for going AWOL (absent without leave). By 1952 he was given an honorable discharge. He was a lifelong criminal and in 1956 did his first stint in a federal penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia for armed robbery and truck hijacking. This is where his story gets really interesting.
He told a story to one of his mobster friends that he was used as a human subject in the CIA-sponsored MK-ULTRA program while in prison. He was told the goal was to help find a cure for schizophrenia but was actually to research mind control drugs for the CIA. For months, Bulger and eighteen other inmates who volunteered in return for reduced sentences were given LSD and other drugs. These facts were later confirmed as the documents of the CIA experiments came to light. He would later be transferred to Alcatraz then on to Leavenworth and eventually to Lewisburg penitentiaries. Granted parole in 1965, he continued his life of crime becoming a loan shark and member of a mob family in Boston, then on to eventually becoming the head of the Winter Hill Gang.
Bulger was an FBI informant from 1979 to 1990 during his years of mob activity and was given immunity by the FBI. FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr. nicknamed “Zip”, was tasked with the job of being Bulger’s “handler”. He was one of the FBI's former top organized crime investigators working in the Boston office. Connolly and Bulger had a prior connection though. They lived in the same Boston housing projects as kids, just a few doors away from each other, and had grown up together. He would soon be corrupted and protect Bulger from the prosecution of many crimes. Connolly tipped him off that he was going to be indicted and that’s when Bulger went on the run. He was on the run and evaded arrest for 16 years and was on the FBI’s most-wanted list for the murder of 19 people and various other crimes. Bulger evaded prosecution for his crimes for a total of 46 years.
He was finally convicted on 31 counts including 11 murders, federal racketeering, extortion, and conspiracy. In 2018, shortly after being transferred to a penitentiary at Hazleton, West Virginia, he was beaten to death by fellow inmates at the age of 82.
Interesting facts to note:
FBI Director at the time of Whitey Bulger’s trial was none other than Robert Mueller. He was listed as a defense witness for Bulger. Mueller happened to be a state prosecutor in Boston in the ‘80s during Bulger’s informant days.
Judge Richard Stearns was the presiding judge over the trial. He had been a federal prosecutor in Boston in the 80s.
In 1999, amid allegations that FBI informants James "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi, had corrupted their handlers, US Attorney General Janet Reno named John Durham special prosecutor. He oversaw a task force of FBI agents brought in from other offices to investigate the Boston office's handling of informants. Bulger and Flemmi were believed to be using a small number of agents in the Boston FBI office to eliminate their competition for the area rackets and win protection from prosecution from other agencies.
In 2002, Durham helped secure the conviction of retired FBI agent Connolly. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison on federal racketeering charges for protecting Bulger and Flemmi from prosecution and warning Bulger to flee just before his 1995 indictment. Boston Herald's headline, after Connolly was convicted, said simply, "Zip Zapped." In 2008 he was charged with providing information to Flemmi and Bulger that led to the 1982 murder in Miami of jai alai executive John Callahan. Connolly received a 40-year prison sentence in Florida. He was released on parole from prison in February 2021 on medical grounds.
Durham's task force also gathered evidence against retired FBI agent H. Paul Rico who was indicted in Oklahoma on state charges that he helped Bulger and Flemmi kill a Tulsa businessman in 1981. Rico died in 2004 before the case went to trial.
He continued his investigations into FBI corruption and in December 2000, Durham revealed secret FBI documents that convinced a judge to overturn the 1968 murder convictions of Enrico Tameleo, Joseph Salvati, Peter J. Limone, and Louis Greco because they had been framed by the agency. In 2007, the documents helped Salvati, Limone, and the families of the two other men, who had died in prison, win a $101.7 million civil judgment against the government.
Durham wasn’t just looking at FBI corruption though. He is known for his role as a special prosecutor in the 2005 destruction of interrogation tapes created by the CIA. He decided not to file any criminal charges related to the destruction of tapes of torture at a CIA facility.
From 2008 to 2012, Durham served as the acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. In 2008, Durham led an inquiry into allegations that FBI agents and Boston Police had ties with the mafia. He also led a series of high-profile prosecutions in Connecticut against the New England Mafia and corrupt politicians, including former governor John G. Rowland.
In 2017 President Trump Nominated John Durham to be Connecticut’s next U.S. attorney.
The week prior, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions had appointed Durham to replace outgoing U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly, whose final day in office was Friday, Nov 1, 2017.
By April 2019, he had been assigned to investigate the origins of the FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. U.S. Attorney General William Barr had tasked Durham with overseeing a review of the Russia investigation's origins and determining if intelligence collection involving the Trump campaign was "lawful and appropriate". Barr disclosed in December 2020 that he had elevated Durham's status to special counsel in October, ensuring that his investigation could continue after the Trump administration ended.
Durham resigned as U.S. Attorney effective February 28, 2021. He was one of 56 remaining Trump-appointed U.S. Attorneys President Joe Biden asked to resign in February 2021. He remains Special Counsel as of today.
Michael Sussman is an attorney in the Law Firm of Perkins Coie and Hillary Clinton’s former campaign lawyer.
Durham recently indicted Sussman for lying to the FBI. The latest trial has ended and the jury has found Michael Sussman not guilty. Former FBI counsel James Baker testified against Sussman who, in a meeting stated he was not acting on behalf of any client when providing thumb drives which showed “..an apparent surreptitious communications channel between Alfa-Bank, which he described as being connected to the Kremlin in Russia, and some part of the Trump Organization in the US.” Robbie Mook went on record when he told the court that Hillary Clinton had personally signed off on the Alfa Bank hoax.
On one hand, the reaction to the Sussman verdict by many on social media has me worried about the fortitude and conviction of our brothers and sisters in this fight to take back our country. Surely we are smarter than this. I read post after post about how Durham is deep-state, he worked 5 years and couldn’t even get a conviction on someone lying to the FBI, nothing will ever come of any of this, blah blah blah, ad nauseam. If we are this easily deflated, we are in serious trouble. However, some of us are thinking much deeper than what appears on the surface of this trial and are optimistic about the end game. The corruption in our government didn’t happen overnight and it won’t be fixed overnight. We will have setbacks, but as the MAGA movement we soldier on. America is worth it.
So, from digging into Durham’s history we can see that he has spent the majority of his career investigating fraud and crimes committed by crooked FBI and CIA agents. Am I the only one seeing a pattern here? I don’t think for a minute that Durham spent all of that time looking for just a conviction of a lawyer lying to the FBI. I believe this is only opening the door to much bigger targets. Durham’s focus for his entire career has been to uncover these criminals within our 3 letter agencies and prosecute them. I can’t wait to see who else is on his radar. He’s laying a foundation for the prosecution of corruption even if he is not the one who gets to see it to its end. I predict we will see that the corruption in our country is centered on the DNC itself and all the players are part of that corrupt organization.
New details about the FBI and the DNC have just come to light. An FBI whistleblower has just come forward to inform Rep. Jim Jordan and Rep. Matt Gaetz that the FBI maintains a workspace inside the law firm of Perkins Coie in their Washington D.C. office and has done so since 2012. This means access to FBI database searches exists inside the office of the DNC and Clinton’s law firm. Folks, this is a big deal.
Brian Cates is in the process of writing up a story on that so I will defer to him and will try to refrain from butchering it here.