WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Justice Department Probe headed up by John Durham into the origins of the now known to be unfounded allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government took a turn recently, with calls for the recusal of Margaret Goodlander – wife of National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan – continue as the investigation has placed a focus on her husband’s previous actions.
Goodlander, who serves as one of Attorney General Merrick Garland’s top advisers, is being pressured to remove herself from Durham’s probe after it was revealed that her spouse was being looked into in connection with collusion allegations, according to The Republic Brief.
“Margaret Goodlander serves as counsel to Garland, who oversees Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation. Garland has oversight of Durham’s budget, the scope of the investigation, and the release of a report Durham is believed to be writing,” the report stated. “Sullivan, who married Goodlander in 2015, has been referenced in Durham’s indictment of a cybersecurity lawyer who worked for the Clinton campaign. While there is no indication that Durham is targeting Sullivan, the national security adviser could be a witness for the investigation given that he was a foreign policy adviser to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.”
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“Durham’s report could also reveal embarrassing details about Sullivan’s work on the campaign to dig up dirt on Donald Trump’s possible links to Russia,” the report continued.
Goodlander currently is not playing any role in the probe, according to the Justice Department; however, there is confusion over whether or not she has recused herself from the investigation, or if it is even within the scope of her general duties. Fox News noted that Goodlander’s day-to-day responsibilities center on advising Garland on antitrust and international issues.
Regardless, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is in favor of any members of the Justice Department that may have even the slightest inkling of a conflicted interest in the probe to officially recuse themselves from it.
“The Justice Department’s standing guidance calls for employees to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest, especially when it comes to ongoing criminal investigations,” Grassley said. “It’s in Garland’s best interest—and he’s obligated—to be transparent about whether his department is walling off officials who have a real or even perceived conflict, just as prior administrations have done.”