The NY Times notes that over the last several months, “Durham and his team have examined emails among a small group of intelligence analysts from multiple agencies, including the C.I.A., F.B.I., and National Security Agency, who worked together to assess the Russian operation.”
Durham has reportedly interviewed these analysts and has specifically focused on information that the CIA reportedly attempted to withhold from other agencies—including the identity and placement of a CIA source inside the Kremlin.
The article noted that intelligence analysts at the NSA wanted to know more about the “identity and placement” of a specific Russian source, in order “to weigh the credibility of his information.” But, according to the article, the CIA “was initially reluctant to share details about the Russian’s identity but eventually relented.”
The New York Times noted in the article that the source was “outside of Mr. Putin’s inner circle, but saw him regularly and had access to high-level Kremlin decision-making — easily making the source one of the agency’s most valuable assets.”
But the article also noted that there were some doubts within the CIA. Following the refusal of extraction in late 2016, some officials within the CIA “wondered whether the informant had been turned and had become a double agent, secretly betraying his American handlers.”
The CIA’s Russian source was apparently highly regarded by Brennan, who felt the identity of the source was so important that, according to the NY Times article, he “kept information from the operative out of President Barack Obama’s daily brief in 2016.”
“Instead, Mr. Brennan sent separate intelligence reports, many based on the source’s information, in special sealed envelopes to the Oval Office,” according to the article.
But the nature of the source raises some significant questions. If, for example, the source was indeed so highly placed, why then was the United States so seemingly ill-informed regarding many of Russia’s foreign policy actions, particularly in Syria or Crimea, when Russia forcibly annexed the peninsula from Ukraine?
And if this asset was indeed so highly placed, how is it that Russia was able to hack the DNC’s servers and extract their emails without the CIA’s advance knowledge of the alleged Russian activities?
A June 2017 article from The Washington Post had previously touched on the existence of a “Russian source,” noting that Brennan had received “an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.”
The Post noted that “the intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives—defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.”
This was the same information that Brennan reportedly conveyed “in special sealed envelopes to the Oval Office.” However, as the Post noted, “despite the intelligence the CIA had produced, other agencies were slower to endorse a conclusion that Putin was personally directing the operation and wanted to help Trump.”
There is another significant problem, as well. The Mueller report, after two lengthy years of investigation, concluded there was no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, thereby proving a key part of the alleged Russian activities incorrect.” (Read more: Jeff Carlson/themarketswork, 2/13/2020) (Archive)