John Henry Durham was born on March 16, 1950. From 2018 until 2021 he served as the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut (D.C.).
He was tasked to examine the beginnings of the FBI investigation into Russian intervention in the 2016 U.S. elections by April 2019. In October 2020, he was named special counsel for the Department of Justice on the topic, a post he currently holds.
For 35 years, he worked as an assistant US attorney in various capacities in Washington, D.C. He is well known for his involvement as special prosecutor in the 2005 destruction of CIA interrogation tapes. During that, he opted not to bring any criminal charges in connection with the deletion of torture tapes at a CIA site.
By April 2019, U.S. Attorney General William Barr charged Durham with directing a review of the origins of the Russia investigation and determining if intelligence gathering involving the Trump campaign was “lawful and appropriate.”
Durham’s position as a special counsel was raised by Barr in October, assuring that his inquiry could continue after the Trump administration ended.
Education and early life of Durham
Durham graduated from Colgate University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1972. Then he went to the University of Connecticut, School of Law, and earned Juris Doctorate in 1975. He worked as a VISTA volunteer on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana for two years after college (1975–1977).
Career as a federal prosecutor
Durham joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut as a federal prosecutor. He worked as an attorney and subsequently a supervisor in the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Racketeering Section’s New Haven Field Office from 1982 to 1989.
Durham was the Office’s Criminal Division Chief from 1989 until 1994. He was the Deputy United States Attorney from 1994 to 2008. In 1997 and 1998, he was the acting and temporary United States Attorney.
Durham released secret FBI records in December 2000, persuading a court to overturn Enrico Tameleo, Joseph Salvati, Peter J. Limone, and Louis Greco’s 1968 murder convictions.
It was done on the grounds that they had been framed by the agency. Salvati, Limone, and the families of the two other men who died in jail won a civil judgment against the government for $101.7 million in 2007.
He also supervised a series of high-profile trials in Connecticut. This included former governor John G. Rowland, against the New England Mafia and corrupt politicians.
President Donald Trump nominated Durham to be the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut on November 1, 2017. His nomination was affirmed by a voice vote in the Senate on February 16, 2018, confirmed his nomination. On February 22, 2018, he was sworn in.
On October 19, 2020, Attorney General William Barr quietly appointed Durham Special Counsel. Durham resigned as United States Attorney on February 28, 2021. President Joe Biden urged him to quit as one of the 56 remaining Trump-appointed US attorneys in February 2021. As of September 2021, he is still Special Counsel.
John Durham’s wife
John Durham is married to Susan Durham. Her personal life is kept private. She keeps away from the public eye.