According to a new report from the Washington Examiner, U.S. Attorney John Durham is interviewing Navy Adm. Mike Rogers as part of the Connecticut-based prosecutor’s ongoing criminal investigation into alleged wrongdoing in the infamous Trump–Russia collusion probe.
Rogers, who served as head of the National Security Agency (NSA) until his retirement in 2018, according to Politico, has spoken of abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in the past; in 2016, Rogers brought to the FISA court’s attention an NSA inspector general’s report revealing the agency had violated FISA laws in its handling of data mined from the internet relating to American citizens, according to the Examiner.
The NSA subsequently changed its method of operation, something that Rogers testified about before the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2017.
“[I felt] that in doing this we were going to lose some intelligence value, but my concern was I just felt it was important — we needed to be able to show that we are fully compliant with the law,” he told the Senate at the time, according to the Examiner.
Rogers forges his own path
Rogers again made headlines in 2018 when he broke with other intelligence officials by not objecting to the revocation of former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance, according to The Washington Times.
The White House announced in August 2018 that Brennan was being stripped of his clearance for making “unfounded and outrageous” claims about the Trump administration, Reuters reported.
“Mr. Brennan has recently leveraged his status as a former high-ranking official with access to highly sensitive information to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations — wild outbursts on the internet and television — about this administration,” President Donald Trump said in a statement at the time.
Durham pushes forward
How big of a role Rogers will play in Durham’s investigation likely won’t be clear for some time. Attorney General Bill Barr has predicted that Durham probably won’t wrap up his investigation until the spring of 2020 at the earliest.
The Justice Department head made that statement in an interview earlier this month with NBC’s Pete Williams, where Barr also talked about the focus of Durham’s work and his belief that the entire Trump–Russia probe was improperly predicated.
“He’s looking at the issue of how it got started,” Barr said of Durham. “He’s looking at whether or not the narrative of Trump being involved in the Russian interference actually preceded July and was in fact the precipitating trigger for the investigation, and he’s also looking at the conduct of the investigation.”
Barr went on to say that the case against then-president-elect Trump “collapsed after the election, and they never told the court.”
“And they kept on getting renewals on the applications,” Barr lamented, according to ABC News. “There were documents falsified in order to get the renewals. There was all kinds of withholding of information from the court. And the question really is: What was the agenda after the election that kept them pressing ahead after their case collapsed?”