OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Special prosecutor John Durham is reportedly still actively pursuing his investigation into the origins of the 2016 ‘Russiagate’ scandal in which the Obama administration spied on the 2016 Trump campaign, according to a report.
CNN reported Tuesday, citing unnamed sources, that after delays last year that were blamed on the COVID-19 pandemic, Durham’s investigators “are now arranging witness interviews” as grand jury subpoenas “also were being used to gather documents in recent months.”
Durham resigned as a U.S. attorney in February but he agreed to remain on as a special prosecutor to complete his probe.
The CNN report comes on the heels of comments from Donald Trump who mocked the time it was taking for the investigation — now entering its third year — will be completed.
“Where’s Durham? Is he a living, breathing human being? Will there ever be a Durham report?” Trump said Friday.
The Washington Examiner has more:
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.
In 2019, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a report stemming from an investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Russiagate investigation. The IG concluded that the bureau made at least 17 “significant errors and omissions” in its surveillance of Page, who has since said a number of times he had no affiliation with Russian operatives and who was never charged with a crime.
CNN’s report noted 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.”
It added that last year Durham was looking into 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 noted further that the special counsel was still “looking at early aspects” of Russiagate.
Horowitz concluded that the FBI’s probe, codenamed Crossfire Hurricane, was “opened for an authorized investigative purpose and with sufficient factual predication.” But Durham, as well as former Attorney General William Barr, disagreed with Horowitz’s determination.
CNN added that “[i]t’s still not clear whether Durham is pursuing additional possible criminal matters” beyond a guilty plea from ex-FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith. He admitted that he edited a CIA email in 2017 to say that Page was “not a source” for the agency when in fact the CIA had informed the FBI several times that Page was an asset. Clinesmith only got probation for his violation, which outraged Trump supporters at the time.
Current Attorney General Merrick Garland would not say during his confirmation hearings if he would ensure Durham’s investigation was allowed to proceed to its conclusion or that he would make his report public. He did say ending Durham’s work wasn’t the right move.
It’s also unclear — or maybe it really isn’t — whether the Biden regime will allow Durham to actually charge anyone else, especially former ranking officials within the FBI and intelligence community, who were working on behalf of Barack Obama at the time.