FILE – In this April 25, 2006, file photo, John Durham speaks to reporters on the steps of U.S. District Court in New Haven, Conn. On Monday, Aug. 24, 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder is assigned prosecutor John Durham to investigate CIA mistreatment of terror suspects. (AP Photo/Bob Child, File)
In October, NBC broke the story that U.S. Attorney John Durham’s inquiry into the origins of the Trump/Russia collusion probe had shifted into a criminal investigation. They reported that Durham had increased the size of his staff and pushed out his timeframe. Additionally, he was planning to interview former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper along with other current and former intelligence community officials.
John Brennan told NBC at the time that Durham’s investigation was “bizarre” and said, “I don’t know what the legal basis for this is.” That’s funny, because in reality, if there had been no John Brennan, there may never have been a Trump/Russia collusion probe. That is to say Brennan may have instigated the whole affair. He didn’t have to twist many arms to bring others on board, but it was his obsessive fear that Donald Trump might win the presidency, his exhaustive search for “dirt” on Trump and his insistence that the FBI open a counterintelligence investigation that put the ball in motion.
In the spring of 2018, a couple of months after then-Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) released his well-known “Nunes memo” and we were just starting to gain a basic understanding of what the Democrats had done, the American Spectator’s George Neumayr wrote an article entitled, “John Brennan’s CIA operated like a branch office of the Hillary campaign.” Neumayr called the Trump/Russia investigation “the probe from nowhere to nowhere, undertaken simply to satisfy the partisan hunches of John Brennan and other Trump haters in the Obama administration.”
Neumayr wrote that, based upon Brennan’s testimony and his leaks, he started pushing the FBI to open an investigation in the spring of 2016. Brennan would present the FBI with what he called evidence and he would “shake down” foreign intelligence officials looking for anything to hang on Trump. He would then present the information to then-FBI official Peter Strzok and other government officials. Strzok, as much as he hated Trump, famously told his paramour, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, that “there’s no there there.”
Fast forward to December 19, 2019. The New York Times reported they’d learned from their source that Durham had requested Brennan’s communications (call records, emails, and text messages) from the CIA. Also, it was said the Durham team would be scrutinizing transcripts of Brennan’s testimony before Congress.
Durham was especially interested in examining the roles of the agencies which contributed to the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA), their source had informed them. This would include the FBI, the CIA and the National Security Agency. The report concludes that the Russians had meddled in the 2016 U.S. election and “aspired to help” Trump win the race.
Since the Times’ report was published, calls for the resignations of both Durham and Attorney General William Barr have been growing among the ranks of the liberal elites who feel the vice tightening. On Friday, Politico published an article describing the reaction from the intelligence community. Here is an excerpt:
Intelligence community veterans say the Durham probe could force Haspel to choose between protecting her agency from Trump’s wrath and bowing to Barr’s wishes; they point to FBI chief Chris Wray, who has found himself at odds with the president in recent weeks over a watchdog report about the bureau’s conduct in the Russia probe.
And they say the Barr-Durham probe represents overreach by an attorney general who seems to have already made up his mind and is bent on imposing his own skeptical view of the Russia investigation on the intelligence community…
“It is unprecedented and inappropriate to do this via Justice department prosecutors who will tend to apply the standards of a courtroom to the more nuanced, and often more challenging world of intelligence analysis,” said John McLaughlin, who served as both deputy director and acting director of the CIA from 2000-2004…
“I find this troubling and I suspect many inside the intelligence community do as well,” [CIA veteran John] Sipher said, specifically pointing to the CIA’s Brennan records review. The inquiry “was initiated and sold in a partisan manner and this news only highlights that concern,” he said.
Let’s take a look at who these two fellows are. John McLaughlin, a former CIA Deputy Director, made headlines a month ago for saying “Thank God for the deep state” during a conversation about impeaching President Trump.
John Sipher is equally partisan. Below are several of his recent tweets which will tell you everything you need to know about him. (Via John Sexton, Hot Air)
If Republican politicians are too cowardly to admit the obvious, maybe we should rethink the primary process. It just encourages extremists. https://t.co/LwXNQSGqii?
— John Sipher (@john_sipher) December 22, 2019
You ought to find some new high level sources. You old ones lied. https://t.co/ZbLfVW3LWL
— John Sipher (@john_sipher) December 9, 2019
And this little gem from Sean Davis at the Federalist.
As John Durham gets closer and closer to the truth, calls for his resignation will increase. So will the insults hurled at him by the left.
Durham has been criticized for disagreeing with several of Inspector General Michael Horowitz’ conclusions.
Vanity Fair’s Abigail Tracey wrote an article entitled, “It Is Not What the Department of Justice Does: Barr and Durham Go Rogue on the Inspector General’s Report.” Tracey asks, “Why did the attorney general and his handpicked prosecutor undermine the findings of his own investigation?”
Because Ms. Tracey, the IG focused on only a small part of the story, that being the FBI’s abuse of the FISA application process. The magnitude of wrongdoing during the Obama administration was far greater than anyone could have guessed and it needs to be scrutinized. Those responsible need to be held accountable so history doesn’t repeat itself. America’s most highly respected and influential institutions were politicized and used to do Obama’s – and Hillary Clinton’s – bidding. Officials at the highest levels of the DOJ, the FBI, the CIA and possibly the State Department, abused their powers to fabricate a case against Donald Trump because they wanted to marginalize him. Unfortunately for them, Hillary lost the race and America is slowly learning the truth.
As for John Brennan, as I wrote in a post last week, his office may very well turn out to be ground zero in the Trump/Russia collusion story.