John Durham, the U.S. attorney tasked with investigating the origins of the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign in 2016, is expected to seek an interview with former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, following an expansion of his investigation.
It was reportedly the meetings that Durham and Attorney General William Barr recently had in Rome—where they obtained new evidence—that were the impetus for the broadening of the scope of the probe.
According to Fox News’ Catherine Herridge, her sources told her that Durham is now “very interested to question” Brennan and Clapper.
According to Herridge, the meetings “took place on Aug. 15 and Sept. 27, 2019, in Rome,” and it was during one or both of these trips that Barr and Durham “gathered new evidence.”
The news comes following months of speculation about whether the former top Obama officials would be questioned over their involvement in the investigation and spying on the Trump campaign.
It was recently revealed in a court motion by the lawyer for former national security adviser Michael Flynn that the Justice Department (DOJ) had obtained two cell phones belonging to Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor who has been cited as playing a key role in the FBI’s determination to open its probe of the Trump campaign.
Earlier this month, on Oct. 5, Politico reported that Durham had “not requested interviews with any of the FBI or DOJ employees who were directly involved in, or knew about, the opening of the Russia investigation in 2016, according to people familiar with the matter.”
However, according to an Oct. 19 New York Times article, Durham has already interviewed “about two dozen former and current F.B.I. officials” and that the “number of interviews shows that Mr. Durham’s review is further along than previously known.” The paper also reported that Durham’s efforts were being aided by “two former senior F.B.I. agents” who were assisting with the review.
One of the former FBI officials assisting Durham’s investigation is reported to be John C. Eckenrode, who, at one time, worked with Patrick J. Fitzgerald in the 2003 Valerie Plame leak case. Eckenrode reportedly knew Durham from his time as an FBI agent in Connecticut, where Durham was a prosecutor. Eckenrode also “ran the FBI’s office in Philadelphia” prior to his 2006 retirement from the bureau.
In addition to the dozens of FBI interviews, Durham’s investigative team has also reportedly “questioned officials in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence,” although Clapper doesn’t appear to have been among those interviewed. Nor have Durham or his team yet questioned or interviewed CIA personnel.
The number of interviews conducted as well as the widening scope suggests that Durham has been gathering all available facts, evidence, and data prior to approaching the central figures in his inquiry.
More recently, on Oct. 19, NBC News reported that 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.”
The outlet also reported that 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 the article, “Justice Department officials have said that Durham has found something significant, and that critics should be careful.”
Additionally, NBC News noted that “although the probe did not begin as a criminal investigation, Justice Department officials won’t comment on whether it has morphed into one.”
Brennan himself also told MSNBC—where he is a paid commentator—earlier this month, that “I’m supposedly going to be interviewed by Mr. Durham as part of this non-investigation.”
Meanwhile, Fox News reported that “based on what he has been finding, Durham has expanded his investigation” and has gone through the process of “adding agents and resources.” Additionally, Fox reported that the “timeline has grown from the beginning of the [counterintelligence] probe through the election and now has included a post-election timeline through the spring of 2017, up to when Robert Mueller was named special counsel.”
Read the rest of the story by Jeff Carlson at The Epoch Times