Some Big Dogs in the Witch Hunt against President Trump are finally under the gun by U.S. Attyn. John Durham. The most blatant outspoken critic against President Trump has been John Brennan…let’s see what he has to say to Big Bad John (Durham).
The following is an article, in part, from Jerry Dunleavy of the Washington Times about the investigation.
John Brennan on the Hot Seat by U.S.
Atty. John Durham…Others to Follow
December 20, 2019
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U.S. Attorney John Durham is scrutinizing former CIA Director John Brennan as he seeks answers on the intelligence community’s assessment of Russia’s 2016 meddling.
The federal prosecutor, hand-picked by Attorney General William Barr to lead the inquiry into the origins of the FBI’s Trump-Russia counterintelligence investigation, has asked for Brennan’s electronic communications, phone records, and other documents from the CIA, per a source cited by the New York Times.
Durham wants to know what Brennan thought about British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s dossier and the conversations he had about it, whether it was used in the January 2017 intelligence community's assessment dealing with Russian interference in the race between Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, why former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe insisted upon it being part of the assessment, how allegations from the dossier ended up in the assessment's appendix, and whether Brennan had been misleading in his public statements about the dossier’s use by the intelligence community.
Durham’s scrutiny of Brennan and the dossier is likely connected to new revelations by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz from his investigation into Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse by the Department of Justice and the FBI. Horowitz concluded Steele’s dossier played a " central and essential" role in the bureau’s pursuit of surveillance warrants against Trump campaign associate Carter Page. The DOJ watchdog also found that Comey and McCabe spent weeks pushing for the dossier to be included in the postelection intelligence assessment ordered by President Barack Obama.
Horowitz said the CIA “expressed concern” about using the former MI6 agent’s salacious and unverified allegations, and the allegations ultimately did not make an appearance in the body of the assessment of Russia’s activities during the 2016 election. The inspector general’s report noted that the CIA believed Steele’s dossier “was not completely vetted and did not merit inclusion in the body of the report,” and an FBI agent told Horowitz the CIA dismissed Steele’s allegations as “internet rumor.”
Robert Mueller's two-year special counsel investigation concluded the Russian government interfered in a "sweeping and systematic" fashion but did not uncover any criminal collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.
Brennan said in 2018 that the dossier “did not play any role whatsoever in the intelligence community assessment that was done and that was presented to then-President Obama and then-President-elect Trump.” The former CIA head said, “There were things in that dossier that made me wonder whether they were in fact accurate and true” and that “it was up to the FBI to see whether or not they could verify any of it.”
The FBI, the CIA, and the National Security Agency worked jointly to prepare the 2017 report. Horowitz said, "The FBI first shared Steele's reporting with other U.S. government intelligence agencies in December 2016,” during the drafting process. FBI leaders told the CIA that Steele's information was “reliable." Horowitz said, “Whether and how to present Steele's reporting” in the assessment was “a topic of significant discussion” among the drafters.
Ultimately, Horowitz said the final intelligence report “included a short summary and assessment of the Steele election reporting” in an appendix as a compromise between the bureau and other intelligence agencies, concluding there was "only limited corroboration of the source's reporting” and that Steele's allegations were not used “to reach analytic conclusions.”
Brennan said in late October that “John Durham has a very good reputation” and “I would like to believe that any such review or investigation will be conducted in a professional, fair, and apolitical manner.”
"I look back on it, and I feel good about what it is we did as an intelligence community, and I feel very confident and comfortable with what I did, so I have no qualms whatsoever about talking with investigators who are going to be looking at this in a fair and appropriate manner," he said.
Brennan said Durham's investigation could be justified “if the effort is to try to look back and to ensure that things were done appropriately” but said it would be problematic if it veered into “questioning the analytical assessment that was done and the judgments that came out of it.”