U.S. Attorney John Durham was tasked by Attorney General Bill Barr in 2019 to “investigate the investigators” and uncover the origins of the anti-Trump “Russian collusion” investigation, and though the coronavirus pandemic has brought most things to a screeching halt, it appears that Durham’s probe has continued apace.
Recent reporting suggests that Durham and his team have continued to operate in the Washington, D.C. area and are increasingly focused on the actions and motivations of former CIA Director John Brennan in relation to the broader intelligence community and its assessment of Russian electoral interference in 2016, according to the Washington Examiner.
Focus on Brennan
According to unnamed sources interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Durham is specifically looking into whether Brennan made decisions out of political interest and exerted undue pressure on the rest of the intelligence community to provide support for his assumptions about Russia’s attempts to interfere in U.S. elections.
Durham has reportedly spent the past year quietly interviewing officials at the CIA and in particular at the National Intelligence Council, a part of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that oversees the cooperative work between the various intelligence agencies, such as the 2017 assessment declaring that Russia had sought to interfere in the prior year’s election on behalf of then-candidate Donald Trump.
A majority of the agencies within the intelligence community signed off on the assessment with “high confidence” and thus bolstered the claim that Russia had interfered to help Trump and harm failed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton — however the National Security Agency, then led by Adm. Mike Rogers, expressed only “moderate confidence” that Russia had actively sought to assist Trump against Clinton.
That difference of opinion aside, the 2017 assessment had been seized upon by the anti-Trump media and anti-Trump elements of the federal government, and it ultimately led to the years-long Mueller investigation that eventually concluded there was no real evidence of any sort of “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Revisiting the Steele dossier
That isn’t the only thing Durham is reportedly looking at in regard to Brennan, as the prosecutor is also said to be reviewing the manner in which Brennan handled a secret source said to be close to the Kremlin in Russia and whether that source had any substantial input into the 2017 assessment.
On top of that, Durham is also said to looking closely at Brennan’s possible role in the use of the now-infamous Steele dossier in going after Trump and whether that now-largely debunked dossier was also used to help create the assessment.
Unfortunately, the Journal‘s sources indicated that the purported author of the dossier, former British spy Christopher Steele, has declined to cooperate with Durham’s probe after having earlier cooperated with the lengthy investigation conducted by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz into how the highly questionable Steele dossier was used to deceive the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court into granting a warrant to spy on a member of the Trump campaign.
Meanwhile, Durham and his team are also said to have been speaking with officials within the FBI and National Security Agency to try to get to the bottom of these issues and perhaps more.
Accountability at last?
It has long been surmised by those who have followed closely that Brennan sits at the center of all of the “Spygate” intrigue that was unsuccessfully used to first prevent Trump from taking office and then to try to see him ousted from office, one way or another.
Judging by anonymous reports on the direction and progress of Durham’s investigation of the investigators, it would appear that is the track that he is moving down as well, and we can only hope and pray that he eventually reaches a prosecutable conclusion in the near future.