Jake Sullivan's wife, AG Garland counsel, is not connected to Durham investigation, senior DOJ official says

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A senior Justice Department official told Fox News on Friday that National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan’s wife, who currently serves as counsel to Attorney General Merrick Garland, is not connected to the Durham investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation. 

Fox News reported Tuesday that Sullivan is the “foreign policy advisor” referenced in the indictment of former Hillary Clinton presidential campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann, according to two well-placed sources. This is the closest Durham’s probe into the origins of the Russia investigation has come to anyone directly associated with the Biden White House.

However, there is no indication that Sullivan is a target of Durham’s investigation, only that he received information from a campaign lawyer. Durham’s indictments have since revealed that the information Sullivan received about an alleged link between the Trump presidential campaign and a Russian bank, which was fed to the FBI, was false.

The senior DOJ official told Fox News that while Sullivan’s wife, Maggie Goodlander, is currently a counsel to Garland, she has no connection to the Durham investigation, adding that among her portfolio are issues such as antitrust and international matters.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

In light of Sullivan’s newly confirmed connection to a Clinton campaign lawyer, watchdog groups are saying Biden’s national security adviser’s family ties to the Biden administration are troubling.

Goodlander previously clerked for Garland when he was a D.C. Circuit judge. In addition, Sullivan’s brother, Tom, serves as deputy chief of staff for policy at the State Department. Tom’s wife, Rose Sullivan, holds a top position as the acting assistant secretary for legislation in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

“The fact that he has relatives in the agency responsible for overseeing the investigation is very troubling from an oversight and a watchdog perspective and is something that we would recommend and potentially will recommend Congress keep a close eye on and investigate,” nonprofit watchdog America Accountability Foundation founder Matthew Buckham told Fox News. “This is something we always flag, and we don’t want any undue influence from family members in an ongoing investigation.”

In addition, the 44-year-old security adviser is facing bipartisan criticism for the Biden administration’s handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal, which left hundreds of Americans and Afghan allies stranded in a country that was taken over by the Taliban.

Attorney General Merrick Garland testifying before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing examining the Justice Department on Capitol Hill Oct. 27.
(Tasos Katopodis/Pool via AP, File)

“Jake Sullivan led the interagency process that resulted in the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. Now more than ever, our nation needs leaders who are competent and trustworthy,” Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs member Josh Hawley, R-Mo., told Fox News on Friday. “Sullivan has shown himself to be neither and that’s why I’ve been calling for his resignation for months now.”

Brett Bruen, a former director of global engagement under the Obama White House, also called for his dismissal in a USA Today op-ed in August.

“President Biden needs to fire his national security adviser and several other senior leaders who oversaw the botched execution of our withdrawal from Afghanistan,” Bruen wrote.

Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.

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