By Jon Dougherty
(TNS) As official Washington busies itself with impeaching President Donald Trump for ‘crime’ of conducting foreign policy, U.S. Attorney John Durham’s criminal investigation into the origins of the ‘Russian collusion’ probe, a.k.a. “Crossfire Hurricane,” a.k.a. “Spygate,” is ongoing.
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From her new perch at CBS News, ace national security and investigative reporter Cathrine Herridge reported late last week that Durham, appointed directly by Attorney General William Barr, was onto a “strong paper trail” of documents that surfaced in the first several months following the president’s inauguration in January of 2017.
As reported by fellow ace investigative correspondent Sara A. Carter, “The documents, which are being kept close hold, were hinted at by Attorney GeneralÂ William BarrÂ in an interview he did with NBC in December and reported on by CBS News Friday.”
Carter notes that theÂ documents “span a time period from January, 2017 until May 2017, just before the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.”
Barr has already hinted at the expansive nature of the Durham criminal probe. In June we noted:
The Justice Department on Monday announced that its probe into abuses of the FISA court and surveillance authorities by U.S. intelligence, federal law enforcement, and â€˜third-partyâ€ non-governmental organizations against the 2016 Trump campaign have been expanded and are â€œbroad,â€ as legal experts predicted convictions at the end of the process.
Attorney General William Barr pledged a â€˜deep diveâ€™ into what appear to be systemic abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court by ranking DoJ, FBI, and intelligence officials in the Obama administration, as his hand-picked U.S. attorney, Connecticut-based John Durham, casts a wider net.
â€œThe review is broad in scope and multifaceted, and is intended to illuminate open questions regarding the activities of U.S. and foreign intelligence services as well as non-governmental organizations and individuals,â€ said Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd in a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.).
Around the same time, we noted that Durham had already met a number of times with Barr:
In particular, Durham â€” a corruption specialist â€” is â€œdigging into the FBIâ€™s useâ€ of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrants to spy on a member of the 2016 Trump campaign, warrants that were obtained, it appears, through fraudulent representation of the bogus â€œSteele Dossier,â€ a pack of unsubstantiated lies passed off to the court by James Comeyâ€™s bureau as legitimate intelligence.
Corey Lewandowski, the former campaign manager for Team Trump who has been keeping tabs on the investigation as it proceeds, told the network he believes that in the end, Barr and Durham will discover conclusively that the Spygate scandal â€œgoes all the way to the top of the previous administration.â€
In October, reports noted that the Durham probe had turned into a criminal investigation.
We thought that DoJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report would be a little more revealing than it was — and information he found continues to trickle out. But it’s worth reminding readers that Barr and Durham did not agree with the IG’s conclusion that the FBI ‘had sufficient evidence’ to open a counterintelligence investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign.
It’s also worth reminding readers that President Trump has already given Barr full authority to declassify whatever documents he thinks should be declassified and released, as they relate to Spygate. Carter noted further:
Barr…eludedÂ in an interviewÂ that Durham may finish his probe by Spring or early this summer.Â
According to sources, the documents already uncovered by Horowitz and the alleged new documents discovered by Durham are significant. Those documents will expose the intent of those involved in the malfeasance at the FBI and the continued operation to spy on Carter Page, a short term Trump campaign volunteer. Further, Durhamâ€™s probe is focused on actions of former senior Obama Administration officials that targeted Trump and his team, according to numerous former and current government sources…
Reportedly, former ranking members of Obama’s Spygate team including James Comey, John Brennan, and Comey’s deputy, Andrew McCabe, among others.
Durhamâ€™s team has already interviewed numerous personnel at the CIA and according to sources â€œthose questioned are very nervous about the direction of Durhamâ€™s investigation,” Carter added.
She also noted that Durham’s probe has expanded to overseas intelligence agencies and assets — most likely members of the Five Eyes partnership that includes the U.S., Canada, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. In addition, Durham’s probe has expanded the Pentagon’sÂ Office Of Net Assessment, “which contracted former FBI informant Stefan Halper, who had contacts with four Trump campaign officials,” she writes.
Barr said in anÂ NBC News interview in DecemberÂ Durham is â€œlooking at the issue of how it got started. Heâ€™s looking at whether or not the narrative of Trump being involved in the Russian interference actually preceded July and was in fact the precipitating trigger for the investigation, and heâ€™s also looking at the conduct of the investigation.â€
The AG also said there â€œare some things that were done in the investigation that are not included in [DOJ Inspector General Michael] Horowitzâ€™s report. And heâ€™s looking at those things.â€
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