“A trail of documents has reportedly led Attorney General William Barr’s handpicked federal prosecutor to focus his inquiry into the origins of the Russia investigation on the first several months of President Trump’s tenure.”
John Durham is zeroing in on the period spanning from January 2017, when Trump took office, to May of that year. A “strong” paper trail, has led the investigation into possible misconduct by federal law enforcement and intelligence officials to that time frame.
Barr and Durham have traveled around the world for the investigation, and Durham’s team has already asked witnesses about possible anti-Trump bias among former FBI officials. The secretive DOJ inquiry includes scrutiny of former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI special agent Peter Strzok, and British ex-spy Christopher Steele.
Little else is known about the investigation other than that Durham is exploring whether a crime was committed by Kevin Clinesmith, a former FBI lawyer who was found by the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz to have altered a document during the FBI’s efforts to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant renewal to continue wiretapping onetime Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
The period of time under scrutiny by Durham also covers a leak to reporters that federal prosecutors in D.C. are investigating. The Russian intelligence document under scrutiny, word of which made its way into press reports in the spring of 2017, factored into former FBI Director James Comey’s handling of the FBI investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email server, and Comey himself appears to be the focus of that inquiry. Comey was fired in May 2017, after which Mueller was appointed special counsel to lead the Russia investigation.
Barr says, “We have to be careful about the way we collect evidence. And we have to make sure that we have enough evidence to justify our actions. And we’re not going to cut corners in that respect,” . “You know, there’s some people who think this thing is going to drop in a few weeks. That’s not the case. I see this, perhaps, reaching an important watershed perhaps in the late spring, early summer.” (Read more: The Washington Examiner, 1/17/2020) (Archive)