Go get em Durham, the world is depending on it.
Praying for April Showers.
" John Durham’s inquiry into the origins and conduct of the Trump-Russia investigation is chugging along during the Biden administration, with the special counsel arranging witness interviews and issuing subpoenas in recent months, according to a new report.
President Joe Biden asked all Senate-confirmed U.S. attorneys for their resignations in early February, with Durham being asked to step down as U.S. attorney for Connecticut but to stay on as special counsel. Durham resigned from his federal prosecutor post in late February but continues his investigation of the investigators.
A report from CNN published on Tuesday cited unnamed sources who said that after delays last year, pinned on the coronavirus pandemic, Durham’s investigators “are now arranging witness interviews” and grand jury subpoenas “also were being used to gather documents in recent months.”
During his confirmation hearing in February, now-Attorney General Merrick Garland declined to promise the Senate Judiciary Committee directly that he would protect Durham’s investigation nor make his report public, though he said he didn’t currently have any reason to think it wasn’t the right move to keep the prosecutor from continuing his work.
The new report cited “people briefed on the matter” who said Durham’s investigation was scrutinizing the FBI’s “handling” of British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s discredited anti-Trump dossier as well as the FBI’s “disclosures” to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, where the bureau received a warrant followed by three renewals in 2016 and 2017 targeting former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
The outlet also cited “people briefed on the matter” in reporting that “some witnesses” have been asked about how information from Steele made it to the FBI through Perkins Coie, whose top elections lawyer, Marc Elias, served as general counsel for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, hired the opposition research firm Fusion GPS which then hired Steele, and met with the former MI6 agent in the lead-up to the election.
DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a report in December 2019 that concluded the FBI’s investigation was filled with serious missteps and concealed exculpatory information from the FISA Court. Horowitz criticized the bureau for at least 17 “significant errors and omissions” in its surveillance of Page and for its reliance upon the discredited and Democratic-funded dossier compiled by Steele.
Horowitz said FBI interviews with Steele’s main source, U.S.-based and Russian-trained lawyer Igor Danchenko, “raised significant questions about the reliability of the Steele election reporting." Declassified footnotes showed that the FBI was aware that Steele’s dossier might have been compromised by Russian disinformation.
The new media report also contended that “people briefed on the matter” said that “at least some of the questions on which Durham’s investigators have homed in have to do with the way other FBI officials responded to intelligence gathered before the applications to surveil Page.” Page denied any wrongdoing and was never charged with a crime.
The report said last year Durham had been looking into actions taken by former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan “before apparently moving on and continuing to prod the FBI.” The report said the special counsel was still “looking at early aspects” of the Trump-Russia investigation.
In December 2019, Horowitz concluded that Crossfire Hurricane was “opened for an authorized investigative purpose and with sufficient factual predication.” But Durham, along with former Attorney General William Barr, disagreed with the assertion that the opening of the investigation was justified.
Barr quietly appointed Durham to be special counsel in October after first assigning him to the task in May 2019, providing him extra protections from a new administration seeking to cut short his work. Durham was “authorized to investigate whether any federal official, employee, or any other person or entity violated the law in connection with the intelligence, counterintelligence, or law enforcement activities directed at the 2016 presidential campaigns, individuals associated with those campaigns, and individuals associated with the administration of President Donald J. Trump” as special counsel.
The former attorney general also said that Durham should submit interim reports as he deems appropriate, as well as a final report once he has concluded his investigation so that the public can learn what he has uncovered. The new report by CNN contended that by last summer, Durham rejected efforts pushing him to make public a partial summary of his findings. The report cited “former officials” who said that “Trump’s disappointment over Durham was the beginning of a souring in his relationship with Barr.”
Last week, former President Donald Trump expressed his lingering displeasure with the slow pace of Durham’s inquiry, asking in a statement, “Where’s John Durham? Is he a living, breathing human being? Will there ever be a Durham report?”
The new report said, “It’s still not clear whether Durham is pursuing additional possible criminal matters” beyond the guilty plea from ex-FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who admitted to editing a CIA email in 2017 to state that 2016 Page was “not a source” for the CIA when it had told the bureau on multiple occasions that Page had been an “operational contact” for the agency. Clinesmith was sentenced to probation."
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