If Democrats weren’t worried about U.S. Attorney John Durham’s ongoing investigation into the allegedly nefarious origins of the Trump–Russia collusion probe, they should be now.
According to a new report from The New York Times, Durham has turned his attention to the CIA and whether it, under the leadership of John Brennan, “played any role in stoking suspicions at the FBI about Trump campaign links to Russia.”
“Pursuing a theory”
The left had long alleged that President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign team had ties to Russia, but a report months ago from then-special counsel Robert Mueller found nothing to charge the president or any of his associates with in that regard. (Instead, Mueller’s team focused on process crimes to indict Trump aides like Roger Stone.)
Now, Durham is heading a Justice Department probe into whether the people whose actions prompted Mueller’s investigation did anything wrong — and it looks like, at this point, Durham’s sights are set on the CIA.
The Times reports:
Mr. Durham appears to be pursuing a theory that the CIA, under its former director John O. Brennan, had a preconceived notion about Russia or was trying to get to a particular result — and was nefariously trying to keep other agencies from seeing the full picture lest they interfere with that goal.
The Times article, published Thursday, points to “questions asked by Mr. Durham, who was assigned by Attorney General William P. Barr to scrutinize the early actions of law enforcement and intelligence officials struggling to understand the scope of Russia’s scheme,” to suggest that “Durham may have come to view with suspicion several clashes between analysts at different intelligence agencies over who could see each other’s highly sensitive secrets.”
According to the Times, neither Durham nor the CIA were willing to comment.
“It’s kind of silly”
That wasn’t true of Brennan himself, however. Reacting to the Times article on Thursday, Brennan was incredulous at the idea that there would be a “criminal investigation” into “the activities of CIA in terms of trying to protect our national security.”
“It’s kind of silly,” he told MSNBC’s Hardball. “I’m certainly willing to talk to Mr. Durham or anybody else who has any questions about what we did during this period of time in 2016… I have not talked to him yet, I understand that I am on his list to be interviewed.”
Like a true Democrat, the former CIA director then tried to shift the blame to President Trump.
“It clearly, I think, is another indication that Donald Trump is using the Department of Justice to go after his enemies any way that he can,” he said of the development about Durham’s probe. Take a look:
“I think it’s kind of silly … Clearly it’s another indication that Donald Trump is using the DOJ to go after his enemies in any way he can.”@JohnBrennan on the DOJ inquiry into the Russia investigation. #Hardball pic.twitter.com/1NkTIHciJN
— Hardball (@hardball) February 14, 2020
Of course, the truth is that all Trump and those in his administration are doing is weeding out corruption in Washington. And despite what Brennan and company may think, there’s nothing “silly” about that.