Multiple reports are now saying that former NSA Director Michael Rogers is cooperating with John Durham in his ongoing probe relating to Spygate and other potential criminality.
Many in the Trump movement consider Rogers a hero.
While unconfirmed, many speculate that it was Roberts who initially warned Donald Trump that spy devices were in his Trump Tower building, because it was immediately after their meeting that Trump moved all operations to a new location.
And now it appears the same Rogers is working with Durham, and multiple reports say he is doing so cooperatively.
Sara Carter had the story:
The Intercept confirmed it:
Here's more on the story from The Intercept:
RETIRED ADM. MICHAEL ROGERS, former director of the National Security Agency, has been cooperating with the Justice Department’s probe into the origins of the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump presidential campaign’s alleged ties to Russia, according to four people familiar with Rogers’s participation.
Rogers has met the prosecutor leading the probe, Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham, on multiple occasions, according to two people familiar with Rogers’s cooperation. While the substance of those meetings is not clear, Rogers has cooperated voluntarily, several people with knowledge of the matter said.
Rogers, who retired in May 2018, did not respond to requests for comment.
The inquiry has been a pillar of Attorney General William Barr’s tenure. He appointed Durham to lead the inquiry last spring, directing him to determine whether the FBI was justified in opening a counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and alleged links between Russia and the Trump campaign, among other matters. What began as a broad review has turned into a criminal investigation, according to the New York Times. Barr has described the use of undercover FBI agents to investigate members of the campaign as “spying.”
Last week, a separate, nonpartisan review of the investigation by the Justice Department inspector general concluded that while the FBI and Justice Department committed serious errors in their applications to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, the investigation was opened properly and without political bias. Barr and Durham took the unusual step of publicly disagreeing with some of the inspector general’s conclusions, with Barr describing the FBI’s justification for the inquiry as “very flimsy.”
Rogers’s voluntary participation, which has not been previously reported, makes him the first former intelligence director known to have been interviewed for the probe.
“He’s been very cooperative,” one former intelligence officer who has knowledge of Rogers’s meetings with the Justice Department said.
Politico and NBC News have previously reported that Durham intends to interview both former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. It is unclear if that has happened. Brennan and the Justice Department declined to comment. Clapper could not be reached for comment.
The Times reported on Thursday that Durham is examining Brennan’s congressional testimony and communications with a focus on what the former CIA director may have told other officials about his views on the so-called Steele dossier, a set of unverified allegations about links between Russia, Trump, and his campaign compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele.
Rogers is no stranger to the controversy surrounding the 2016 election. Shortly after Trump won the presidency, Rogers traveled to Trump Towerin New York, where he provided an unsolicited briefing to the then president-elect. Rogers informed Trump that the NSA knew that the Russians interfered in the election, according to three people familiar with the briefing. Despite delivering what Rogers told a confidant was “bad news,” Trump would keep Rogers on as NSA director while dismissing Brennan and Clapper.
In January 2017 just before Trump took office, the intelligence community released an unclassified assessment concluding that Russia interfered in the election. The assessment was based on a combination of intelligence collected and reviewed by the NSA, CIA, and FBI.
Russia’s initial purpose, the assessment found, was to undermine confidence in American democracy, but the effort ultimately focused on damaging Hillary Clinton’s campaign in an effort to help elect Trump. While all three intelligence agencies agreed on that aspect of the assessment, the CIA and FBI expressed “high confidence” that the Russian government sought to help Trump win “by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him,” while Rogers’s NSA had only “moderate confidence” in that finding.
Trump entered his presidency deeply suspicious of the U.S. intelligence community and skeptical of the assessment. He has spent much of his administration claiming that he is the victim of a “deep-state” coup, beginning with the counterintelligence investigation into his presidential campaign. He has downplayed the intelligence community’s conclusions about Russia’s responsibility for hacking the Democratic National Committee computer system and providing internal emails to WikiLeaks, which published them beginning in July 2016, instead affirming conspiracy theories that blame Ukraine for stealing the emails.
A year into the Trump administration, in February 2018, Rogers testified at a Senate hearing that the White House had given the NSA no orders or instructions for countering further Russian election meddling.
“President Putin has clearly come to the conclusion that there’s little price to pay and that therefore ‘I can continue this activity,’” Rogers said. “Clearly, what we have done is not enough.”
Four months later in Helsinki, Trump said that he confronted the Russian president about meddling in the election. But Vladimir Putin denied that his government was involved, and Trump said he believed him, directly contradicting Rogers and the other U.S. intelligence directors.
Rogers was concerned that his testimony before Congress drew the president’s ire, according to a former Trump White House official who spoke with Rogers earlier this year.
“He asked if the president was mad at him,” the former official said. “I told him, ‘No way, the president has always liked you.’”
The White House declined to comment.
Here's more from the Washington Examiner:
The former director of the National Security Agency is the latest to sit down with U.S. Attorney John Durham in the widening inquiry into the origins and conduct of the Trump-Russia investigation.
Adm. Mike Rogers, who retired in 2018 after four years as NSA chief and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, has met with Durham, who is working at the behest of Attorney General William Barr, multiple times and is cooperating voluntarily in Durham's deep dive into the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation related to the Trump campaign and the Russian government, according to the Intercept. Rogers is likely being talked to because of his key intelligence perch, experiences uncovering Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act violations, and his role in the intelligence community's assessment of Russian interference.
The December report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz on FISA abuses by the DOJ and the FBI criticized the bureau’s reliance on British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s unverified dossier in pursuing electronic surveillance against Trump campaign associate Carter Page.
In 2016, Rogers helped expose FISA flaws of a different kind by the NSA and the FBI. That October, as the bureau received its first Page surveillance warrant, Rogers notified the FISA Court of an NSA inspector general report that found the agency was pulling data directly from the internet and improperly searching it for information related to Americans in violation of FISA laws dealing with foreigners outside the United States targeted by U.S. intelligence agencies.
A FISA Court ruling from April 2017 revealed the high volume of violations, and that month the NSA announced it ended all searches where the foreign intelligence target was neither the sender nor receiver of a communication but was mentioned within it.
"That in doing this we were going to lose some intelligence value, but my concern was I just felt it was important — we needed to be able to show that we are fully compliant with the law," Rogers told the Senate in 2017.
The same FISA Court ruling stated that, by early 2016, the DOJ learned the FBI gave contractors access to massive amounts of FISA information well beyond what was necessary to respond to FBI requests. Another recently declassified October 2018 FISA Court ruling stemming from the court's inquiry into these FISA abuses found the bureau violated constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Horowitz's report also detailed how Rogers and the NSA viewed Steele's dossier with skepticism, pushing back against efforts by then-FBI Director James Comey and then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to include information from it in the high-profile January 2017 assessment on Russian election interference put together by the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA.
Rogers and Comey, along with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, who is being scrutinized by Durham, briefed President-elect Trump about their findings at Trump Tower. Comey stayed to tell Trump about some of the dossier's more salacious allegations.
The assessment concluded with "high confidence" that Russian President Vladimir Putin “ordered an influence campaign in 2016” and that Russia worked to “undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate former Secretary of State Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency” and “developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.” The NSA diverged on one aspect, expressing only “moderate confidence” that Putin actively tried to help Trump’s election chances and harm those of Clinton by contrasting her unfavorably, and Durham is likely looking into whether Steele's dossier played a role in the determinations of the other agencies.
“I wouldn’t call it a discrepancy, I’d call it an honest difference of opinion between three different organizations and, in the end, I made that call,” Rogers told the Senate in May 2017. “It didn’t have the same level of sourcing and the same level of multiple sources.”