Nora Dannehy, a top aide to Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham, resigned on Thursday from the Justice Department amid mounting pressure from President Donald Trump and his attorney general to release Durham’s probe into the origins of the Russia investigation –  which is looking into how United States intelligence agencies pursued allegations of Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Attorney General William Barr expected the release of an interim report from Durham before the official investigation came to completion, a highly unusual step.

In recent interviews, Trump has expressed impatience with the Durham probe, claiming that it should be producing more prosecutions and information that would be potentially damaging to his political opponents. The Trump Administration, primarily Barr, is pushing to have the report released before the November election. This sense of urgency to release this account before the work is completed, coupled with the political motivation behind such a push, eventually pressured Dannehy into resigning. The Hartford Courant reported that Dannehy resigned via email on Thursday evening, with Friday as her last official day working for the Justice Department.

Dannehy, a veteran prosecutor, has played a major role in the Connecticut legal system. She first joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1991, but left in 2010 to become Connecticut’s deputy attorney general and afterwards served as the top compliance officer for United Technologies Corp., an aviation and aerospace conglomerate. However, in 2019, she returned to the Justice Department after being persuaded by Durham, and joined his team in Washington only weeks later. 

Colleagues of Dannehy indicate that she is not a supporter of Trump and has become increasingly concerned in the past weeks due to immense pressure from Barr to rapidly produce the results that were not ready for publication. They reported that she had been considering resigning for weeks, not wanting to abandon Durham but uncomfortable with the political reality of the situation. Ultimately, Dannehy cut ties with the Justice Department and the Trump Administration altogether.

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