Outspoken Trump critic and former CIA director John Brennan is a likely person of interest, along with James Clapper in Barr’s expanded probe into the origin of the Russian investigation.
The prosecutor conducting the review, Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham, has expressed his interest in interviewing Brennan and Barr, according to Brennan.
Per Politico, President Donald Trump’s obsession with former CIA director John Brennan could be on a collision course with an ongoing Justice Department probe as Attorney General Bill Barr takes a more hands-on approach to examining the intelligence community’s actions in 2016.
Barr has been meeting with the U.S.’ closest foreign intelligence allies in recent months, making repeated overseas trips as part of an investigation he is overseeing into the origins of the Russia probe and whether any inappropriate “spying” occurred on Trump’s campaign.
As part of that investigation, Barr and John Durham, the federal prosecutor he appointed to conduct it, have been probing a conspiracy theory for which there is little if any evidence, according to several people with knowledge of the matter: that a key player in the Russia probe, a professor named Joseph Mifsud, was actually a Western intelligence asset sent to discredit the Trump campaign — and that the CIA, under Brennan, was somehow involved.
Trump, meanwhile, has become “obsessed” with Brennan, who frequently gets under the president’s skin by publicly questioning his mental acuity and fitness for office, according to a former White House official. On Brennan, “it was always, ‘he’s an idiot, he’s a crook, we ought to investigate him,’” this person said, characterizing Trump’s outbursts.
Since the beginning of his presidency, Trump has also repeatedly attacked Brennan publicly, tweeting about the former CIA director more than two dozen times. He’s questioned Brennan’s mental acuity and called him a liar, a leaker and blamed him for having “detailed knowledge of the (phony) Dossier,” a reference to the raw intelligence reports on Trump’s alleged Russia ties by British former MI-6 officer Christopher Steele. He also tried to unilaterally strip Brennan of his security clearance — a process the White House reportedly never went through with — and urged the House to call him in for questioning.
NBC News reports a review launched by Attorney General William Barr into the origins of the Russia investigation has expanded significantly amid concerns about whether the probe has any legal or factual basis, multiple current and former officials told NBC News.
The prosecutor conducting the review, Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham, has expressed his intent to interview a number of current and former intelligence officials involved in examining Russia’s effort to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including former CIA Director John Brennan and former director of national intelligence James Clapper, Brennan told NBC News.
Durham has also requested to talk to CIA analysts involved in the intelligence assessment of Russia’s activities, prompting some of them to hire lawyers, according to three former CIA officials familiar with the matter. And there is tension between the CIA and the Justice Department over what classified documents Durham can examine, two people familiar with the matter said.
With Barr’s approval, Durham has expanded his staff and the timeframe under scrutiny, according to a law enforcement official directly familiar with the matter. And he is now looking into conduct past Donald Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, a Trump administration official said.
Although the probe did not begin as a criminal investigation, Justice Department officials won’t comment on whether it has morphed into one.
When White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney sought Thursday to justify President Donald Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine, he called the Durham review “an ongoing investigation by our Department of Justice into the 2016 election.”
Mulvaney added: “So you’re saying the president of the United States, the chief law enforcement person, cannot ask somebody to cooperate with an ongoing public investigation into wrongdoing?” Mulvaney said.
This article was written by the staff of TheConservativeOpinion.com