U.S. Attorney John Durham, who has been probing the origins of the Obama administration’s Russia collusion investigation for over a year, just brought in former CIA director John Brennan for eight hours of questioning — a major move as the investigation comes to a close.
After the lengthy interview concluded on Friday, Brennan’s spokesperson claimed that Durham is not targeting the former intelligence chief as part of his criminal investigation.
Durham probe heats up
Attorney General Bill Barr indicated this month that major developments in the Durham probe would be forthcoming in the next several weeks. Durham has already pursued one criminal indictment stemming from his investigation, that of ex-FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who pled guilty to making false statements last week.
Brennan — a far bigger fish than Clinesmith — was deeply involved in many aspects of the Obama administration’s surveillance of the Trump campaign.
Brennan was not only involved in the 2017 intelligence community assessment that claimed Russia had interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump, but he was also present during key events, such as a January 2017 Oval Office meeting where then-President Obama, then-Vice President Joe Biden, and then-National Security Advisor Susan Rice discussed an FBI investigation into Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser.
Brennan was also present right before a meeting where then-FBI Director James Comey briefed incoming President Trump on the unverified “pee dossier” paid for by Democrats and the Hillary Clinton campaign. That briefing was used as part of the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign and provided a news hook for CNN’s disclosure of the dossier and Buzzfeed’s publishing of it.
Trump supporters have long clamored for Brennan to be indicted for his role in accelerating the now-debunked investigation into the Trump campaign. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in May that Brennan “has the most to answer” of all of the Obama officials involved in the Russia collusion hoax.
According to reports, Brennan willingly agreed to the interview, claiming that he has nothing to hide. Durham himself has not issued a statement about the results of the lengthy interview as of yet.
Immediately after the interview presumably ended, Brennan spokesman Nick Shapiro issued a statement attempting to calm rumors that Brennan may be facing an imminent indictment.
“Earlier today Brennan was informed by Mr. Durham that he is not a subject or a target of a criminal investigation and that he is only a witness to events that are under review,” said Shapiro.
Brennan, who has become one of Trump’s most openly vocal critics, managed to take a swipe at Trump once again through Shapiro’s statement.
“Brennan also told Mr. Durham that the repeated efforts of Donald Trump and William Barr to politicize Mr. Durham’s work have been appalling and have tarnished the independence and integrity of the Department of Justice, making it very difficult for Department of Justice professionals to carry out their responsibilities,” Shapiro’s statement continued.
“It is Brennan’s fervent hope that the results of the Durham review will be apolitical and not influenced by personal or partisan agendas,” said the spokesman of the Obama administration official that used his office to launch a politicially-motivated investigation into the incoming administration.