If I were Brennan, or Comey, or Clapper, I wouldn’t be feeling to confident right now.
In fact, I might have a fresh load in my pants after reading that bulldog John Durham has now expanded his investigation to directly target former CIA Director John Brennan.
Are those walls starting to close in?
From the National Review:
Former National Security Agency director and retired Adm. Michael Rogers has met multiple times with U.S. attorney John Durham as part of an ongoing probe into the origins of the counterintelligence investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign, The Intercept reported Friday.
Rogers, who served as NSA director under Obama and Trump, “has cooperated voluntarily,” according to sources. Durham, who did not agree with DOJ inspector general Mike Horowitz’s report on the predication of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation, is also looking into what role former CIA director John Brennan played in the 2017 intelligence community assessment that detailed Russian interference in the election.
The assessment, compiled by the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA, stated that Vladimir Putin “ordered an influence campaign” that “aspired to help” Trump and discredit Clinton. While the FBI and the CIA had high confidence in the conclusion, Rogers’s NSA reported a moderate confidence and was the “lone exception,” as Brennan testified in May 2017.
Rogers, who retired in May 2018, played a central role in addressing FISA abuses of Section 702 — which allows the government to acquire counterintelligence by surveilling foreign persons.
According to a FISA court ruling declassified in April 2017, a Rogers-ordered audit found violations in “approximately eighty-five percent” of Section 702 searches from November 1, 2015, to May 1, 2016. The violations were mainly linked to a practice known as “upstream” surveillance in which NSA agents use a search tool to collect any communications that mention the target.
And from the NY Times:
The federal prosecutor scrutinizing the Russia investigation has begun examining the role of the former C.I.A. director John O. Brennan in how the intelligence community assessed Russia’s 2016 election interference, according to three people briefed on the inquiry.
John H. Durham, the United States attorney leading the investigation, has requested Mr. Brennan’s emails, call logs and other documents from the C.I.A., according to a person briefed on his inquiry. He wants to learn what Mr. Brennan told other officials, including the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, about his and the C.I.A.’s views of a notorious dossier of assertions about Russia and Trump associates.
Mr. Durham’s pursuit of Mr. Brennan’s records is certain to add to accusations that Mr. Trump is using the Justice Department to go after his perceived enemies. The president has long attacked Mr. Brennan as part of his narrative about a so-called deep state cabal of Obama administration officials who tried to sabotage his campaign, and Mr. Trump has held out Mr. Durham’s investigation as a potential avenue for proving those claims.
Mr. Durham is also examining whether Mr. Brennan privately contradicted his public comments, including May 2017 testimony to Congress, about both the dossier and about any debate among the intelligence agencies over their conclusions on Russia’s interference, the people said.
The people familiar with Mr. Durham’s inquiry stressed that it was continuing and it was not clear what crimes, if any, he had uncovered. Representatives for Mr. Brennan and the Justice Department declined to comment.
Defenders of Mr. Brennan have long maintained he did nothing wrong and properly sounded the alarm on Russian interference in the 2016 election, and he told MSNBC this fall that he would answer Mr. Durham’s questions if asked.“I feel good about what it is we did as an intelligence community, and I feel very confident and comfortable with what I did, so I have no qualms whatsoever about talking with investigators who are going to be looking at this in a fair and appropriate manner,” Mr. Brennan said.
And from CNN:
The federal prosecutor leading the probe into the 2016 Trump-Russia investigation has begun examining the role former CIA Director John Brennan played in how the intelligence community assessed Russia's election interference, according to The New York Times.
John Durham, the US attorney tapped by Attorney General William Barr to investigate, has requested Brennan's emails, call logs and other documents from the CIA, the Times reported Thursday, citing a source briefed on his inquiry.
Representatives for Brennan, the Justice Department and a spokesperson for the CIA all declined to comment to the Times. The CIA also declined additional comment to CNN on the matter. CNN has reached out to the Justice Department and Brennan's lawyer for comment.
Durham is interested in what Brennan told other officials -- including former FBI Director James Comey -- about his and the CIA's views of the infamous dossier compiled by retired British spy Christopher Steele of salacious allegations about Donald Trump, Trump associates and Russia, according to the newspaper.
The Times reported that Durham is also looking into whether Brennan privately contradicted his public comments, including a May 2017 hearing before Congress, about "both the dossier and about any debate among the intelligence agencies over their conclusions on Russia's interference."
Sources stressed to the Times that Durham's inquiry into Brennan is continuing and it is so far unclear what he has uncovered.
During a panel at the George Mason University in October, Brennan said that he has "no qualms whatsoever" and would be "happy" to talk to investigators he hopes are conducting the review "in a fair and appropriate manner," adding that Durham has a "good reputation."
Brennan also said he's "very confident" the CIA "conducted its responsibilities appropriately, consistent with our legal authorities, and in the matter that was apolitical."
The US intelligence community concluded in a January 2017 assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an "influence campaign" aimed at hurting Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and helping Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
"All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; (National Security Agency) has moderate confidence," the 2017 report said.
Brennan said during a 2017 House Intelligence Committee hearing that his agency did not rely on the Steele dossier to reach its conclusions in the intelligence assessment.
Durham and his investigators are also trying to learn more about any debate within the CIA over the January 2017 intelligence report and any discussions that led intelligence chiefs to include the Steele dossier in the report's appendix, the Times reported.
A report by the Justice Department inspector general released last week found that the CIA, including Brennan, expressed concern over, including Steele's allegations.
Comey and his No. 2, former deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, had argued that Steele's information should be included in the intelligence community assessment -- despite acknowledging that many of the claims had still not been independently verified by the FBI, the report found.