Bill Barr’s criminal review of the Trump–Russia collusion probe’s origins may have two senators “very, very concerned,” Joe diGenova said.
DiGenova, a former prosecutor and Donald Trump ally, claimed that Barr-appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham is looking into what role Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Richard Burr (R-NC) may have played in leaks pertaining to 2016 Trump campaign team member Carter Page, the Washington Examiner reported Wednesday.
The Trump booster also suggested that pressure from Durham and Trump’s temporary intelligence director, Ric Grenell, may have played a role in Burr’s endorsement of Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) to succeed Grenell.
“I…think that Burr and Warner are very, very concerned about where the Durham probe is going in looking into activities of those two senators with various lawyers and nonlawyers, including journalists, in the run-up to the leaking of the Carter Page affidavit,” diGenova told WMAL’s Mornings on the Mall on Monday, according to the Examiner. “We shall see.”
Fearful of Durham probe?
To the alarm of Democrats and the media, President Trump has repeatedly tried to fill the top intelligence community post, Director of National Intelligence (DNI), with perceived “loyalists” in an attempt to “clean house” of rogue intelligence agents. The left panicked when Trump picked Grenell, his ambassador to Germany, to serve as acting DNI, and then nominated Ratcliffe, another Trump loyalist, to replace Grenell permanently, as NBC News reported.
For his part, diGenova noted that Burr, who prompted a backlash from Trump allies with a subpoena for Donald Trump Jr. last year, did not support Ratcliffe when Trump first floated him, unsuccessfully, for the post last year. He suggested that Burr, a “dicey” Republican, had a change of heart because both he and Warner are “frightened, absolutely frightened” of Grenell, who he called a “serious bureaucratic infighter who knows how to fire people.”
But diGenova went further, claiming that the senators are “very concerned” that Durham is looking into them in relation to the case of James Wolfe, a former Senate Intelligence Committee aide who pleaded guilty to lying about leaks to the media having to do with Page. Burr, Warner, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) asked a judge to show leniency to Wolfe, who served two months in jail after cutting a plea deal, according to Politico. (Prosecutors had recommended two years.)
“Jim has already lost much through these events, to include his career and reputation, and we do not believe there is any public utility in depriving him of his freedom,” the three senators wrote in a letter at the time, Politico reported.
Trump cornering the Swamp?
The Justice Department’s internal watchdog slammed the FBI last year for repeatedly lying to justify spying on Page, who was surveilled as part of the FBI’s counter-intelligence probe of the Trump campaign. The abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) uncovered by the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General was just one element of a “coup” targeting Donald Trump by rogue intelligence agents, according to Trump and his allies.
Durham’s probe, which evolved into a criminal investigation last year, is looking into whether similar political malfeasance played a role in the origins of the Trump–Russia investigation. Barr has himself kept a distance from Durham’s work, which he has said will take “quite a few months” to complete, Politico reported.
Meanwhile, Trump’s allies have long held out hope that Durham’s investigation will end with a reckoning for alleged “coup” plotters in law enforcement and U.S. intelligence, particularly James Comey, Andrew McCabe, and former CIA chief John Brennan.
But such accountability has proven elusive. McCabe’s criminal case for lying about leaks was dropped last month, just days after Trump’s DOJ moved to lighten Trump confidante Roger Stone’s recommended nine-year punishment for obstruction crimes. Trump, for his part, has repeatedly complained that the justice system is biased in favor of “Swamp” insiders, like Wolfe and McCabe, and hostile to members of his inner circle, like Stone.
…And a swamp creature with “pull” was just sentenced to two months in jail for a similar thing that they want Stone to serve 9 years for. A phony Mueller Witch Hunt disgrace. Caught! https://t.co/6baxv3Lvuk
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2020
But between Durham’s probe and Ratcliffe’s appointment, Trump finally has the “Swamp” cornered, and Ratcliffe will soon be confirmed.
“I think they’ve accepted John Ratcliffe because they have no choice. Because the president will continue to name acting directors that Mr. Burr may not like,” diGenova said Monday. “This is the beginning of a massive house cleaning. Trump needs a second term, and then the Deep State is gonna really get some guillotines.”