OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Though most of Donald Trump’s supporters have written off the investigation into the origins of the FBI’s phony ‘Russian collusion’ investigation of his 2016 campaign, special prosecutor John Durham has been continuing his probe, which is now entering its final phase.
Whether or not anyone is going to be charged for lying to Congress about the faulty premise of the investigation or to federal judges who heard requests for surveillance warrants remains to be seen.
But according to Just the News’ John Solomon, Durham’s been plugging away diligently behind the scenes.
In fact, according to testimony last week from FBI Director Christopher Wray, further disciplinary actions against some FBI and Justice Department officials may even have been delayed at Durham’s request so he could continue his investigation.
All expectations were that Durham would wrap up his probe with final indictments and/or a report last fall after a plea deal was reached with former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who admitted he falsified a document submitted to substantiate an application for a surveillance warrant targeting the Trump campaign.
But FBI Director Chris Wray revealed Tuesday that the entire process — including the bureau’s ability to discipline agents involved in the Russia case — was slowed down at Durham’s request because of continuing concerns about potential criminality.
“Because we are cooperating fully with Mr. Durham’s investigation, at his request we had slowed that process down to allow his criminal investigation to proceed,” Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“So at the moment, that process is still underway in order to make sure we are being appropriately sensitive to the criminal investigation,” Wray added.
Those comments to the Senate committee indicating that additional crimes are being examined dovetails with comments last year from then-Attorney General William Barr when he upgraded Durham’s status to the special prosecutor and then expanded his investigative team.
According to Solomon, sources have said Durham is now focused “on whether FBI executives knowingly and unlawfully misled the FISA court and Congress by withholding exculpatory evidence, extending an investigation without justification and creating the illusion there was evidence of Russian collusion when most had been debunked or dismissed,” he wrote.
Sources told Solomon that a former senior FBI official appears to have been turning ‘states evidence’ and is cooperating with Durham’s investigators.
The former senior FBI officials are providing, among other things, the context behind the decisions made by bureau leaders and field agents regarding critically important matters like what to tell lawmakers performing oversight, the courts, and Justice Department attorneys regarding the flawed and unsubstantiated claims of Russian collusion.
Thanks to Trump’s declassification of troves of documents, this is what we now know about the collusion probe, per Solomon:
- The FBI and President Barack Obama were warned in summer 2016 — well before the first FISA warrant was issued — that Hillary Clinton might be concocting a bogus Russia collusion scandal to “vilify” Trump and distract from her own email scandal.
- The FBI was warned repeatedly that informal Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page had been a longtime CIA asset who assisted the U.S. on Russia matters.
- Both Page and George Papadopoulos had been recorded by an FBI informant wearing a wire denying all the key allegations against them.
- A spreadsheet analyzing Christopher Steele’s dossier found most of his collusion allegations had been debunked, could not be corroborated, were found to be internet rumor or were disavowed by his primary sub-source.
- Steele had been paid by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign for his Russia collusion work and harbored a desire to defeat Trump and Clinton because he believed the Republican nominee would be bad for his home country of Great Britain.
- FBI had been repeatedly warned that Steele was susceptible to Russian disinformation, that his primary sub-source was assessed to be tied to Russian intelligence and that some of the evidence in his dossier had been determined to be Russian disinformation.
- The lead FBI agent investigating then-prospective National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had reported to his bosses in January 2017 that months of investigation had found “no derogatory” evidence to suggest Flynn was aiding Russia and urged closing down the investigation, but he was overruled by superiors.
Almost all of those revelations were withheld from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which, several legal experts have opined, amount to multiple crimes and potential felonies.
Solomon joined Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo on Sunday to discuss the developments in Durham’s case, including the observation that Durham likely could indict more people, but that he’s going to have to get permission from Biden’s Justice Department in order to do so.
Also, CBS News investigative reporter noted that fired FBI Director James Comey may have been less than honest with Congress in previous testimony:
#Durham In Clinesmith docs page 1, Durham says FBI opened a “Foreign Agents Registration Act” case called “Crossfire Hurricane,” July 31, 2016. FARA is criminal. But when Comey disclosed the probe’s existence in 2017, he emphasized its “counter-intelligence” nature to gather info pic.twitter.com/vzWzDFnFtf
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) August 15, 2020
Time will tell how all of the shakes out, but one thing seems clear by now: There wasn’t just a little bit of rule- and lawbreaking associated with Obama spying on Trump’s campaign.
There was a lot of it.